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The search looks for modifications or alterations made to registry keys that have the potential to initiate the launch of an application or service during system startup. By monitoring and detecting modifications in these registry keys, we can identify suspicious or unauthorized changes that could be indicative of malicious activity. This proactive approach helps in safeguarding the system's integrity and security by promptly identifying and mitigating potential threats that aim to gain persistence or execute malicious actions during the startup process.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-12-27
  • Author: Jose Hernandez, David Dorsey, Teoderick Contreras, Rod Soto, Splunk
  • ID: f5f6af30-7aa7-4295-bfe9-07fe87c01a4b




ID Technique Tactic
T1547.001 Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1547 Boot or Logon Autostart Execution Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where (Registry.registry_path=*\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\RunOnce OR Registry.registry_path=*\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\StartupApproved\\Run OR Registry.registry_path= "*\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\User Shell Folders\\*" OR Registry.registry_path= "*\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\Shell Folders\\*" OR Registry.registry_path=*\\currentversion\\run* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\currentVersion\\Windows\\Appinit_Dlls* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\CurrentVersion\\Winlogon\\Shell* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\CurrentVersion\\Winlogon\\Notify* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\CurrentVersion\\Winlogon\\Userinit* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\CurrentVersion\\Winlogon\\VmApplet* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\currentversion\\policies\\explorer\\run* OR Registry.registry_path=*\\currentversion\\runservices* OR Registry.registry_path=HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Netsh\\* OR Registry.registry_path= "*\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\Shell Folders\\Common Startup" OR Registry.registry_path= *\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\SharedTaskScheduler OR Registry.registry_path= *\\Classes\\htmlfile\\shell\\open\\command OR (Registry.registry_path="*Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\Image File Execution Options*" AND Registry.registry_key_name=Debugger) OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Lsa" AND Registry.registry_key_name="Security Packages") OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Lsa\\OSConfig" AND Registry.registry_key_name="Security Packages") OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\SilentProcessExit\\*") OR (Registry.registry_path="*currentVersion\\Windows" AND Registry.registry_key_name="Load") OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\CurrentVersion" AND Registry.registry_key_name="Svchost") OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager"AND Registry.registry_key_name="BootExecute") OR (Registry.registry_path="*\\Software\\Run" AND Registry.registry_key_name="auto_update")) by Registry.dest Registry.user Registry.registry_path Registry.registry_value_name Registry.registry_value_data Registry.process_guid Registry.registry_key_name 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `registry_keys_used_for_persistence_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

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

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

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

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 Carbon Black 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.

Known False Positives

There are many legitimate applications that must execute on system startup and will use these registry keys to accomplish that task.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
76.0 80 95 A registry activity in $registry_path$ related to persistence in host $dest$

: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

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: 9