Winhlp32 Spawning a Process
The following analytic identifies winhlp32.exe, found natively in
c:\windows\, spawning a child process that loads a file out of appdata, programdata, or temp. Winhlp32.exe has a rocky past in that multiple vulnerabilities were found and added to MetaSploit. WinHlp32.exe is required to display 32-bit Help files that have the ".hlp" file name extension. This particular instance is related to a Remcos sample where dynwrapx.dll is added to the registry under inprocserver32, and later module loaded by winhlp32.exe to spawn wscript.exe and load a vbs or file from disk. During triage, review parallel processes to identify further suspicious behavior. Review module loads for unsuspecting unsigned modules. Capture any file modifications and analyze.
- Type: TTP
- Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Datamodel: Endpoint
- Last Updated: 2021-10-05
- Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
- ID: d17dae9e-2618-11ec-b9f5-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 Processes.parent_process_name=winhlp32.exe Processes.process IN ("*\\appdata\\*","*\\programdata\\*", "*\\temp\\*") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id | `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `winhlp32_spawning_a_process_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
winhlp32_spawning_a_process_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
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
False positives should be limited as winhlp32.exe is typically not used with the latest flavors of Windows OS. However, filter as needed.
Associated Analytic Story
|80.0||80||100||An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$, and is not typical activity for this process.|
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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source | version: 1