The following analytic identifies
wmic.exe loading a remote XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language) script. This originally was identified by Casey Smith, dubbed Squiblytwo, as an application control bypass. Many adversaries will utilize this technique to invoke JScript or VBScript within an XSL file. This technique can also execute local/remote scripts and, similar to its Regsvr32 "Squiblydoo" counterpart, leverages a trusted, built-in Windows tool. Adversaries may abuse any alias in Windows Management Instrumentation provided they utilize the /FORMAT switch. Upon identifying a suspicious execution, review for confirmed network connnection and script download.
- Type: TTP
- Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Datamodel: Endpoint
- Last Updated: 2021-11-11
- Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
- ID: 787e9dd0-4328-11ec-a029-acde48001122
Kill Chain Phase
- CIS 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 | tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where `process_wmic` Processes.process IN ("*http://*", "*https://*") Processes.process="*/format:*" by Processes.parent_process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process_id Processes.process Processes.dest Processes.user | `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `wmic_xsl_execution_via_url_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
wmic_xsl_execution_via_url_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.
List of fields required to use this analytic.
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
False positives are limited as legitimate applications typically do not download files or xsl using WMIC. Filter as needed.
Associated Analytic Story
|80.0||80||100||An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ utilizing wmic to download a remote XSL script.|
The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.
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