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The following analytic identifies rundll32.exe using dllregisterserver on the command line to load a DLL. When a DLL is registered, the DllRegisterServer method entry point in the DLL is invoked. This is typically seen when a DLL is being registered on the system. Not every instance is considered malicious, but it will capture malicious use of it. During investigation, review the parent process and parrellel processes executing. Capture the DLL being loaded and inspect further. Rundll32.exe is natively found in C:\Windows\system32 and C:\Windows\syswow64.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-02-09
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 8c00a385-9b86-4ac0-8932-c9ec3713b159


ID Technique Tactic
T1218 Signed Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1218.011 Rundll32 Defense Evasion

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where `process_rundll32` Processes.process=*dllregisterserver* by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.original_file_name 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)` 
| `suspicious_rundll32_dllregisterserver_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. In addition, confirm the latest CIM App 4.20 or higher is installed and the latest TA for the endpoint product.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_path
  • Processes.process_path
  • Processes.parent_process_id

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

This is likely to produce false positives and will require some filtering. Tune the query by adding command line paths to known good DLLs, or filtering based on parent process names.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
35.0 70 50 $Processes.process_path.file_path$ process potentially loading malicious code


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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