AdFind Command Activityedit

This rule detects the Active Directory query tool, AdFind.exe. AdFind has legitimate purposes, but it is frequently leveraged by threat actors to perform post-exploitation Active Directory reconnaissance. The AdFind tool has been observed in Trickbot, Ryuk, Maze, and FIN6 campaigns. For Winlogbeat, this rule requires Sysmon.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • winlogbeat-*
  • logs-windows.*

Severity: low

Risk score: 21

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
  • Windows
  • Threat Detection
  • Discovery

Version: 7 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 8.2.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Triage and analysis

### Investigating AdFind Command Activity

[AdFind]( is a freely available command-line tool used to retrieve information
from Active Directory (AD). Network discovery and enumeration tools like `AdFind` are useful to adversaries in the same
ways they are effective for network administrators. This tool provides quick ability to scope AD person/computer objects
and understand subnets and domain information. There are many [examples]( of
this tool being adopted by ransomware and criminal groups and used in compromises.

#### Possible investigation steps

- Investigate the process execution chain (parent process tree).
- Identify the user account that performed the action and whether it should perform this kind of action.
- Examine the command line to determine what information was retrieved by the tool.
- Contact the account owner and confirm whether they are aware of this activity.
- Investigate other alerts associated with the user/host during the past 48 hours.

### False positive analysis

- This rule has a high chance to produce false positives as it is a legitimate tool used by network administrators. One
option could be allowlisting specific users or groups who use the tool as part of their daily responsibilities. This can
be done by leveraging the exception workflow in the Kibana Security App or Elasticsearch API to tune this rule to your environment.
- Malicious behavior with `AdFind` should be investigated as part of a step within an attack chain. It doesn't happen in
isolation, so reviewing previous logs/activity from impacted machines can be very telling.

### Related rules

- Windows Network Enumeration - 7b8bfc26-81d2-435e-965c-d722ee397ef1
- Enumeration of Administrator Accounts - 871ea072-1b71-4def-b016-6278b505138d
- Enumeration Command Spawned via WMIPrvSE - 770e0c4d-b998-41e5-a62e-c7901fd7f470

### 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.
- Reset passwords for the user account and other potentially compromised accounts (email, services, CRMs, etc.).
- Determine the initial infection vector.

## 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
( : "AdFind.exe" or ==
"AdFind.exe") and process.args : ("objectcategory=computer",
"objectcategory=person", "(objectcategory=person)",
"objectcategory=subnet", "(objectcategory=subnet)",
"objectcategory=group", "(objectcategory=group)",
"objectcategory=attributeschema", "(objectcategory=attributeschema)",
"domainlist", "dcmodes", "adinfo", "dclist", "computers_pwnotreqd",

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 7 (8.2.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 6 (8.1.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 5 (7.16.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (7.13.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only