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The following analytic leverages the Endpoint datamodel to identify the potential edition of a default Group Policy Object. A fresh installation of an Active Directory network will typically contain two default group policy objects Default Domain Controllers Policy and Default Domain Policy. The default domain controllers policy is used to enforce and set policies to all the domain controllers within the domain environment. The default domain policy is linked to all users and computers by default. An adversary who has obtained privileged access to an Active Directory network may modify the default group policy objects to obtain further access, deploy persistence or execute malware across a large number of hosts. Security teams should monitor the edition of the default GPOs.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-04-24
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: eaf688b3-bb8f-454d-b105-920a862cd8cb




ID Technique Tactic
T1484 Domain or Tenant Policy Modification Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation
T1484.001 Group Policy Modification Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • 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=mmc.exe (Processes.process =*gpme.msc*) AND (Processes.process = "*31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9*" OR Processes.process = "*6AC1786C-016F-11D2-945F-00C04fB984F9*"  ) 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)` 
| `windows_default_group_policy_object_modified_with_gpme_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_default_group_policy_object_modified_with_gpme_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.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_path
  • Processes.process_path
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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

The default Group Policy Objects within an AD network may be legitimately updated for administrative operations, filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
50.0 100 50 A default group policy object was opened with Group Policy Manage Editor on $dest$

: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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