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The following analytic identifies wmiprvse.exe spawning msbuild.exe. This behavior is indicative of a COM object being utilized to spawn msbuild from wmiprvse.exe. It is common for MSBuild.exe to be spawned from devenv.exe while using Visual Studio. In this instance, there will be command line arguments and file paths. In a malicious instance, MSBuild.exe will spawn from non-standard processes and have no command line arguments. For example, MSBuild.exe spawning from explorer.exe, powershell.exe is far less common and should be investigated.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-01-12
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: a115fba6-5514-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002


ID Technique Tactic
T1127 Trusted Developer Utilities Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1127.001 MSBuild Defense Evasion

| 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=wmiprvse.exe AND `process_msbuild` by Processes.dest Processes.parent_process Processes.original_file_name Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `suspicious_msbuild_spawn_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

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.

Required field

  • _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

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Although unlikely, some legitimate applications may exhibit this behavior, triggering a false positive.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
42.0 70 60 Suspicious msbuild.exe process executed on $dest$ by $user$


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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