Program Files Directory Masqueradingedit

Identifies execution from a directory masquerading as the Windows Program Files directories. These paths are trusted and usually host trusted third-party programs. An adversary may leverage masquerading along with low privileges to bypass detections that allowlist those folders.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • 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
  • Defense Evasion

Version: 7

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.executable : "C:\\*Program*Files*\\*.exe" and
 not process.executable : ("C:\\Program Files\\*.exe", "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\*.exe", "C:\\Users\\*.exe", "C:\\ProgramData\\*.exe")