Socat Process Activityedit

A Socat process is running on a Linux host. Socat is often used as a persistence mechanism by exporting a reverse shell, or by serving a shell on a listening port. Socat is also sometimes used for lateral movement.

Rule type: query

Rule indices:

  • auditbeat-*

Severity: medium

Risk score: 47

Runs every: 5 minutes

Searches indices from: now-9m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100



  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Linux
  • Threat Detection

Version: 7 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.6.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Potential false positivesedit

Socat is a dual-use tool that can be used for benign or malicious activity. Some normal use of this program, at varying levels of frequency, may originate from scripts, automation tools, and frameworks. Usage by web servers is more likely to be suspicious.

Rule queryedit

event.category:process and event.type:(start or process_started) and and not process.args:-V

Rule version historyedit

Version 7 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 6 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 5 (7.10.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (7.9.1 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.9.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from: and not process.args:-V and event.action:executed
Version 2 (7.7.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from: and not process.args:"-V" and event.action:executed