Try in Splunk Security Cloud


The following analytic utilizes PowerShell Script Block Logging (EventCode=4104) to identify the execution of PowerShell with arguments utilized to start a process on a remote endpoint by abusing the DCOM protocol. Specifically, this search looks for the abuse of ShellExecute and ExecuteShellCommand. Red Teams and adversaries alike may abuse DCOM for lateral movement and remote code execution.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-11-15
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: fa1c3040-4680-11ec-a618-3e22fbd008af


ID Technique Tactic
T1021 Remote Services Lateral Movement
T1021.003 Distributed Component Object Model Lateral Movement
`powershell` EventCode=4104 (Message="*Document.Application.ShellExecute*" OR Message="*Document.ActiveView.ExecuteShellCommand*") 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by EventCode Message ComputerName User 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `remote_process_instantiation_via_dcom_and_powershell_script_block_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 instructions can be found

Required field

  • _time
  • EventCode
  • Message
  • ComputerName
  • User

Kill Chain Phase

  • Lateral Movement

Known False Positives

Administrators may leverage DCOM to start a process on remote systems, but this activity is usually limited to a small set of hosts or users.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
63.0 90 70 A process was started on a remote endpoint from $ComputerName by abusing WMI using PowerShell.exe


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: 1