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This search looks for modifications to registry keys that can be used to elevate privileges. The registry keys under "Image File Execution Options" are used to intercept calls to an executable and can be used to attach malicious binaries to benign system binaries.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2020-11-27
  • Author: David Dorsey, Splunk
  • ID: c9f4b923-f8af-4155-b697-1354f5bcbc5e


ID Technique Tactic
T1546.012 Image File Execution Options Injection Privilege Escalation, Persistence
T1546 Event Triggered Execution Privilege Escalation, Persistence

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count  min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where (Registry.registry_path="*Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\Image File Execution Options*") AND (Registry.registry_value_name=GlobalFlag OR Registry.registry_value_name=Debugger) by Registry.dest  Registry.user Registry.registry_path Registry.registry_value_name 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`  
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| `registry_keys_used_for_privilege_escalation_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

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.

Required field

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

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

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


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


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

source | version: 4