Potential DLL SideLoading via Trusted Microsoft Programsedit

Identifies an instance of a Windows trusted program that is known to be vulnerable to DLL Search Order Hijacking starting after being renamed or from a non-standard path. This is uncommon behavior and may indicate an attempt to evade defenses via side loading a malicious DLL within the memory space of one of those processes.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

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

References: None


  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Defense Evasion

Version: 6

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

process where event.type == "start" and
  process.pe.original_file_name in ("WinWord.exe", "EXPLORER.EXE", "w3wp.exe", "DISM.EXE") and
  not (process.name : ("winword.exe", "explorer.exe", "w3wp.exe", "Dism.exe") or
         process.executable : ("?:\\Windows\\explorer.exe",
                               "?:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\root\\Office*\\WINWORD.EXE",
                               "?:\\Program Files?(x86)\\Microsoft Office\\root\\Office*\\WINWORD.EXE",