Try in Splunk Security Cloud

Description

The following analytic identifies child processes spawning from "mshta.exe". The search will return the first time and last time these command-line arguments were used for these executions, as well as the target system, the user, parent process "mshta.exe" and its child process.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-01-12
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 60023bb6-5500-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1218 Signed Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1218.005 Mshta Defense Evasion

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process_name) as process_name values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name=mshta.exe AND (Processes.process_name=powershell.exe OR Processes.process_name=colorcpl.exe OR Processes.process_name=msbuild.exe OR Processes.process_name=microsoft.workflow.compiler.exe OR Processes.process_name=searchprotocolhost.exe OR Processes.process_name=scrcons.exe OR Processes.process_name=cscript.exe OR Processes.process_name=wscript.exe OR Processes.process_name=powershell.exe OR Processes.process_name=cmd.exe) by Processes.dest Processes.parent_process Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `suspicious_mshta_child_process_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process name, parent process, and command-line executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you must have at least version 6.0.4 of the Sysmon TA.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.user

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Although unlikely, some legitimate applications may exhibit this behavior, triggering a false positive.

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 50 80 suspicious mshta child process detected on host $dest$ by user $user$.

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: 1