Suspicious JAVA Child Processedit

Identifies suspicious child processes of the Java interpreter process. This may indicate an attempt to execute a malicious JAR file or an exploitation attempt via a JAVA specific vulnerability.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • auditbeat-*

Severity: medium

Risk score: 47

Runs every: 5 minutes

Searches indices from: now-9m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100



  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Threat Detection
  • Execution
  • Investigation Guide

Version: 102 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 8.6.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Triage and analysis

### Investigating Suspicious Java Child Process

This rule identifies a suspicious child process of the Java interpreter process. It may indicate an attempt to execute
a malicious JAR file or an exploitation attempt via a Java specific vulnerability.

#### Possible investigation steps

- Investigate the process execution chain (parent process tree) for unknown processes. Examine their executable files
for prevalence and whether they are located in expected locations.
- Investigate other alerts associated with the user/host during the past 48 hours.
- Investigate any abnormal account behavior, such as command executions, file creations or modifications, and network
- Investigate any abnormal behavior by the subject process such as network connections, file modifications, and any
spawned child processes.
- Examine the command line to determine if the command executed is potentially harmful or malicious.
- Inspect the host for suspicious or abnormal behavior in the alert timeframe.

### False positive analysis

- If this activity is expected and noisy in your environment, consider adding exceptions — preferably with a combination
of process and command line conditions.

### Response and remediation

- Initiate the incident response process based on the outcome of the triage.
- Isolate the involved hosts to prevent further post-compromise behavior.
- Remove and block malicious artifacts identified during triage.
- 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.
- Run a full antimalware scan. This may reveal additional artifacts left in the system, persistence mechanisms, and
malware components.
- 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).

Rule queryedit

process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and : "java" and : ("sh", "bash",
"dash", "ksh", "tcsh", "zsh", "curl", "wget")

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 102 (8.6.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 101 (8.5.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 6 (8.4.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (8.2.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (8.0.0 release)
  • Rule name changed from: Suspicious JAR Child Process
  • Updated query, changed from:

    process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and : "java" and : ("sh", "bash",
    "dash", "ksh", "tcsh", "zsh", "curl", "wget") and process.args :
    "-jar" and process.args : "*.jar" and /* Add any FP's here */ not
    process.executable : ("/Users/*/.sdkman/*",
    "/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/*") and not process.args :
    ("/usr/local/*", "/Users/*/*", "/Users/*/src/*")
Version 2 (7.15.0 release)
  • Formatting only