Creation or Modification of Domain Backup DPAPI private keyedit

Identifies the creation or modification of Domain Backup private keys. Adversaries may extract the Data Protection API (DPAPI) domain backup key from a Domain Controller (DC) to be able to decrypt any domain user master key file.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-windows.*

Severity: high

Risk score: 73

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
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Credential Access

Version: 6 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.10.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.16.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Triage and analysis

Domain DPAPI Backup keys are stored on domain controllers and can be dumped remotely with tools such as Mimikatz. The resulting .pvk private key can be used to decrypt ANY domain user masterkeys, which then can be used to decrypt any secrets protected by those keys.

Rule queryedit

file where event.type != "deletion" and :
("ntds_capi_*.pfx", "ntds_capi_*.pvk")

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 6 (7.16.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 5 (7.13.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from:

    event.category:file and not event.type:deletion and*.pfx or ntds_capi_*.pvk)
Version 4 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.0 release)
  • Formatting only