Execution of dllhost.exe with an empty command line

Cortex XDR Analytics Alert Reference by Alert name

Product
Cortex XDR
Last date published
2024-06-04
Category
Analytics Alert Reference
Order
Alert name

Synopsis

Activation Period

14 Days

Training Period

30 Days

Test Period

N/A (single event)

Deduplication Period

1 Day

Required Data

  • Requires:
    • XDR Agent

Detection Modules

ATT&CK Tactic

Defense Evasion (TA0005)

ATT&CK Technique

System Binary Proxy Execution (T1218)

Severity

Low

Description

The process dllhost.exe was executed with an empty command line. This behavior is suspicious, and may be caused by a malicious actor using 'Image File Execution Options' in the registry to evade detection.

Attacker's Goals

Evade detection when running suspicious commands.

Investigative actions

  • Check if an entry for dllhost.exe was added in the registry, under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options.

Variations

Execution of unsigned dllhost from a non-typical path with empty command line

Synopsis

ATT&CK Tactic

Defense Evasion (TA0005)

ATT&CK Technique

Masquerading: Masquerade Task or Service (T1036.004)

Severity

High

Description

An unsigned process was executed with the name dllhost.exe from a non-typical path, this behavior is suspicious and maybe performed by a malicious actor in an attempt to hide their actions.

Attacker's Goals

Evade detection when performing suspicious actions.

Investigative actions

  • Review actions performed by the executed process and the causality owner, and check if they are suspicious.


Globally uncommon execution of dllhost.exe with an empty command line

Synopsis

ATT&CK Tactic

Defense Evasion (TA0005)

ATT&CK Technique

System Binary Proxy Execution (T1218)

Severity

Low

Description

The process dllhost.exe was executed with an empty command line. This behavior is suspicious, and may be caused by a malicious actor using 'Image File Execution Options' in the registry to evade detection.

Attacker's Goals

Evade detection when running suspicious commands.

Investigative actions

  • Check if an entry for dllhost.exe was added in the registry, under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options.