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Description

The following analytic detects the suspicious loading of DLLs by spoolsv.exe, potentially indicating PrintNightmare exploitation. It leverages Sysmon EventCode 7 to identify instances where spoolsv.exe loads multiple DLLs from the Windows System32 spool drivers x64 directory. This activity is significant as it may signify an attacker exploiting the PrintNightmare vulnerability to execute arbitrary code. If confirmed malicious, this could lead to unauthorized code execution, privilege escalation, and persistent access within the environment, posing a severe security risk.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-23
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Michael Haag, Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: a5e451f8-da81-11eb-b245-acde48001122

Annotations

ATT&CK

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1547.012 Print Processors Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1547 Boot or Logon Autostart Execution Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
NIST
  • DE.CM
CIS20
  • CIS 10
CVE

| ID | Summary | CVSS | | ———– | ———– | ————– | | CVE-2021-34527 | <p>A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.</p> <p>UPDATE July 7, 2021: The security update for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10, Version 1607 have been released. Please see the Security Updates table for the applicable update for your system. We recommend that you install these updates immediately. If you are unable to install these updates, see the FAQ and Workaround sections in this CVE for information on how to help protect your system from this vulnerability.</p> <p>In addition to installing the updates, in order to secure your system, you must confirm that the following registry settings are set to 0 (zero) or are not defined (<strong>Note</strong>: These registry keys do not exist by default, and therefore are already at the secure setting.), also that your Group Policy setting are correct (see FAQ):</p> <ul> <li>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers\PointAndPrint</li> <li>NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall = 0 (DWORD) or not defined (default setting)</li> <li>UpdatePromptSettings = 0 (DWORD) or not defined (default setting)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Having NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall set to 1 makes your system vulnerable by design.</strong></p> <p>UPDATE July 6, 2021: Microsoft has completed the investigation and has released security updates to address this vulnerability. Please see the Security Updates table for the applicable update for your system. We recommend that you install these updates immediately. If you are unable to install these updates, see the FAQ and Workaround sections in this CVE for information on how to help protect your system from this vulnerability. See also <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/topic/31b91c02-05bc-4ada-a7ea-183b129578a7">KB5005010: Restricting installation of new printer drivers after applying the July 6, 2021 updates</a>.</p> <p>Note that the security updates released on and after July 6, 2021 contain protections for CVE-2021-1675 and the additional remote code execution exploit in the Windows Print Spooler service known as “PrintNightmare”, documented in CVE-2021-34527.</p> | 9.0 |

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`sysmon` EventCode=7 Image ="*\\spoolsv.exe" ImageLoaded="*\\Windows\\System32\\spool\\drivers\\x64\\*" ImageLoaded = "*.dll" 
| stats dc(ImageLoaded) as countImgloaded values(ImageLoaded) as ImageLoaded count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by Image Computer ProcessId EventCode 
| rename Computer as dest 
| where countImgloaded >= 3 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `spoolsv_suspicious_loaded_modules_filter`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: spoolsv_suspicious_loaded_modules_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
  • Image
  • dest
  • EventCode
  • ImageLoaded

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process name and imageloaded executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you must have at least version 6.0.4 of the Sysmon TA.

Known False Positives

unknown

Associated Analytic Story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
72.0 80 90 $Image$ with process id $ProcessId$ has loaded a driver from $ImageLoaded$ on endpoint $dest$. This behavior is suspicious and related to PrintNightmare.

: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.

Reference

Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 3