FortiSIEM Rules

Windows: Potential Cobalt Strike Process Patterns

Rule ID


Default Status



Detects potential process patterns related to Cobalt Strike beacon activity. Cobalt Strike ( is an adversary simulation tool with a post-exploitation agent and covert channels to emulate a quiet long-term embedded actor in your network. It uses Process injection, a defense evasion technique that runs custom code within the address space of another process, thereby avoiding detection. This rule is adapted from







Persistence consists of techniques that adversaries use to keep access to systems across restarts, changed credentials, and other interruptions that could cut off their access. Techniques used for persistence include any access, action, or configuration changes that let them maintain their foothold on systems, such as replacing or hijacking legitimate code or adding startup code.

MITRE ATT&CK® Techniques

No Technique Specified



Data Source

Windows Sysmon via FortiSIEM Agent



Remediation Guidance

Cobalt Strike / Meterpreter are intended to be used by penetration testers and security red teams to simulate a real cyberthreat. Investigate whether the user needs to really run Cobalt Strike or Meterpreter. Investigate what other incidents are occurring on that host during that time frame. If necessary, rebuild the host from a known, good source and have the user change their password.

Time Window

If the following pattern or patterns match an ingested event within the given time window in seconds, trigger an incident.

300 seconds

Trigger Conditions

If the following defined pattern/s occur within a 300 second time window.


SubPattern Definitions

SubPattern Name: Filter

This is the named definition of the event query, this is important if multiple subpatterns are defined to distinguish them.

SubPattern Query

This is the query logic that matches incoming events

eventType="Win-Sysmon-1-Create-Process" AND ((command REGEXP "cmd\.exe /C whoami$" AND parentProcName REGEXP "^C:\\Temp\\") OR (parentProcName REGEXP "\\dllhost\.exe$|\\runonce\.exe$" AND command REGEXP ".*cmd\.exe /c echo.*" AND command REGEXP ".*> \\\\\.\\pipe.*") OR (parentCommand REGEXP ".*cmd\.exe /C echo.*" AND parentCommand REGEXP ".* > \\\\\.\\pipe.*" AND command REGEXP "conhost\.exe 0xffffffff -ForceV1$") OR (parentCommand REGEXP "/C whoami$" AND command REGEXP "conhost\.exe 0xffffffff -ForceV1$"))

Group by Attributes

This defines how matching events are aggregated, only events with the same matching attribute values are grouped into one unique incident ID


Aggregate Constraint

This is most typically a numerical constraint that defines when the rule should trigger an incident

COUNT(*) >= 1

Incident Attribute Mapping

This section defines which fields in matching raw events should be mapped to the incident attributes in the resulting incident.

The available raw event attributes to map are limited to the group by attributes and the aggregate event constraint fields for each subpattern

command = Filter.command,
hostName = Filter.hostName,
parentCommand = Filter.parentCommand,
parentProcName = Filter.parentProcName