Suspicious MS Office Child Processedit

Identifies suspicious child processes of frequently targeted Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). These child processes are often launched during exploitation of Office applications or from documents with malicious macros.

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
  • Initial Access

Version: 10

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 in ("start", "process_started") and : ("eqnedt32.exe", "excel.exe", "fltldr.exe", "msaccess.exe", "mspub.exe", "powerpnt.exe", "winword.exe") and : ("Microsoft.Workflow.Compiler.exe", "arp.exe", "atbroker.exe", "bginfo.exe", "bitsadmin.exe", "cdb.exe", "certutil.exe",
                "cmd.exe", "cmstp.exe", "control.exe", "cscript.exe", "csi.exe", "dnx.exe", "dsget.exe", "dsquery.exe", "forfiles.exe",
                "fsi.exe", "ftp.exe", "gpresult.exe", "hostname.exe", "ieexec.exe", "iexpress.exe", "installutil.exe", "ipconfig.exe",
                "mshta.exe", "msxsl.exe", "nbtstat.exe", "net.exe", "net1.exe", "netsh.exe", "netstat.exe", "nltest.exe", "odbcconf.exe",
                "ping.exe", "powershell.exe", "pwsh.exe", "qprocess.exe", "quser.exe", "qwinsta.exe", "rcsi.exe", "reg.exe", "regasm.exe",
                "regsvcs.exe", "regsvr32.exe", "sc.exe", "schtasks.exe", "systeminfo.exe", "tasklist.exe", "tracert.exe", "whoami.exe",
                "wmic.exe", "wscript.exe", "xwizard.exe", "explorer.exe", "rundll32.exe", "hh.exe")