FortiSIEM Rules

Windows: Invocation of Active Directory Diagnostic Tool ntdsutil.exe

Rule ID


Default Status



Detects execution of ntdsutil.exe, which can be used for various attacks against the NTDS database (NTDS.DIT), that stores the Active Directory data, including users, groups, security descriptors and password hashes. Regular ntdsutil.exe use cases includes performing AD database maintenance. Regular NTDS maintenance activities can lead to false positives. This rule is adapted from






Credential Access

Credential Access consists of techniques for stealing credentials like account names and passwords. Techniques used to get credentials include keylogging or credential dumping. Using legitimate credentials can give adversaries access to systems, make them harder to detect, and provide the opportunity to create more accounts to help achieve their goals.

MITRE ATT&CK® Techniques


OS Credential Dumping: NTDS

Adversaries may attempt to access or create a copy of the Active Directory domain database in order to steal credential information, as well as obtain other information about domain members such as devices, users, and access rights.



Data Source

Windows Sysmon via FortiSIEM Agent



Remediation Guidance

Determine if this was an authorized penetration testing activity or authorized sysadmin activity. Otherwise, there is no reason for this activity to be occurring. The host should be quarantined and investigated immediately. Collect the process hash and check for malware match. Investigate what other incidents are occurring on that host during that time frame.

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 procName REGEXP "\\ntdsutil\.exe$"

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

hostName = Filter.hostName,
procName = Filter.procName