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This detection identifies Microsoft Exchange Server's Unified Messaging services, umworkerprocess.exe and umservice.exe, spawning a child process, indicating possible exploitation of CVE-2021-26857 vulnerability. The query filters out werfault.exe and wermgr.exe mostly due to potential false positives, however, if there is an excessive amount of "wermgr.exe" or "WerFault.exe" failures, it may be due to the active exploitation. During triage, identify any additional suspicious parallel processes. Identify any recent out of place file modifications. Review Exchange logs following Microsofts guide. To contain, perform egress filtering or restrict public access to Exchange. In final, patch the vulnerablity and monitor.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-10-03
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: f1126df0-7bd5-11eb-988f-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1190 Exploit Public-Facing Application Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
ID Summary CVSS
CVE-2021-26857 Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability This CVE ID is unique from CVE-2021-26412, CVE-2021-26854, CVE-2021-26855, CVE-2021-26858, CVE-2021-27065, CVE-2021-27078. 6.8
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name="umworkerprocess.exe" OR Processes.parent_process_name="UMService.exe" NOT (Processes.process_name IN ("wermgr.exe", "werfault.exe")) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `unified_messaging_service_spawning_a_process_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: unified_messaging_service_spawning_a_process_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Supported Add-on (TA)

List of Splunk Add-on’s tested to work with the analytic.

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

  • _time
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process name, parent process, and command-line executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you must have at least version 6.0.4 of the Sysmon TA.

Known False Positives

Unknown. Tune out child processes as needed to limit volume of false positives.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
56.0 70 80 Possible CVE-2021-26857 exploitation on $dest$

:information_source: The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.


Test Dataset

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source | version: 2