Suspicious CertUtil Commandsedit

Identifies suspicious commands being used with certutil.exe. CertUtil is a native Windows component which is part of Certificate Services. CertUtil is often abused by attackers to live off the land for stealthier command and control or data exfiltration.

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



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

Version: 13

Rule authors:

  • Elastic
  • Austin Songer

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
  ( : "certutil.exe" or == "CertUtil.exe") and
  process.args : ("?decode", "?encode", "?urlcache", "?verifyctl", "?encodehex", "?decodehex", "?exportPFX")