Suspicious RDP ActiveX Client Loadededit

Identifies suspicious Image Loading of the Remote Desktop Services ActiveX Client (mstscax), this may indicate the presence of RDP lateral movement capability.

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
  • Lateral Movement

Version: 4

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

library where : "mstscax.dll" and
   /* depending on noise in your env add here extra paths  */
  process.executable :
    ) and
    /* add here FPs */
  not process.executable : ("C:\\Windows\\System32\\mstsc.exe", "C:\\Windows\\SysWOW64\\mstsc.exe")