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This search looks for network traffic on TCP/3389, the default port used by remote desktop. While remote desktop traffic is not uncommon on a network, it is usually associated with known hosts. This search will ignore common RDP sources and common RDP destinations so you can focus on the uncommon uses of remote desktop on your network.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Network_Traffic
  • Last Updated: 2020-07-07
  • Author: David Dorsey, Splunk
  • ID: 272b8407-842d-4b3d-bead-a704584003d3


ID Technique Tactic
T1021.001 Remote Desktop Protocol Lateral Movement
T1021 Remote Services Lateral Movement

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Network_Traffic where All_Traffic.dest_port=3389 AND All_Traffic.dest_category!=common_rdp_destination AND All_Traffic.src_category!=common_rdp_source by All_Traffic.src All_Traffic.dest All_Traffic.dest_port 
| `drop_dm_object_name("All_Traffic")` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `remote_desktop_network_traffic_filter` 

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to identify systems that commonly originate remote desktop traffic and that commonly receive remote desktop traffic. You can use the included support search "Identify Systems Creating Remote Desktop Traffic" to identify systems that originate the traffic and the search "Identify Systems Receiving Remote Desktop Traffic" to identify systems that receive a lot of remote desktop traffic. After identifying these systems, you will need to add the "common_rdp_source" or "common_rdp_destination" category to that system depending on the usage, using the Enterprise Security Assets and Identities framework. This can be done by adding an entry in the assets.csv file located in SA-IdentityManagement/lookups.

Required field

  • _time
  • All_Traffic.dest_port
  • All_Traffic.dest_category
  • All_Traffic.src_category
  • All_Traffic.src
  • All_Traffic.dest
  • All_Traffic.dest_port

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

Remote Desktop may be used legitimately by users on the network.


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: 3