Unusual Windows Path Activity

Identifies processes started from atypical folders in the file system, which might indicate malware execution or persistence mechanisms. In corporate Windows environments, software installation is centrally managed and it is unusual for programs to be executed from user or temporary directories. Processes executed from these locations can denote that a user downloaded software directly from the Internet or a malicious script or macro executed malware.

Elastic rule (View on GitHub)

 1[metadata]
 2creation_date = "2020/03/25"
 3integration = ["endpoint", "windows"]
 4maturity = "production"
 5updated_date = "2024/05/21"
 6
 7[rule]
 8anomaly_threshold = 50
 9author = ["Elastic"]
10description = """
11Identifies processes started from atypical folders in the file system, which might indicate malware execution or
12persistence mechanisms. In corporate Windows environments, software installation is centrally managed and it is unusual
13for programs to be executed from user or temporary directories. Processes executed from these locations can denote that
14a user downloaded software directly from the Internet or a malicious script or macro executed malware.
15"""
16false_positives = [
17    """
18    A new and unusual program or artifact download in the course of software upgrades, debugging, or troubleshooting
19    could trigger this alert. Users downloading and running programs from unusual locations, such as temporary
20    directories, browser caches, or profile paths could trigger this alert.
21    """,
22]
23from = "now-45m"
24interval = "15m"
25license = "Elastic License v2"
26machine_learning_job_id = ["v3_windows_anomalous_path_activity"]
27name = "Unusual Windows Path Activity"
28references = ["https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/security/current/prebuilt-ml-jobs.html"]
29risk_score = 21
30rule_id = "445a342e-03fb-42d0-8656-0367eb2dead5"
31severity = "low"
32tags = [
33    "Domain: Endpoint",
34    "OS: Windows",
35    "Use Case: Threat Detection",
36    "Rule Type: ML",
37    "Rule Type: Machine Learning",
38    "Tactic: Persistence",
39    "Tactic: Execution",
40]
41type = "machine_learning"
42[[rule.threat]]
43framework = "MITRE ATT&CK"
44[[rule.threat.technique]]
45id = "T1543"
46name = "Create or Modify System Process"
47reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1543/"
48[[rule.threat.technique.subtechnique]]
49id = "T1543.003"
50name = "Windows Service"
51reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1543/003/"
52
53
54
55[rule.threat.tactic]
56id = "TA0003"
57name = "Persistence"
58reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/tactics/TA0003/"
59[[rule.threat]]
60framework = "MITRE ATT&CK"
61[[rule.threat.technique]]
62id = "T1204"
63name = "User Execution"
64reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1204/"
65[[rule.threat.technique.subtechnique]]
66id = "T1204.002"
67name = "Malicious File"
68reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1204/002/"
69
70
71
72[rule.threat.tactic]
73id = "TA0002"
74name = "Execution"
75reference = "https://attack.mitre.org/tactics/TA0002/"

References

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