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This analytic is designed to detect non-chrome processes accessing the Chrome user data file called "local state." This file contains important settings and information related to the browser's operations on the computer. Threat actors, adversaries, and malware authors have been known to exploit this file in attempts to extract the encrypted master key used for decrypting passwords saved in the Chrome browser. Detecting access to the "local state" file by non-chrome processes serves as a valuable pivot for analyzing suspicious processes beyond the commonly observed chrome.exe and explorer.exe executables. By monitoring for this anomaly, we can improve our ability to identify potential threats and safeguard sensitive information stored within the browser.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud

  • Last Updated: 2023-04-26
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 3b1d09a8-a26f-473e-a510-6c6613573657




ID Technique Tactic
T1012 Query Registry Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`wineventlog_security` EventCode=4663 object_file_path="*\\AppData\\Local\\Google\\Chrome\\User Data\\Local State" NOT (process_name IN ("*\\chrome.exe","*:\\Windows\\explorer.exe")) 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by object_file_name object_file_path process_name process_path  process_id EventCode dest 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_credentials_from_password_stores_chrome_localstate_access_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_credentials_from_password_stores_chrome_localstate_access_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
  • object_file_name
  • object_file_path
  • process_name
  • process_path
  • process_id
  • EventCode
  • dest

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you must ingest Windows Security Event logs and track event code 4663. For 4663, enable "Audit Object Access" in Group Policy. Then check the two boxes listed for both "Success" and "Failure."

Known False Positives

Uninstall chrome application may access this file and folder path to removed chrome installation in target host. Filter is needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 A non-chrome process $process_name$ accessing "Chrome\User Data\Local State" file on $dest$

: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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