Unusual Network Destination Domain Nameedit

A machine learning job detected an unusual network destination domain name. This can be due to initial access, persistence, command-and-control, or exfiltration activity. For example, when a user clicks on a link in a phishing email or opens a malicious document, a request may be sent to download and run a payload from an uncommon web server name. When malware is already running, it may send requests to an uncommon DNS domain the malware uses for command-and-control communication.

Rule type: machine_learning

Machine learning job: packetbeat_rare_server_domain

Machine learning anomaly threshold: 50

Severity: low

Risk score: 21

Runs every: 15 minutes

Searches indices from: now-45m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100



  • Elastic
  • Network
  • Threat Detection
  • ML

Version: 3 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.7.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.10.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License

Potential false positivesedit

Web activity that occurs rarely in small quantities can trigger this alert. Possible examples are browsing technical support or vendor URLs that are used very sparsely. A user who visits a new and unique web destination may trigger this alert when the activity is sparse. Web applications that generate URLs unique to a transaction may trigger this when they are used sparsely. Web domains can be excluded in cases such as these.

Rule version historyedit

Version 3 (7.10.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.9.0 release)
  • Formatting only