NRT Rules are hard-coded to run once every minute and capture events ingested in the preceding minute.
This is for faster detection and response opportunity.
No more than 20 rules can be defined per customer at this time
As this type of rule is new, its syntax is currently limited but will gradually evolve. Therefore, at this time the following restrictions are in effect:
The query defined in an NRT rule can reference only one table. Queries can, however, refer to multiple watchlists and to threat intelligence feeds.
You cannot use unions or joins.
Because this rule type is in near real time, we have reduced the built-in delay to a minimum (two minutes).
Since NRT rules use the ingestion time rather than the event generation time (represented by the TimeGenerated field), you can safely ignore the data source delay and the ingestion time latency (see above).
Queries can run only within a single workspace. There is no cross-workspace capability.
There is no event grouping. NRT rules produce a single alert that groups all the applicable events.
For further information about Near-Real-Time, NRT, analytic rules, please visit:
During Ignite, Microsoft has announced a new set of features in the Advanced Hunting in Microsoft 365 Defender.
These features will definitely help you in the Threat Hunting process and also reduce the gap between analysts, responders and threat hunters and simplify the life of a threat hunter.
When having hunting training classes, I usually recommend to use multiple browser tabs. One for the query development, and one used to go back to previous queries to see how some things were done earlier.
for example, if you are developing a hunting query and need an if statement, external data, regex or other more advanced features it is easier to just open a previous query to see how it was solved last time. At least until you get more fluent in KQL. This is to avoid having to save your new query, go back to the old one, and then back to the new again
With the multi-tab support we can open the query in a new tab
The new Hunting Page will now provide the resource usage for the query both timing and an indicator of the resource usage
If you would like to learn more about how to optimize queries, please visit:
Schema, Functions, Queries and Detection Rules have been separated into tabs for, according to my opinion, easier access and pivoting which will give a better overview in each tab.
The schema reference will open as a side pane
When looking at one of the *events tables, the ActionType column is very useful to see which events are being logged. Earlier, I usually selected distinct ActionType in the query to have a look at the events being logged. Now, it’s possible to use the quick access from the portal to expand all action types for a specific table.
Above image shows the action types for DeviceFileEvents. In the DeviceEvents there are around 180 different action types to query.
For the hunting query development and hunting use-cases, the action types is a great go-to resource.
The columns in the schema reference is clickable and can in a simple way be added to the query
Simple query management
The inspect record pane is an easy way to see the data for one single row. When developing new queries I usually take a subset of data (take/limit 20) to see an overview of the results, and also select an event to see all data instead of side scrolling through all columns when needed.
New features in inspect record is that we can do quick filters which will be added to the query.
In this example we would like to know more about process executions from the C:\AttackTools folder
Last but definitely not least… Link the query results to an incident
This is my favorite, this will reduce the gap and simplify the process between threat hunters, responders, and analysts.
By selecting the relevant events in the result, they can be added to an existing incident, or create a new incidents.
This feature will help organizations to define the threat hunting both in a proactive hunting scenario, and in a reactive, post breach scenario when the hunters will assist analysts and responder with a simplified process.
How to link the data to an incident
To be able to link the data you need to have the following columns in the output
DeviceId/AccountObjectID/AccountSid/RecipientEmailAddress (Depending on query table)
Develop and run the query
Please note, you cannot have multiple queries in the query window when linking to incident
Choose to create a new incident or link to an existing
Run a quick check in your environment to see if you have remote internet-based logon attempts on your devices by looking for RemoteIPType == “Public”. There are other where RemoteIPType is useful, like processes communicating with Internet.
A new connector for Microsoft 365 Defender is in public preview in Azure Sentinel. This connector makes it possible to ingest the hunting data into Sentinel
Currently, the Defender for Endpoint Data is available
Go to you Azure Sentinel Instance and select Connectors
Search for Microsoft 365 Defender
Click Open Connector Page
Select which Events you want to ingest
Click Apply Changes
| where ActionType == "RegistryValueSet"
| where RegistryValueName == "DefaultPassword"
| where RegistryKey has @"SOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon"
| project Timestamp, DeviceName, RegistryKey
| top 100 by Timestamp
//Process and Network events
union DeviceProcessEvents, DeviceNetworkEvents
| where Timestamp > ago(7d)
| where FileName in~ ("powershell.exe", "powershell_ise.exe")
| where ProcessCommandLine has_any("WebClient",
| project Timestamp, DeviceName, InitiatingProcessFileName,
FileName, ProcessCommandLine, RemoteIP, RemoteUrl, RemotePort, RemoteIPType
If we look at the tables we can see the new created tables
One thing we usually discuss with customers is the workload. Everyone has too much to do and it can, sometimes be difficult to prioritize investigations.
now, where you might be short on staff, and the Covid-19 virus can strike at
the SOC organization or reduce the numbers of available people.
this does not only apply during the world crisis of Covid-19. Automation is
also a help in the normal day to day work.
There are benefits
of being able to automate responses and we have these discussions with many
Automatic self-healing is built-in into Defender ATP and is mimicking these
ideal steps a human would take to investigate and remediate organizational
assets, impacted by a cyber threat.
done using 20 built-in investigation playbooks and 10 remediation actions
at the speed of automation
and remediate all alerts automatically
up critical resources to work on strategic initiatives
will drive down the cost per investigation and remediation
away manual, repetitive tasks
remediation eliminates downtime
value of your protection suite and people, quick configuration and you are up
SecOps Investigation (Manual)
it will take some time from the alert being triggered until someone has the
time to start looking at it. Manual work
also requires more resources for review and approval for each action
SecOPs perspective, an initial response involves information gathering.
Where did the file originate from?
our results, we will decide the remediation steps (if we do not follow a
playbook here, the catch will be different result depending on who makes the
remediation will include connecting remotely or manually collect the device and
then launch tools for the remediation process.
Automatic response with Auto IR
to respond which will avoid additional damage and compromise of additional devices,
when attackers will start moving lateral in the environment.
24/7 buddy who assists the SOC staff to remediate threats so the human staff can
focus on other things
MDATP is sending telemetry data to
MDATP cloud continuously analyzes
the data to detect threats
Once a threat is identitfied an
alert is being raised
The alert kicks off a new automated
AIRS component asks Sense client to
SenseIR is then orchestrated by AIRS
on what action should be executed (Collection/Remediation)
Based on the data collected from the
machine (current and historical) AIRS decides what actions should be taken
For every threat identified, AIRS
will automatically analyze the best course of action and tailor a dedicated
surgical remediation action to be executed using on device components (e.g.
Windows Defender Antivirus)
Playbook is executed
“suspicious host” playbook is just an example of “catch all” playbook that is applied after detailed AutoIR investigation for evidences raised by alerts / incident to ensure that nothing is missed.
processes list – main image, loaded modules, handles, suspicious memory
created files – x minutes febore / after alert
Security Graph eco system – DaaS, AVaaS, TI, TA, Detection engine, ML
TI indicators – for allow / block list
leveraging OS components (e.g. Defender Antivirus) to perform the remediation
(prebuilt into the system, low level actions (driver), tried and tested)
methods (Reg, Link files, etc.) actions
Yes you read that right, its now possible to block unsanctioned apps in Microsoft Cloud App Security directly at your Windows 10 Endpoints. Moving towards a Zero-Trust network away from the corporate firewalls and proxies you still want to maintain network control from the endpoint side, this new feature will give you the possibility to block applications, this is a great step forward in the area and its clear that Microsoft is taking Zero-Trust and Security seriously.
(Its important to note if you have marked apps as unsanctioned in the MCAS Portal already they will automatically be marked as blocked so before turning this on review your unsanctioned apps.)
Configuring Unsanctioned Apps
Once you have your requirements in-place we can start to configure unsanctioned apps, You can either select to maintain this manually or configure a policy to set all apps matching a certain criteria to be blocked. An example could be block all apps with a Risk Score Lower than 3.
If you go to your Cloud App Dashboard and find the App you want to block just click on the App and select unsanctioned.
To have apps marked as unsanctioned automatically can be done with a Policy. Below we have an example of blocking apps that meet the criteria Risk Score 1-3.
Its also possible to add other types of criteria if you want to refine your policy. It all depends what you want to limit and the purpose, is it to control Shadow IT or is it from a Security perspective. Some examples below of other criteria that could be useful depending on the use case.
App Category Productivity
Daily Traffic Below 5 MB
Number of Users Below 5
PRO TIP: When building your Policy its very good that you can play with the Preview Results, that gives you instant feedback on how well your query will perform so try that out.
When the unsanctioned app is marked as unsanctioned the back end integration between MCAS and MDATP exchanges data and Custom Indicators are being populated. You can find these under Settings > Indicators > URLs/Domains
Like in this example we did block WhatsApp and that would replicate over to the Indicators in MDATP. The whole flow depending on sync should not take longer than 3 hours. From that you have blocked in MCAS to that the Endpoint has the blocking instruction.
Once its available in MDATP the Endpoints should update their Indicators and should start blocking.
End User Experience
At the moment the end user experience is fairly limited the user would get a Toast Notification that something has been blocked unless you have turned notifications off.
Depending on the App you are trying to communicate with the blocked app/url the behavior would occur differently.
For WhatsApp it would look like this when Launching it (sorry message in Swedish)
And a Default Notification Message like this below
At the moment the tracking and reporting is also limited to whats available in MCAS and MDATP and its supported retention times.
Things I want to see and I have fed back to the Product groups I want this to evolve to going forward.
Support for X-Platform Devices
Block without Alerting like Block and Report
Having the possibility to do Exclusions and Custom Targeting of Devices/Users
Azure Sentinel—the cloud-native SIEM that empowers defenders is now generally available
Some of the new features are:
Workbooks are replacing dashboards, providing for richer analytics and visualizations
New Microsoft and 3rd party connectors
Detection and hunting:
Out of the box detection rules: The GitHub detection rules are now built into Sentinel.
Easy elevation of MTP alerts to Sentinel incidents.
Built-in detection rules utilizing the threat intelligence connector.
New ML models to discover malicious SSH access, fuse identity, and access data to detect 35 unique threats that span multiple stages of the kill chain. Fusion is now on by default and managed through the UI
Template playbooks now available on Github.
New threat hunting queries and libraries for Jupyter Notebooks
The interactive investigation graph is now publicly available.
Incidents support for tagging, comments, and assignments, both manually and automatically using playbooks.
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