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The following analytic identifies the creation of a scheduled task using schtasks.exe, with the flags -create being passed on the command-line along with an XML parameter. This technique has been associated with threat actors, adversaries, and red teamers seeking to gain persistence or achieve privilege escalation on targeted hosts. Notably, the Trickbot and Winter-Vivern malware have been observed employing this method, utilizing an XML file to create scheduled tasks. It is important to monitor and investigate such activity in order to mitigate potential security risks.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-04-05
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 7e03b682-3965-4598-8e91-a60a40a3f7e4




ID Technique Tactic
T1053.005 Scheduled Task Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=schtasks.exe Processes.process=*create* Processes.process="* /xml *" by Processes.user  Processes.parent_process_name Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_guid Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_guid Processes.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_scheduled_task_created_via_xml_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_scheduled_task_created_via_xml_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.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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

It is possible scripts or administrators may trigger this analytic. Filter as needed based on parent process, application.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 A scheduled task process, $process_name$, with 'create' or 'delete' commands present in the command line.

: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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