Potential Command and Control via Internet Exploreredit

Identifies instances of Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe) being started via the Component Object Model (COM) making unusual network connections. Adversaries could abuse Internet Explorer via COM to avoid suspicious processes making network connections and bypass host-based firewall restrictions.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-endpoint.events.*
  • logs-windows.*

Severity: medium

Risk score: 47

Runs every: 5m

Searches indices from: now-9m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100

References: None


  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Command and Control

Version: 5

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

sequence by host.id, user.name with maxspan = 5s
  [library where dll.name : "IEProxy.dll" and process.name : ("rundll32.exe", "regsvr32.exe")]
  [process where event.type == "start" and process.parent.name : "iexplore.exe" and process.parent.args : "-Embedding"]
  /* IE started via COM in normal conditions makes few connections, mainly to Microsoft and OCSP related domains, add FPs here */
  [network where network.protocol == "dns" and process.name : "iexplore.exe" and
   not dns.question.name :
  ] /* with runs=5 */