This analytic detects instances of 'schtasks.exe' being used to start a Scheduled Task on a remote endpoint. Adversaries often abuse the Task Scheduler for lateral movement and remote code execution. The search parameters include process details such as the process name, parent process, and command-line executions. Although legitimate administrators may start scheduled tasks on remote systems, this activity is usually limited to a small set of hosts or users. The findings from this analytic provide valuable insight into potentially malicious activities on an endpoint.
- Type: TTP
- Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Datamodel: Endpoint
- Last Updated: 2021-11-11
- Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
- ID: 95cf4608-4302-11ec-8194-3e22fbd008af
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 (Processes.process_name=schtasks.exe OR Processes.original_file_name=schtasks.exe) (Processes.process=*/s* AND Processes.process=*/run*) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id | `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `scheduled_task_initiation_on_remote_endpoint_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
scheduled_task_initiation_on_remote_endpoint_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
Administrators may start scheduled tasks on remote systems, but this activity is usually limited to a small set of hosts or users.
Associated Analytic Story
|54.0||90||60||A Windows Scheduled Task was ran on a remote endpoint from $dest|
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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