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This search looks for child processes of spoolsv.exe. This activity is associated with a POC privilege-escalation exploit associated with CVE-2018-8440. Spoolsv.exe is the process associated with the Print Spooler service in Windows and typically runs as SYSTEM.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2020-03-16
  • Author: Rico Valdez, Splunk
  • ID: aa0c4aeb-5b18-41c4-8c07-f1442d7599df


ID Technique Tactic
T1068 Exploitation for Privilege Escalation Privilege Escalation

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process_name) as process_name values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.parent_process_name=spoolsv.exe AND Processes.process_name!=regsvr32.exe by Processes.dest Processes.parent_process Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `child_processes_of_spoolsv_exe_filter` 

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

You must be ingesting endpoint data that tracks process activity, including parent-child relationships from your endpoints to populate the Endpoint data model in the Processes node. The command-line arguments are mapped to the "process" field in the Endpoint data model. Update the children_of_spoolsv_filter macro to filter out legitimate child processes spawned by spoolsv.exe.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.user

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Some legitimate printer-related processes may show up as children of spoolsv.exe. You should confirm that any activity as legitimate and may be added as exclusions in the search.


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