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The following analytic detects the usage of wevtutil.exe with parameters for clearing event logs such as Application, Security, Setup, Trace, or System. It leverages data from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents, focusing on process names and command-line arguments. This activity is significant because clearing event logs can be an attempt to cover tracks after malicious actions, hindering forensic investigations. If confirmed malicious, this behavior could allow an attacker to erase evidence of their activities, making it difficult to trace their actions and understand the full scope of the compromise.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-19
  • Author: David Dorsey, Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 2827c0fd-e1be-4868-ae25-59d28e0f9d4f




ID Technique Tactic
T1070.001 Clear Windows Event Logs Defense Evasion
T1070 Indicator Removal Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=wevtutil.exe Processes.process IN ("* cl *", "*clear-log*") (Processes.process="*System*" OR Processes.process="*Security*" OR Processes.process="*Setup*" OR Processes.process="*Application*" OR Processes.process="*trace*") by Processes.process_name Processes.parent_process_name Processes.dest Processes.user
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `suspicious_wevtutil_usage_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: suspicious_wevtutil_usage_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
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user

How To Implement

The detection is based on data that originates from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents. These agents are designed to provide security-related telemetry from the endpoints where the agent is installed. To implement this search, you must ingest logs that contain the process GUID, process name, and parent process. Additionally, you must ingest complete command-line executions. These logs must be processed using the appropriate Splunk Technology Add-ons that are specific to the EDR product. The logs must also be mapped to the Processes node of the Endpoint data model. Use the Splunk Common Information Model (CIM) to normalize the field names and speed up the data modeling process.

Known False Positives

The wevtutil.exe application is a legitimate Windows event log utility. Administrators may use it to manage Windows event logs.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
28.0 40 70 Wevtutil.exe being used to clear Event Logs on $dest$ 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

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source | version: 5