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This search looks for flags passed to wbadmin.exe (Windows Backup Administrator Tool) that delete backup files. This is typically used by ransomware to prevent recovery.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-01-22
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: cd5aed7e-5cea-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002


ID Technique Tactic
T1490 Inhibit System Recovery Impact

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=wbadmin.exe Processes.process="*delete*" AND (Processes.process="*catalog*" OR Processes.process="*systemstatebackup*") by Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.parent_process_name Processes.dest Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`
| `wbadmin_delete_system_backups_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. Tune based on parent process names.

Required field

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

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

Administrators may modify the boot configuration.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
15.0 30 50 System backups deletion on $dest$


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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