Incoming DCOM Lateral Movement via MSHTAedit

Identifies the use of Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) to execute commands from a remote host, which are launched via the HTA Application COM Object. This behavior may indicate an attacker abusing a DCOM application to move laterally while attempting to evading detection.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-windows.*

Severity: high

Risk score: 73

Runs every: 5m

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

Maximum alerts per execution: 100



  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Lateral Movement

Version: 5

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

sequence with maxspan=1m
  [process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and : "mshta.exe" and process.args : "-Embedding"
  ] by, process.entity_id
  [network where event.type == "start" and : "mshta.exe" and
     network.direction : ("incoming", "ingress") and network.transport == "tcp" and
     source.port > 49151 and destination.port > 49151 and source.ip != "" and source.ip != "::1"
  ] by, process.entity_id