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The following analytic identifies excessive usage of cacls.exe, xcacls.exe or icacls.exe application to change file or folder permission. This behavior is commonly seen where the adversary attempts to impair some users from deleting or accessing its malware components or artifact from the compromised system.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-05-07
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 0bdf6092-af17-11eb-939a-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1222 File and Directory Permissions Modification Defense Evasion

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` values(Processes.process) as process values(Processes.process_id) as process_id  values(Processes.process_name) as process_name count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime  from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name = "cacls.exe" OR Processes.process_name = "icacls.exe" OR Processes.process_name = "XCACLS.exe" by Processes.parent_process_name Processes.parent_process Processes.dest Processes.user _time span=1m 
| where count >=10 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `excessive_usage_of_cacls_app_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.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Administrators or administrative scripts may use this application. Filter as needed.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 80 100 An excessive amount of $process_name$ was executed on $dest$ attempting to modify permissions.


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

source | version: 1