The following detection identifies Microsoft Excel spawning PowerShell. Typically, this is not common behavior and not default with Excel.exe. Excel.exe will generally be found in the following path
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 (version will vary). PowerShell spawning from Excel.exe is common for a spearphishing attachment and is actively used. Albeit, the command executed will most likely be encoded and captured via another detection. During triage, review parallel processes and identify any files that may have been written.
- Type: TTP
- Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Datamodel: Endpoint
- Last Updated: 2021-04-12
- Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
- ID: 42d40a22-9be3-11eb-8f08-acde48001122
|T1003.002||Security Account Manager||Credential Access|
|T1003||OS Credential Dumping||Credential Access|
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process) min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name="excel.exe" `process_powershell` by Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.user Processes.dest Processes.original_file_name | `drop_dm_object_name("Processes")` | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` |`security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `excel_spawning_powershell_filter`
Associated Analytic Story
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.
Kill Chain Phase
Known False Positives
False positives should be limited, but if any are present, filter as needed.
|80.0||80||100||An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$, indicating potential suspicious macro execution.|
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