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This analytic is to detect a suspicious child process of MSBuild spawned by Windows Script Host - cscript or wscript. This behavior or event are commonly seen and used by malware or adversaries to execute malicious msbuild process using malicious script in the compromised host. During triage, review parallel processes and identify any file modifications. MSBuild may load a script from the same path without having command-line arguments.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-10-04
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 213b3148-24ea-11ec-93a2-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1127.001 MSBuild Defense Evasion
T1127 Trusted Developer Utilities Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process_name) as process_name values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name IN ("wscript.exe", "cscript.exe") AND `process_msbuild` by Processes.dest Processes.parent_process Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `msbuild_suspicious_spawned_by_script_process_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: msbuild_suspicious_spawned_by_script_process_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.dest
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.user

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Processes node. In addition, confirm the latest CIM App 4.20 or higher is installed and the latest TA for the endpoint product.

Known False Positives

False positives should be limited as developers do not spawn MSBuild via a WSH.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 Msbuild.exe process spawned by $parent_process_name$ on $dest$ executed 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

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