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The following analytic detects potential Remote Code Execution (RCE) attempts exploiting CVE-2023-40044 in WS_FTP software. It identifies HTTP POST requests to the "/AHT/AhtApiService.asmx/AuthUser" URL with a status code of 200. This detection leverages the Web datamodel to monitor specific URL patterns and HTTP status codes. This activity is significant as it may indicate an exploitation attempt, potentially allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the server. If confirmed malicious, this could lead to unauthorized access, data exfiltration, or further compromise of the affected system.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Web
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-11
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: b84e8f39-4e7b-4d4f-9e7c-fcd29a227845




ID Technique Tactic
T1190 Exploit Public-Facing Application Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Delivery
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 13
| tstats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Web where Web.url IN ("/AHT/AhtApiService.asmx/AuthUser") Web.status=200 Web.http_method=POST by Web.http_user_agent, Web.status Web.http_method, Web.url, Web.url_length, Web.src, Web.dest, sourcetype 
| `drop_dm_object_name("Web")` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `ws_ftp_remote_code_execution_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: ws_ftp_remote_code_execution_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

  • Web.http_user_agent
  • Web.status
  • Web.http_method
  • Web.url
  • Web.url_length
  • Web.src
  • Web.dest
  • sourcetype

How To Implement

The following analytic requires the Web datamodel. Ensure data source is mapped correctly or modify and tune for your data source.

Known False Positives

If WS_FTP Server is not in use, this analytic will not return results. Monitor and tune for your environment. Note the MetaSploit module is focused on only hitting /AHT/ and not the full /AHT/AhtApiService.asmx/AuthUser URL.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
72.0 90 80 Potential WS FTP Remote Code Execution detected against URL $url$ on $dest$ from $src$

:information_source: The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.


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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