SUNBURST Command and Control Activityedit

The malware known as SUNBURST targets the SolarWind’s Orion business software for command and control. This rule detects post-exploitation command and control activity of the SUNBURST backdoor.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:


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
  • Command and Control

Version: 4 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.13.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Triage and analysis

The SUNBURST malware attempts to hide within the Orion Improvement Program (OIP) network traffic. As this rule detects post-exploitation network traffic, investigations into this should be prioritized.

Rule queryedit

network where event.type == "protocol" and network.protocol == "http"
and : ("ConfigurationWizard.exe",
"SolarwindsDiagnostics.exe") and (http.request.body.content :
"*/swip/Upload.ashx*" and http.request.body.content : ("POST*",
"PUT*")) or (http.request.body.content :
("*/swip/SystemDescription*", "*/swip/Events*") and
http.request.body.content : ("GET*", "HEAD*")) and not
http.request.body.content : "**"

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 4 (7.13.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from:

    event.category:network and event.type:protocol and
    network.protocol:http and ConfigurationWizard.exe or
    NetFlowService.exe or NetflowDatabaseMaintenance.exe or
    SolarWinds.Administration.exe or SolarWinds.BusinessLayerHost.exe or
    SolarWinds.BusinessLayerHostx64.exe or
    SolarWinds.Collector.Service.exe or SolarwindsDiagnostics.exe) and
    http.request.body.content:(( (*/swip/Upload.ashx* and (POST* or PUT*))
    or (*/swip/SystemDescription* and (GET* or HEAD*)) or (*/swip/Events*
    and (GET* or HEAD*))) and not **)
Version 3 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only