Unusual Windows Path Activityedit

Identifies processes started from atypical folders in the file system, which may 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.

Rule type: machine_learning

Machine learning job: windows_anomalous_path_activity_ecs

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
  • Host
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • ML

Version: 4 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.7.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Potential false positivesedit

A new and unusual program or artifact download in the course of software upgrades, debugging, or troubleshooting could trigger this alert. Users downloading and running programs from unusual locations, such as temporary directories, browser caches, or profile paths could trigger this alert.

Rule version historyedit

Version 4 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.10.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.9.0 release)
  • Formatting only