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This search looks for the execution of nltest.exe with command-line arguments utilized to query for Domain Trust information. Two arguments /domain trusts, returns a list of trusted domains, and /all_trusts, returns all trusted domains. Red Teams and adversaries alike use NLTest.exe to enumerate the current domain to assist with further understanding where to pivot next.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-01-25
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: c3e05466-5f22-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002


ID Technique Tactic
T1482 Domain Trust Discovery Discovery

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name=nltest.exe OR Processes.process_name!=nltest.exe) (Processes.process=*/domain_trusts* OR Processes.process=*/all_trusts*) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process 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)` 
| `nltest_domain_trust_discovery_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_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Administrators may use nltest for troubleshooting purposes, otherwise, rarely used.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
15.0 30 50 Domain trust discovery execution on $dest$


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

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