Lateral Movement via Startup Folderedit

Identifies suspicious file creations in the startup folder of a remote system. An adversary could abuse this to move laterally by dropping a malicious script or executable that will be executed after a reboot or user logon.

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: 4

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## 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.

Rule queryedit

file where event.type in ("creation", "change") and
 /* via RDP TSClient mounted share or SMB */
  ( : "mstsc.exe" or == 4) and
   file.path : "C:\\*\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Start Menu\\Programs\\Startup\\*"