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The following analytic utilizes PowerShell Script Block Logging (EventCode=4104) to identify suspicious PowerShell execution. Script Block Logging captures the command sent to PowerShell, the full command to be executed. Upon enabling, logs will output to Windows event logs. Dependent upon volume, enable no critical endpoints or all.
This analytic identifies the use of PowerShell loading .net assembly via reflection. This is commonly found in malicious PowerShell usage, including Empire and Cobalt Strike. In addition, the load( value may be modifed by removing ( and it will identify more events to review.
During triage, review parallel processes using an EDR product or 4688 events. It will be important to understand the timeline of events around this activity. Review the entire logged PowerShell script block.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2021-06-10
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 85bc3f30-ca28-11eb-bd21-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1059 Command and Scripting Interpreter Execution
T1059.001 PowerShell Execution
`powershell` EventCode=4104 Message IN ("*[system.reflection.assembly]::load(*","*[reflection.assembly]*") 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by OpCode ComputerName User EventCode Message 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `powershell_loading_dotnet_into_memory_via_system_reflection_assembly_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this analytic, you will need to enable PowerShell Script Block Logging on some or all endpoints. Additional setup here

Required field

  • _time
  • Message
  • OpCode
  • ComputerName
  • User
  • EventCode

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

False positives should be limited as day to day scripts do not use this method.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
56.0 70 80 A suspicious powershell script contains reflective class assembly command in $Message$ to load .net code in memory with EventCode $EventCode$ in host $ComputerName$


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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