This detection has been marked experimental by the Splunk Threat Research team. This means we have not been able to test, simulate, or build datasets for this detection. Use at your own risk. This analytic is NOT supported.

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This search looks for outbound ICMP packets with a packet size larger than 1,000 bytes. Various threat actors have been known to use ICMP as a command and control channel for their attack infrastructure. Large ICMP packets from an endpoint to a remote host may be indicative of this activity.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Network_Traffic
  • Last Updated: 2018-06-01
  • Author: Rico Valdez, Splunk
  • ID: e9c102de-4d43-42a7-b1c8-8062ea297419




ID Technique Tactic
T1095 Non-Application Layer Protocol Command And Control
Kill Chain Phase
  • Command and Control
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 13
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count earliest(_time) as firstTime latest(_time) as lastTime values(All_Traffic.action) values(All_Traffic.bytes) from datamodel=Network_Traffic where All_Traffic.action !=blocked All_Traffic.dest_category !=internal (All_Traffic.protocol=icmp OR All_Traffic.transport=icmp) All_Traffic.bytes > 1000 by All_Traffic.src_ip All_Traffic.dest_ip 
| `drop_dm_object_name("All_Traffic")` 
| search ( dest_ip!= AND dest_ip!= AND dest_ip!= 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `detect_large_outbound_icmp_packets_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: detect_large_outbound_icmp_packets_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
  • All_Traffic.action
  • All_Traffic.bytes
  • All_Traffic.dest_category
  • All_Traffic.protocol
  • All_Traffic.transport
  • All_Traffic.src_ip
  • All_Traffic.dest_ip

How To Implement

In order to run this search effectively, we highly recommend that you leverage the Assets and Identity framework. It is important that you have a good understanding of how your network segments are designed and that you are able to distinguish internal from external address space. Add a category named internal to the CIDRs that host the company's assets in the assets_by_cidr.csv lookup file, which is located in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/SA-IdentityManagement/lookups/. More information on updating this lookup can be found here: https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/ES/5.0.0/Admin/Addassetandidentitydata. This search also requires you to be ingesting your network traffic and populating the Network_Traffic data model

Known False Positives

ICMP packets are used in a variety of ways to help troubleshoot networking issues and ensure the proper flow of traffic. As such, it is possible that a large ICMP packet could be perfectly legitimate. If large ICMP packets are associated with Command And Control traffic, there will typically be a large number of these packets observed over time. If the search is providing a large number of false positives, you can modify the macro detect_large_outbound_icmp_packets_filter to adjust the byte threshold or add specific IP addresses to an allow list.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 tbd

: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 replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 2