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Monitor and detect techniques used by attackers who leverage rundll32.exe to execute arbitrary malicious code.

  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-02-03
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 80a65487-854b-42f1-80a1-935e4c170694


One common adversary tactic is to bypass application control solutions via the rundll32.exe process. Natively, rundll32.exe will load DLLs and is a great example of a Living off the Land Binary. Rundll32.exe may load malicious DLLs by ordinals, function names or directly. The queries in this story focus on loading default DLLs, syssetup.dll, ieadvpack.dll, advpack.dll and setupapi.dll from disk that may be abused by adversaries. Additionally, two analytics developed to assist with identifying DLLRegisterServer, Start and StartW functions being called. The searches in this story help you detect and investigate suspicious activity that may indicate that an adversary is leveraging rundll32.exe to execute malicious code.


Name Technique Type
Detect Rundll32 Application Control Bypass - advpack Rundll32 TTP
Detect Rundll32 Application Control Bypass - setupapi Rundll32 TTP
Detect Rundll32 Application Control Bypass - syssetup Rundll32 TTP
Dump LSASS via comsvcs DLL LSASS Memory TTP
Rundll32 Control RunDLL Hunt Rundll32 Hunting
Rundll32 Control RunDLL World Writable Directory Rundll32 TTP
Rundll32 with no Command Line Arguments with Network Rundll32 TTP
Suspicious Rundll32 Rename Rundll32, Rename System Utilities Hunting
Suspicious Rundll32 StartW Rundll32 TTP
Suspicious Rundll32 dllregisterserver Rundll32 TTP
Suspicious Rundll32 no Command Line Arguments Rundll32 TTP


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