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DeepBlueCLI - a PowerShell Module for Threat Hunting via Windows Event Logs

Eric Conrad, Backshore Communications, LLC

deepblue at backshore dot net

Twitter: @eric_conrad

Sample EVTX files are in the .\evtx directory

Note If your antivirus freaks out after downloading DeepBlueCLI: it's likely reacting to the included EVTX files in the .\evtx directory (which contain command-line logs of malicious attacks, among other artifacts). EVTX files are not harmful. You may need to configure your antivirus to ignore the DeepBlueCLI directory.

Table of Contents


.\DeepBlue.ps1 <event log name> <evtx filename>

See the Set-ExecutionPolicy Readme if you receive a 'running scripts is disabled on this system' error.

Process local Windows security event log (PowerShell must be run as Administrator):



.\DeepBlue.ps1 -log security

Process local Windows system event log:

.\DeepBlue.ps1 -log system

Process evtx file:

.\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\new-user-security.evtx

Windows Event Logs processed

  • Windows Security
  • Windows System
  • Windows Application
  • Windows PowerShell
  • Sysmon

Command Line Logs processed

See Logging setup section below for how to configure these logs

  • Windows Security event ID 4688
  • Windows PowerShell event IDs 4103 and 4104
  • Sysmon event ID 1

Detected events

  • Suspicious account behavior
    • User creation
    • User added to local/global/universal groups
    • Password guessing (multiple logon failures, one account)
    • Password spraying via failed logon (multiple logon failures, multiple accounts)
    • Password spraying via explicit credentials
    • Bloodhound (admin privileges assigned to the same account with multiple Security IDs)
  • Command line/Sysmon/PowerShell auditing
    • Long command lines
    • Regex searches
    • Obfuscated commands
    • PowerShell launched via WMIC or PsExec
    • PowerShell Net.WebClient Downloadstring
    • Compressed/Base64 encoded commands (with automatic decompression/decoding)
    • Unsigned EXEs or DLLs
  • Service auditing
    • Suspicious service creation
    • Service creation errors
    • Stopping/starting the Windows Event Log service (potential event log manipulation)
  • Mimikatz
    • lsadump::sam
  • EMET & Applocker Blocks

...and more


Event Command
Event log manipulation .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\disablestop-eventlog.evtx
Metasploit native target (security) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\metasploit-psexec-native-target-security.evtx
Metasploit native target (system) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\metasploit-psexec-native-target-system.evtx
Metasploit PowerShell target (security) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\metasploit-psexec-powershell-target-security.evtx
Metasploit PowerShell target (system) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\metasploit-psexec-powershell-target-system.evtx
Mimikatz lsadump::sam .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\mimikatz-privesc-hashdump.evtx
New user creation .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\new-user-security.evtx
Obfuscation (encoding) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\Powershell-Invoke-Obfuscation-encoding-menu.evtx
Obfuscation (string) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\Powershell-Invoke-Obfuscation-string-menu.evtx
Password guessing .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\smb-password-guessing-security.evtx
Password spraying .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\password-spray.evtx
PowerSploit (security) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\powersploit-security.evtx
PowerSploit (system) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\powersploit-system.evtx
PSAttack .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx
User added to administrator group .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\new-user-security.evtx


DeepBlueCLI outputs in PowerShell objects, allowing a variety of output methods and types, including JSON, HTML, CSV, etc.

For example:

Output Type Syntax
CSV .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | ConvertTo-Csv
Format list (default) .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | Format-List
Format table .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | Format-Table
GridView .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | Out-GridView
HTML .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | ConvertTo-Html
JSON .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | ConvertTo-Json
XML .\DeepBlue.ps1 .\evtx\psattack-security.evtx | ConvertTo-Xml

Logging setup

Security event 4688 (Command line auditing):

Enable Windows command-line auditing:

Security event 4625 (Failed logons):

Requires auditing logon failures:

PowerShell auditing (PowerShell 5.0):

DeepBlueCLI uses module logging (PowerShell event 4103) and script block logging (4104). It does not use transcription.


To get the PowerShell commandline (and not just script block) on Windows 7 through Windows 8.1, add the following to \Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\profile.ps1

$LogCommandHealthEvent = $true
$LogCommandLifecycleEvent = $true

See the following for more information:

Thank you: @heinzarelli and @HackerHurricane


Install Sysmon from Sysinternals:

DeepBlue and DeepBlueHash currently use Sysmon events, 1, 6 and 7.

Log SHA256 hashes. Others are fine; DeepBlueHash will use SHA256.


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