Identifies attempts to bypass User Account Control (UAC) by hijacking the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Windows Firewall snap-in. Attackers bypass UAC to stealthily execute code with elevated permissions.
Rule type: eql
Risk score: 47
Runs every: 5m
Maximum alerts per execution: 100
- Threat Detection
- Privilege Escalation
Rule license: Elastic License v2
## Triage and analysis ### Investigating UAC Bypass via Windows Firewall Snap-In Hijack Windows User Account Control (UAC) allows a program to elevate its privileges (tracked as low to high integrity levels) to perform a task under administrator-level permissions, possibly by prompting the user for confirmation. UAC can deny an operation under high-integrity enforcement, or allow the user to perform the action if they are in the local administrators group and enter an administrator password when prompted. For more information about the UAC and how it works, check the [official Microsoft docs page](https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/identity-protection/user-account-control/how-user-account-control-works). This rule identifies attempts to bypass User Account Control (UAC) by hijacking the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Windows Firewall snap-in. Attackers bypass UAC to stealthily execute code with elevated permissions. #### Possible investigation steps - Investigate the process execution chain (parent process tree) for unknown processes. Examine their executable files for prevalence, whether they are located in expected locations, and if they are signed with valid digital signatures. - Investigate other alerts associated with the user/host during the past 48 hours. - Inspect the host for suspicious or abnormal behavior in the alert timeframe. - Investigate any abnormal behavior by the subject process such as network connections, registry or file modifications, and any spawned child processes. - If any of the spawned processes are suspicious, retrieve them and determine if it is malicious: - Use a private sandboxed malware analysis system to perform analysis. - Observe and collect information about the following activities: - Attempts to contact external domains and addresses. - File and registry access, modification, and creation activities. - Service creation and launch activities. - Scheduled task creation. - Use the PowerShell `Get-FileHash` cmdlet to get the files' SHA-256 hash values. - Search for the existence and reputation of the hashes in resources like VirusTotal, Hybrid-Analysis, CISCO Talos, Any.run, etc. ### False positive analysis - This activity is unlikely to happen legitimately. Benign true positives (B-TPs) can be added as exceptions if necessary. ### Response and remediation - Initiate the incident response process based on the outcome of the triage. - Isolate the involved host to prevent further post-compromise behavior. - If the triage identified malware, search the environment for additional compromised hosts. - Implement temporary network rules, procedures, and segmentation to contain the malware. - Stop suspicious processes. - Immediately block the identified indicators of compromise (IoCs). - Inspect the affected systems for additional malware backdoors like reverse shells, reverse proxies, or droppers that attackers could use to reinfect the system. - Remove and block malicious artifacts identified during triage. - Run a full antimalware scan. This may reveal additional artifacts left in the system, persistence mechanisms, and malware components. - Investigate credential exposure on systems compromised or used by the attacker to ensure all compromised accounts are identified. Reset passwords for these accounts and other potentially compromised credentials, such as email, business systems, and web services. - Determine the initial vector abused by the attacker and take action to prevent reinfection through the same vector. - Using the incident response data, update logging and audit policies to improve the mean time to detect (MTTD) and the mean time to respond (MTTR).
process where event.type == "start" and process.parent.name == "mmc.exe" and /* process.Ext.token.integrity_level_name == "high" can be added in future for tuning */ /* args of the Windows Firewall SnapIn */ process.parent.args == "WF.msc" and process.name != "WerFault.exe"
Framework: MITRE ATT&CKTM
- Name: Privilege Escalation
- ID: TA0004
- Reference URL: https://attack.mitre.org/tactics/TA0004/
- Name: Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism
- ID: T1548
- Reference URL: https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1548/
- Name: Bypass User Account Control
- ID: T1548.002
- Reference URL: https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1548/002/