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This analytic detects a suspicious registry modification to disable Windows hotkey (shortcut keys) for native Windows applications. This technique is commonly used to disable certain or several Windows applications like taskmgr.exe and cmd.exe. This technique is used to impair the analyst in analyzing and removing the attacker implant in compromised systems.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-05-05
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 1490f224-ad8b-11eb-8c4f-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1562.001 Disable or Modify Tools Defense Evasion
T1562 Impair Defenses Defense Evasion

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Registry.registry_key_name) as registry_key_name values(Registry.registry_path) as registry_path min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where Registry.registry_path="*\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\Image File Execution Options\\*" AND Registry.registry_value_name = "HotKey Disabled" AND Registry.registry_key_name = "Debugger" by Registry.dest Registry.user Registry.registry_value_name 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| `disable_windows_app_hotkeys_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you must be ingesting data that records registry activity from your hosts to populate the endpoint data model in the registry node. This is typically populated via endpoint detection-and-response product, such as CarbonBlack or endpoint data sources, such as Sysmon. The data used for this search is typically generated via logs that report reads and writes to the registry.

Required field

  • _time
  • Registry.registry_key_name
  • Registry.registry_path
  • Registry.registry_value_name
  • Registry.dest Registry.user

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives



Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 40 100 Disabled 'Windows App Hotkeys' 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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