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The following analytic identifies a suspicious process accessing default internet browsers registry entry. This registry is used by Windows to store information about default internet browsers installed on a system. Malware, adversaries or red-teamers can abuse this registry key to collect data about the installed internet browsers and their associated settings. This information can be used to steal sensitive data such as login credentials, browsing history, and saved passwords. We observed noise that needs to be filter out so we add several known path of Windows Application to make this detection more stable.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-04-25
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 45ebd21c-f4bf-4ced-bd49-d25b6526cebb




ID Technique Tactic
T1012 Query Registry Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`wineventlog_security` EventCode=4663 object_file_path IN ("*\\SOFTWARE\\Clients\\StartMenuInternet\\*", "*\\SOFTWARE\\Clients\\StartMenuInternet\\*") AND NOT (process_path IN ("*:\\Windows\\System32\\*", "*:\\Windows\\SysWow64\\*", "*:\\Program Files*", "*:\\Windows\\*")) 
| 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_query_registry_browser_list_application_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_query_registry_browser_list_application_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 application may access this registry to remove the entry of the target application. filter is needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 A suspicious process accessing installed default browser registry 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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