ImageLoad via Windows Update Auto Update Clientedit

Identifies abuse of the Windows Update Auto Update Client (wuauclt.exe) to load an arbitrary DLL. This behavior is used as a defense evasion technique to blend-in malicious activity with legitimate Windows software.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-windows.*

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
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Defense Evasion

Version: 3 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and
( == "wuauclt.exe" or :
"wuauclt.exe") and /* necessary windows update client args to load
a dll */ process.args : "/RunHandlerComServer" and process.args :
"/UpdateDeploymentProvider" and /* common paths writeable by a
standard user where the target DLL can be placed */ process.args :
("C:\\Users\\*.dll", "C:\\ProgramData\\*.dll",
"C:\\Windows\\Temp\\*.dll", "C:\\Windows\\Tasks\\*.dll")

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 3 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only