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Description

This search is to detect a suspicious mshta.exe process that spawn rundll32 or regsvr32 child process. This technique was seen in several malware nowadays like trickbot to load its initial .dll stage loader to execute and download the the actual trickbot payload.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint- Datasource: Splunk Add-on for Sysmon
  • Last Updated: 2021-07-19
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 4aa5d062-e893-11eb-9eb2-acde48001122

Annotations

ATT&CK
ID Technique Tactic
T1218 Signed Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1218.005 Mshta Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
NIST
CIS20
CVE
1
2
3
4
5
6
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name = "mshta.exe"  `process_rundll32` OR `process_regsvr32` by Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.process_guid Processes.user Processes.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name("Processes")` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
|`security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `mshta_spawning_rundll32_or_regsvr32_process_filter`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

Note that mshta_spawning_rundll32_or_regsvr32_process_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_path
  • Processes.process_path
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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.

Known False Positives

limitted. this anomaly behavior is not commonly seen in clean host.

Associated Analytic story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
56.0 70 80 a mshta parent process $parent_process_name$ spawn child process $process_name$ in host $dest$

Reference

Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 2