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The following analytic utilizes PowerShell Script Block Logging (EventCode=4104) to identify suspicious PowerShell execution. Script Block Logging captures the command sent to PowerShell, the full command to be executed. Upon enabling, logs will output to Windows event logs. Dependent upon volume, enable on critical endpoints or all.
This analytic identifies copy or [System.IO.File]::Copy being used to capture the SAM, SYSTEM or SECURITY hives identified in script block. This will catch the most basic use cases for credentials being taken for offline cracking.
During triage, review parallel processes using an EDR product or 4688 events. It will be important to understand the timeline of events around this activity. Review the entire logged PowerShell script block.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2021-07-21
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 9251299c-ea5b-11eb-a8de-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1003.002 Security Account Manager Credential Access
T1003 OS Credential Dumping Credential Access
`powershell` EventCode=4104 Message IN ("*copy*","*[System.IO.File]::Copy*") AND Message IN ("*System32\\config\\SAM*", "*System32\\config\\SYSTEM*","*System32\\config\\SECURITY*") 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by OpCode ComputerName User EventCode Message 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `detect_copy_of_shadowcopy_with_script_block_logging_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this analytic, you will need to enable PowerShell Script Block Logging on some or all endpoints. Additional setup here

Required field

  • _time
  • Message
  • OpCode
  • ComputerName
  • User
  • EventCode

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Limited false positives as the scope is limited to SAM, SYSTEM and SECURITY hives.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 80 100 PowerShell was identified running a script to capture the SAM hive on endpoint $ComputerName$ by user $user$.


ID Summary CVSS
CVE-2021-36934 Windows Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability 4.6


Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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