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SharpHound is used as a reconnaissance collector, ingestor, for BloodHound. SharpHound will query the domain controller and begin gathering all the data related to the domain and trusts. For output, it will drop a .zip file upon completion following a typical pattern that is often not changed. This analytic focuses on the default file name scheme. Note that this may be evaded with different parameters within SharpHound, but that depends on the operator. -randomizefilenames and -encryptzip are two examples. In addition, executing SharpHound via .exe or .ps1 without any command-line arguments will still perform activity and dump output to the default filename. Example default filename SharpHound creates multiple temp files following the same pattern 20210601182121_computers.json, domains.json, gpos.json, ous.json and users.json. Tuning may be required, or remove these json's entirely if it is too noisy. During traige, review parallel processes for further suspicious behavior. Typically, the process executing the .ps1 ingestor will be PowerShell.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-05-27
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 42b4b438-beed-11eb-ba1d-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1087.002 Domain Account Discovery
T1069.001 Local Groups Discovery
T1482 Domain Trust Discovery Discovery
T1087.001 Local Account Discovery
T1087 Account Discovery Discovery
T1069.002 Domain Groups Discovery
T1069 Permission Groups Discovery Discovery

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Filesystem where Filesystem.file_name IN ("*", "*_computers.json", "*_gpos.json", "*_domains.json", "*_users.json", "*_groups.json") by Filesystem.file_create_time Filesystem.process_id  Filesystem.file_name Filesystem.file_path Filesystem.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Filesystem)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `detect_sharphound_file_modifications_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on file modifications that include the name of the process, and file, responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Filesystem node.

Required field

  • _time
  • file_path
  • dest
  • file_name
  • process_id
  • file_create_time

Kill Chain Phase

  • Reconnaissance

Known False Positives

False positives should be limited as the analytic is specific to a filename with extension .zip. Filter as needed.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
24.0 30 80 Potential SharpHound file modifications identified on $dest$


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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