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This search is to detect execution of wevtutil.exe to disable logs. This technique was seen in several ransomware to disable the event logs to evade alerts and detections in compromised host.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Behavioral Analytics
  • Datamodel: Endpoint_Processes
  • Last Updated: 2021-06-15
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: a4bdc944-cdd9-11eb-ac97-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1070 Indicator Removal on Host Defense Evasion
T1070.001 Clear Windows Event Logs Defense Evasion
| from read_ssa_enriched_events() 
| where "Endpoint_Processes" IN(_datamodels) 
| eval timestamp=parse_long(ucast(map_get(input_event, "_time"), "string", null)), cmd_line=ucast(map_get(input_event, "process"), "string", null), process_name=ucast(map_get(input_event, "process_name"), "string", null), process_path=ucast(map_get(input_event, "process_path"), "string", null), parent_process_name=ucast(map_get(input_event, "parent_process_name"), "string", null), event_id=ucast(map_get(input_event, "event_id"), "string", null) 
| where cmd_line IS NOT NULL AND like(cmd_line, "% sl %") AND like(cmd_line, "%/e:false%") AND process_name="wevtutil.exe" 
| eval start_time=timestamp, end_time=timestamp, entities=mvappend(ucast(map_get(input_event, "dest_user_id"), "string", null), ucast(map_get(input_event, "dest_device_id"), "string", null)) 
| eval body=create_map(["event_id", event_id, "cmd_line", cmd_line, "process_name", process_name, "parent_process_name", parent_process_name, "process_path", process_path]) 
| into write_ssa_detected_events();


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

Note that wevtutil_usage_to_disable_logs_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required field

  • _time
  • dest_device_id
  • process_name
  • parent_process_name
  • process_path
  • dest_user_id
  • process

How To Implement

You must be ingesting data that records process activity from your hosts to populate the Endpoint data model in the Processes node. You must also be ingesting logs with both the process name and command line from your endpoints. The command-line arguments are mapped to the "process" field in the Endpoint data model.

Known False Positives

network operator may disable audit event logs for debugging purposes.

Associated Analytic story

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
63.0 70 90 A wevtutil process $process_name$ with commandline $cmd_line$ to disable event logs in host $dest_device_id$

Note that risk score is calculated base on the following formula: (Impact * Confidence)/100


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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