The following analytic identifies renamed instances of mshta.exe executing. Mshta.exe is natively found in C:\Windows\system32 and C:\Windows\syswow64. This analytic utilizes the internal name of the PE to identify if is the legitimate mshta binary. Further analysis should be performed to review the executed content and validation it is the real mshta.
- Type: Hunting
- Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Datamodel: Endpoint
- Last Updated: 2022-04-07
- Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
- ID: 8f45fcf0-5b68-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002
Kill Chain Phase
- CIS 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 | tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name!=mshta.exe AND Processes.original_file_name=MSHTA.EXE by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id Processes.original_file_name | `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `detect_mshta_renamed_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
Note that detect_mshta_renamed_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.
How To Implement
To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the
Endpoint datamodel in the
Processes node. In addition, confirm the latest CIM App 4.20 or higher is installed and the latest TA for the endpoint product.
Known False Positives
Although unlikely, some legitimate applications may use a moved copy of mshta.exe, but never renamed, triggering a false positive.
Associated Analytic story
|80.0||80||100||The following $process_name$ has been identified as renamed, spawning from $parent_process_name$.|
source | version: 3