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This analytic looks for the execution of schtasks.exe with command-line arguments utilized to create a Scheduled Task on a remote endpoint. Red Teams and adversaries alike may abuse the Task Scheduler for lateral movement and remote code execution.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-05-23
  • Author: David Dorsey, Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 1297fb80-f42a-4b4a-9c8a-88c066237cf6




ID Technique Tactic
T1053.005 Scheduled Task Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name = schtasks.exe OR Processes.original_file_name=schtasks.exe) (Processes.process="*/create*" AND Processes.process="*/s*") by Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.parent_process_name Processes.dest Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `schtasks_scheduling_job_on_remote_system_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: schtasks_scheduling_job_on_remote_system_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.

  • _time
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user

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

Administrators may create scheduled tasks on remote systems, but this activity is usually limited to a small set of hosts or users. It is important to validate and investigate as appropriate.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
63.0 70 90 A schedule task process $process_name$ with remote job command-line $process$ in host $dest$ by $user$.

: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

source | version: 6