This search looks for arguments to certutil.exe indicating the manipulation or extraction of Certificate. This certificate can then be used to sign new authentication tokens specially inside Federated environments such as Windows ADFS.

ATT&CK Detection

Technique Subtechnique(s) Tactic(s) Level of Coverage
Credential Access Moderate

Data Model References

Object Action Field
process create exe
process create command_line

Applicable Sensors


Pseudocode – CertUtil certificate extraction (Pseudocode, CAR native)

Pseudocode implementation of the Splunk search below

processes = search Process:Create
certutil_downloads = filter processes where (
  exe =”C:\Windows\System32\certutil.exe” AND command_line = * -exportPFX * )
output certutil_downloads

Splunk code (Splunk, Endpoint)

Splunk implementation

| tstats count min(_time) as firstTime values(Processes.process) as process max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=certutil.exe Processes.process = "* -exportPFX *" by Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.user

Unit Tests

Test Case 1

Configurations: Using Splunk Attack Range

Replay the detection dataset using the Splunk attack range with the commands below

python replay -dn data_dump [--dump NAME_OF_DUMP]

Test Case 2

Configurations: Using Invoke-AtomicRedTeam

execute the atomic test T1606.002 against a Windows target.

Invoke-AtomicTest T1606.002