Identifies use of wbadmin.exe to delete the backup catalog. Ransomware and other malware may do this to prevent system recovery.
Rule type: eql
Risk score: 21
Runs every: 5m
Maximum alerts per execution: 100
- Threat Detection
Rule license: Elastic License v2
## Triage and analysis ### Investigating Deleting Backup Catalogs with Wbadmin Windows Server Backup stores the details about your backups (what volumes are backed up and where the backups are located) in a file called a backup catalog, which ransomware victims can use to recover corrupted backup files. Deleting these files is a common step in threat actor playbooks. This rule identifies the deletion of the backup catalog using the `wbadmin.exe` utility. #### Possible investigation steps - Investigate the script execution chain (parent process tree). - Identify the user account that performed the action and whether it should perform this kind of action. - Confirm whether the account owner is aware of the operation. - Investigate other alerts related to the user/host in the last 48 hours. - Check for similar behavior in other hosts on the environment. - Check if any files on the host machine have been encrypted. ### False positive analysis - Administrators can use this command to delete corrupted catalogs, but overall the activity is unlikely to be legitimate. ### Related rules - Third-party Backup Files Deleted via Unexpected Process - 11ea6bec-ebde-4d71-a8e9-784948f8e3e9 - Volume Shadow Copy Deleted or Resized via VssAdmin - b5ea4bfe-a1b2-421f-9d47-22a75a6f2921 - Volume Shadow Copy Deletion via PowerShell - d99a037b-c8e2-47a5-97b9-170d076827c4 - Volume Shadow Copy Deletion via WMIC - dc9c1f74-dac3-48e3-b47f-eb79db358f57 ### Response and remediation - Initiate the incident response process based on the outcome of the triage. - Isolate the involved host to prevent destructive behavior, which is commonly associated with this activity. - Reset the password of the involved accounts. - If any other destructive action was identified on the host, it is recommended to prioritize the investigation and look for ransomware preparation and execution activities. - If any backups were affected: - Perform data recovery locally or restore the backups from replicated copies (cloud, other servers, etc.). ## Config 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 8.2, so you will need to add a custom pipeline to populate `event.ingested` to @timestamp for this rule to work.
process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and (process.name : "wbadmin.exe" or process.pe.original_file_name == "WBADMIN.EXE") and process.args : "catalog" and process.args : "delete"
Framework: MITRE ATT&CKTM