Creation or Modification of Domain Backup DPAPI private key

Creation or Modification of Domain Backup DPAPI private keyedit

Identifies the creation or modification of Domain Backup private keys. Adversaries may extract the Data Protection API (DPAPI) domain backup key from a Domain Controller (DC) to be able to decrypt any domain user master key file.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-windows.sysmon_operational-*
  • endgame-*
  • logs-sentinel_one_cloud_funnel.*

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



  • Domain: Endpoint
  • OS: Windows
  • Use Case: Threat Detection
  • Tactic: Credential Access
  • Data Source: Elastic Endgame
  • Data Source: Elastic Defend
  • Data Source: Sysmon
  • Data Source: SentinelOne

Version: 310

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

Triage and analysis

Domain DPAPI Backup keys are stored on domain controllers and can be dumped remotely with tools such as Mimikatz. The resulting .pvk private key can be used to decrypt ANY domain user masterkeys, which then can be used to decrypt any secrets protected by those keys.



If enabling an EQL rule on a non-elastic-agent index (such as beats) for versions <8.2, events will not define event.ingested and default fallback for EQL rules was not added until version 8.2. Hence for this rule to work effectively, users will need to add a custom ingest pipeline to populate event.ingested to @timestamp. For more details on adding a custom ingest pipeline refer -

Rule queryedit

file where host.os.type == "windows" and event.type != "deletion" and : ("ntds_capi_*.pfx", "ntds_capi_*.pvk")