Unusual DNS Activityedit

A machine learning job detected a rare and unusual DNS query that indicate network activity with unusual DNS domains. This can be due to initial access, persistence, command-and-control, or exfiltration activity. For example, when a user clicks on a link in a phishing email or opens a malicious document, a request may be sent to download and run a payload from an uncommon domain. When malware is already running, it may send requests to an uncommon DNS domain the malware uses for command-and-control communication.

Rule type: machine_learning

Machine learning job: packetbeat_rare_dns_question

Machine learning anomaly threshold: 50

Severity: low

Risk score: 21

Runs every: 15 minutes

Searches indices from: now-45m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100



  • Elastic
  • Network
  • Threat Detection
  • ML

Version: 4 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.7.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Potential false positivesedit

A newly installed program or one that runs rarely as part of a monthly or quarterly workflow could trigger this alert. Network activity that occurs rarely, in small quantities, can trigger this alert. Possible examples are browsing technical support or vendor networks sparsely. A user who visits a new or unique web destination may trigger this alert.

Rule version historyedit

Version 4 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.10.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.9.0 release)
  • Formatting only