NTDS or SAM Database File Copiededit

Identifies a copy operation of the Active Directory Domain Database (ntds.dit) or Security Account Manager (SAM) files. Those files contain sensitive information including hashed domain and/or local credentials.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-endpoint.events.*
  • 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: 33



  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Credential Access

Version: 5 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.16.0

Rule authors: Elastic, Austin Songer

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and (
(process.pe.original_file_name in ("Cmd.Exe", "PowerShell.EXE",
"XCOPY.EXE") and process.args : ("copy", "xcopy", "Copy-Item",
"move", "cp", "mv") ) or (process.pe.original_file_name :
"esentutl.exe" and process.args : ("*/y*", "*/vss*", "*/d*")) ) and
process.args : ("*\\ntds.dit", "*\\config\\SAM",

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 5 (7.16.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (7.15.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from:

    process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and
    process.pe.original_file_name in ("Cmd.Exe", "PowerShell.EXE",
    "XCOPY.EXE") and process.args : ("copy", "xcopy", "Copy-Item",
    "move", "cp", "mv") and process.args : ("*\\ntds.dit",
Version 3 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only