Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command Shell

Adversaries may abuse the Windows command shell for execution. The Windows command shell (cmd) is the primary command prompt on Windows systems. The Windows command prompt can be used to control almost any aspect of a system, with various permission levels required for different subsets of commands. The command prompt can be invoked remotely via Remote Services such as SSH.[1]

Batch files (ex: .bat or .cmd) also provide the shell with a list of sequential commands to run, as well as normal scripting operations such as conditionals and loops. Common uses of batch files include long or repetitive tasks, or the need to run the same set of commands on multiple systems.

Adversaries may leverage cmd to execute various commands and payloads. Common uses include cmd to execute a single command, or abusing cmd interactively with input and output forwarded over a command and control channel.

ID: T1059.003
Sub-technique of:  T1059
Tactic: Execution
Platforms: Windows
Supports Remote:  Yes
Version: 1.4
Created: 09 March 2020
Last Modified: 01 March 2024

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
C0025 2016 Ukraine Electric Power Attack

During the 2016 Ukraine Electric Power Attack, Sandworm Team used the xp_cmdshell command in MS-SQL.[2]

S0065 4H RAT

4H RAT has the capability to create a remote shell.[3]

S0469 ABK

ABK has the ability to use cmd to run a Portable Executable (PE) on the compromised host.[4]

S1028 Action RAT

Action RAT can use cmd.exe to execute commands on an infected host.[5]

S0202 adbupd

adbupd can run a copy of cmd.exe.[6]

G0018 admin@338

Following exploitation with LOWBALL malware, admin@338 actors created a file containing a list of commands to be executed on the compromised computer.[7]


ADVSTORESHELL can create a remote shell and run a given command.[8][9]

S1129 Akira

Akira executes from the Windows command line and can take various arguments for execution.[10]

S0504 Anchor

Anchor has used cmd.exe to run its self deletion routine.[11]

G0006 APT1

APT1 has used the Windows command shell to execute commands, and batch scripting to automate execution.[12]

G0026 APT18

APT18 uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[13][14]

G0007 APT28

An APT28 loader Trojan uses a cmd.exe and batch script to run its payload.[15] The group has also used macros to execute payloads.[16][17][18][19]

G0022 APT3

An APT3 downloader uses the Windows command "cmd.exe" /C whoami. The group also uses a tool to execute commands on remote computers.[20][21]

G0050 APT32

APT32 has used cmd.exe for execution.[22]

G0067 APT37

APT37 has used the command-line interface.[23][24]

G0082 APT38

APT38 has used a command-line tunneler, NACHOCHEESE, to give them shell access to a victim’s machine.[25]

G0096 APT41

APT41 used cmd.exe /c to execute commands on remote machines.[26]APT41 used a batch file to install persistence for the Cobalt Strike BEACON loader.[27]

G1023 APT5

APT5 has used cmd.exe for execution on compromised systems.[28]

G0143 Aquatic Panda

Aquatic Panda has attempted and failed to run Bash commands on a Windows host by passing them to cmd /C.[29]

S0373 Astaroth

Astaroth spawns a CMD process to execute commands. [30]

S0347 AuditCred

AuditCred can open a reverse shell on the system to execute commands.[31]

S1029 AuTo Stealer

AuTo Stealer can use cmd.exe to execute a created batch file.[5]

S0638 Babuk

Babuk has the ability to use the command line to control execution on compromised hosts.[32][33]

S0414 BabyShark

BabyShark has used cmd.exe to execute commands.[34]

S0475 BackConfig

BackConfig can download and run batch files to execute commands on a compromised host.[35]


Adversaries can direct BACKSPACE to execute from the command line on infected hosts, or have BACKSPACE create a reverse shell.[36]


BADHATCH can use cmd.exe to execute commands on a compromised host.[37][38]


BADNEWS is capable of executing commands via cmd.exe.[39][40]

S0234 Bandook

Bandook is capable of spawning a Windows command shell.[41][42]

S0239 Bankshot

Bankshot uses the command-line interface to execute arbitrary commands.[43][44]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar can launch cmd.exe to perform reconnaissance commands.[45][46]

S0470 BBK

BBK has the ability to use cmd to run a Portable Executable (PE) on the compromised host.[4]


BISCUIT has a command to launch a command shell on the system.[47]

S0268 Bisonal

Bisonal has launched cmd.exe and used the ShellExecuteW() API function to execute commands on the system.[48][49][50]

S1070 Black Basta

Black Basta can use cmd.exe to enable shadow copy deletion.[51]

S1068 BlackCat

BlackCat can execute commands on a compromised network with the use of cmd.exe.[52]


BLACKCOFFEE has the capability to create a reverse shell.[53]

S0564 BlackMould

BlackMould can run cmd.exe with parameters.[54]


BLINDINGCAN has executed commands via cmd.exe.[55]

G0108 Blue Mockingbird

Blue Mockingbird has used batch script files to automate execution and deployment of payloads.[56]


BONDUPDATER can read batch commands in a file sent from its C2 server and execute them with cmd.exe.[57]

S0651 BoxCaon

BoxCaon can execute arbitrary commands and utilize the "ComSpec" environment variable.[58]


BRONZE BUTLER has used batch scripts and the command-line interface for execution.[59]

S1063 Brute Ratel C4

Brute Ratel C4 can use cmd.exe for execution.[60]

S1039 Bumblebee

Bumblebee can use cmd.exe to drop and run files.[61][62]

C0015 C0015

During C0015, the threat actors used cmd.exe to execute commands and run malicious binaries.[63]

C0017 C0017

During C0017, APT41 used cmd.exe to execute reconnaissance commands.[64]


CALENDAR has a command to run cmd.exe to execute commands.[47]

S0030 Carbanak

Carbanak has a command to create a reverse shell.[65]

S0348 Cardinal RAT

Cardinal RAT can execute commands.[66]


CARROTBAT has the ability to execute command line arguments on a compromised host.[67]

S0572 Caterpillar WebShell

Caterpillar WebShell can run commands on the compromised asset with CMD functions.[68]

S1043 ccf32

ccf32 has used cmd.exe for archiving data and deleting files.[69]

S0631 Chaes

Chaes has used cmd to execute tasks on the system.[70]

S0674 CharmPower

The C# implementation of the CharmPower command execution module can use cmd.[71]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has used the Windows Command Shell and batch scripts for execution on compromised hosts.[72]

S0020 China Chopper

China Chopper's server component is capable of opening a command terminal.[73][74][75]

G1021 Cinnamon Tempest

Cinnamon Tempest has executed ransomware using batch scripts deployed via GPO.[76]

S0660 Clambling

Clambling can use cmd.exe for command execution.[77]

S0611 Clop

Clop can use cmd.exe to help execute commands on the system.[78]

S0106 cmd

cmd is used to execute programs and other actions at the command-line interface.[79]

G0080 Cobalt Group

Cobalt Group has used a JavaScript backdoor that is capable of launching cmd.exe to execute shell commands.[80] The group has used an exploit toolkit known as Threadkit that launches .bat files.[81][82][83][80][84][85]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike uses a command-line interface to interact with systems.[86][87][88][89]

S0338 Cobian RAT

Cobian RAT can launch a remote command shell interface for executing commands.[90]

S0369 CoinTicker

CoinTicker executes a bash script to establish a reverse shell.[91]

S0244 Comnie

Comnie executes BAT scripts.[92]

S0126 ComRAT

ComRAT has used cmd.exe to execute commands.[93]

S0575 Conti

Conti can utilize command line options to allow an attacker control over how it scans and encrypts files.[94][63]

S0046 CozyCar

A module in CozyCar allows arbitrary commands to be executed by invoking C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe.[95]

S0115 Crimson

Crimson has the ability to execute commands with the COMSPEC environment variable.[96]

S0625 Cuba

Cuba has used cmd.exe /c and batch files for execution.[97]

S1014 DanBot

DanBot has the ability to execute arbitrary commands via cmd.exe.[98][99]

G0070 Dark Caracal

Dark Caracal has used macros in Word documents that would download a second stage if executed.[100]

S0334 DarkComet

DarkComet can launch a remote shell to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[101]

S1111 DarkGate

DarkGate uses a malicious Windows Batch script to run the Windows code utility to retrieve follow-on script payloads.[102]

G0012 Darkhotel

Darkhotel has dropped an mspaint.lnk shortcut to disk which launches a shell script that downloads and executes a file.[103]

S1066 DarkTortilla

DarkTortilla can use cmd.exe to add registry keys for persistence.[104]

S0673 DarkWatchman

DarkWatchman can use cmd.exe to execute commands.[105]

S0187 Daserf

Daserf can execute shell commands.[106][59]


DEADEYE can run cmd /c copy /y /b C:\Users\public\syslog_6-*.dat C:\Users\public\syslog.dll to combine separated sections of code into a single DLL prior to execution.[64]

S0243 DealersChoice

DealersChoice makes modifications to open-source scripts from GitHub and executes them on the victim’s machine.[107]

S0354 Denis

Denis can launch a remote shell to execute arbitrary commands on the victim’s machine.[108][22]

S0200 Dipsind

Dipsind can spawn remote shells.[6]

S1021 DnsSystem

DnsSystem can use cmd.exe for execution.[109]

S0186 DownPaper

DownPaper uses the command line.[110]

G0035 Dragonfly

Dragonfly has used various types of scripting to perform operations, including batch scripts.[111]

S0547 DropBook

DropBook can execute arbitrary shell commands on the victims' machines.[112][113]

S0567 Dtrack

Dtrack has used cmd.exe to add a persistent service.[114]


ECCENTRICBANDWAGON can use cmd to execute commands on a victim’s machine.[115]

S0554 Egregor

Egregor has used batch files for execution and can launch Internet Explorer from cmd.exe.[116][117]

G1003 Ember Bear

Ember Bear had used cmd.exe and Windows Script Host (wscript) to execute malicious code.[118]

S0082 Emissary

Emissary has the capability to create a remote shell and execute specified commands.[119]

S0367 Emotet

Emotet has used cmd.exe to run a PowerShell script. [120]

S0363 Empire

Empire has modules for executing scripts.[121]

S0634 EnvyScout

EnvyScout can use cmd.exe to execute malicious files on compromised hosts.[122]

S0396 EvilBunny

EvilBunny has an integrated scripting engine to download and execute Lua scripts.[123]

S0343 Exaramel for Windows

Exaramel for Windows has a command to launch a remote shell and executes commands on the victim’s machine.[124]

S0171 Felismus

Felismus uses command line for execution.[125]


FELIXROOT executes batch scripts on the victim’s machine, and can launch a reverse shell for command execution.[126][127]

G0051 FIN10

FIN10 has executed malicious .bat files containing PowerShell commands.[128]

G1016 FIN13

FIN13 has leveraged xp_cmdshell and Windows Command Shell to execute commands on a compromised machine. FIN13 has also attempted to leverage the ‘xp_cmdshell’ SQL procedure to execute remote commands on internal MS-SQL servers.[129][130]

G0037 FIN6

FIN6 has used kill.bat script to disable security tools.[131]

G0046 FIN7

FIN7 used the command prompt to launch commands on the victim’s machine.[132][133][134]

G0061 FIN8

FIN8 has used a Batch file to automate frequently executed post compromise cleanup activities.[135] FIN8 has also executed commands remotely via cmd.exe.[136][137][138]

S0696 Flagpro

Flagpro can use cmd.exe to execute commands received from C2.[139]

S0381 FlawedAmmyy

FlawedAmmyy has used cmd to execute commands on a compromised host.[140]

G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has used cmd.exe likely as a password changing mechanism.[141]

C0001 Frankenstein

During Frankenstein, the threat actors ran a command script to set up persistence as a scheduled task named "WinUpdate", as well as other encoded commands from the command-line [142]

S1044 FunnyDream

FunnyDream can use cmd.exe for execution on remote hosts.[69]

C0007 FunnyDream

During FunnyDream, the threat actors used cmd.exe to execute the wmiexec.vbs script.[69]


GALLIUM used the Windows command shell to execute commands.[143]

G0047 Gamaredon Group

Gamaredon Group has used various batch scripts to establish C2 and download additional files. Gamaredon Group's backdoor malware has also been written to a batch file.[144][145][146][147]

S0666 Gelsemium

Gelsemium can use a batch script to delete itself.[148]

S0249 Gold Dragon

Gold Dragon uses cmd.exe to execute commands for discovery.[149]

S0493 GoldenSpy

GoldenSpy can execute remote commands via the command-line interface.[150]

S0588 GoldMax

GoldMax can spawn a command shell, and execute native commands.[151][152]

S0477 Goopy

Goopy has the ability to use cmd.exe to execute commands passed from an Outlook C2 channel.[22]

G0078 Gorgon Group

Gorgon Group malware can use cmd.exe to download and execute payloads and to execute commands on the system.[153]

S0237 GravityRAT

GravityRAT executes commands remotely on the infected host.[154]

S0342 GreyEnergy

GreyEnergy uses cmd.exe to execute itself in-memory.[127]

S0632 GrimAgent

GrimAgent can use the Windows Command Shell to execute commands, including its own removal.[155]

S0132 H1N1

H1N1 kills and disables services by using cmd.exe.[156]


HAFNIUM has used cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim's machine.[157]


HARDRAIN uses cmd.exe to execute netshcommands.[158]


HAWKBALL has created a cmd.exe reverse shell, executed commands, and uploaded output via the command line.[159]

S0071 hcdLoader

hcdLoader provides command-line access to the compromised system.[160]

S0170 Helminth

Helminth can provide a remote shell. One version of Helminth uses batch scripting.[161]

S0697 HermeticWiper

HermeticWiper can use cmd.exe /Q/c move CSIDL_SYSTEM_DRIVE\temp\sys.tmp1 CSIDL_WINDOWS\policydefinitions\postgresql.exe 1> \\\ADMIN$\_1636727589.6007507 2>&1 to deploy on an infected system.[162]

S0698 HermeticWizard

HermeticWizard can use cmd.exe for execution on compromised hosts.[162]

S0087 Hi-Zor

Hi-Zor has the ability to create a reverse shell.[163]

S0394 HiddenWasp

HiddenWasp uses a script to automate tasks on the victim's machine and to assist in execution.[164]

G0126 Higaisa

Higaisa used cmd.exe for execution.[165][166][167]

S0009 Hikit

Hikit has the ability to create a remote shell and run given commands.[168]


HOMEFRY uses a command-line interface.[169]


HOPLIGHT can launch cmd.exe to execute commands on the system.[170]

S0431 HotCroissant

HotCroissant can remotely open applications on the infected host with the ShellExecuteA command.[171]

S0070 HTTPBrowser

HTTPBrowser is capable of spawning a reverse shell on a victim.[172]

S0068 httpclient

httpclient opens cmd.exe on the victim.[3]

G0119 Indrik Spider

Indrik Spider has used batch scripts on victim's machines.[173]

S0259 InnaputRAT

InnaputRAT launches a shell to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[174]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole can launch a remote shell to execute commands.[175][176]

S0015 Ixeshe

Ixeshe is capable of executing commands via cmd.[177]

S0389 JCry

JCry has used cmd.exe to launch PowerShell.[178]


JHUHUGIT uses a .bat file to execute a .dll.[16]

S0201 JPIN

JPIN can use the command-line utility cacls.exe to change file permissions.[6]

S0283 jRAT

jRAT has command line access.[179]

S0088 Kasidet

Kasidet can execute commands using cmd.exe.[180]

S0265 Kazuar

Kazuar uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[181]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang has used batch scripts in its malware to install persistence mechanisms.[182]

S1020 Kevin

Kevin can use a renamed image of cmd.exe for execution.[183]

S0387 KeyBoy

KeyBoy can launch interactive shells for communicating with the victim machine.[184][185]


KEYMARBLE can execute shell commands using cmd.exe.[186]


KGH_SPY has the ability to set a Registry key to run a cmd.exe command.[187]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has executed Windows commands by using cmd and running batch scripts.[188][189]

S0250 Koadic

Koadic can open an interactive command-shell to perform command line functions on victim machines. Koadic performs most of its operations using Windows Script Host (Jscript) and to run arbitrary shellcode.[190][191]


KOCTOPUS has used cmd.exe and batch files for execution.[191]


KOMPROGO is capable of creating a reverse shell.[192]


KONNI has used cmd.exe to execute arbitrary commands on the infected host across different stages of the infection chain.[193][194][195]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group malware uses cmd.exe to execute commands on a compromised host.[196][197][198][199][200] A Destover-like variant used by Lazarus Group uses a batch file mechanism to delete its binaries from the system.[201]

G0140 LazyScripter

LazyScripter has used batch files to deploy open-source and multi-stage RATs.[191]

S0395 LightNeuron

LightNeuron is capable of executing commands via cmd.exe.[202]

S0211 Linfo

Linfo creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can start a remote shell.[203]

S0681 Lizar

Lizar has a command to open the command-line on the infected system.[204][205]

S0447 Lokibot

Lokibot has used cmd /c commands embedded within batch scripts.[206]

S0582 LookBack

LookBack executes the cmd.exe command.[207]

S0451 LoudMiner

LoudMiner used a batch script to run the Linux virtual machine as a service.[208]

S0532 Lucifer

Lucifer can issue shell commands to download and execute additional payloads.[209]

G0095 Machete

Machete has used batch files to initiate additional downloads of malicious files.[210]

S1060 Mafalda

Mafalda can execute shell commands using cmd.exe.[211]

G0059 Magic Hound

Magic Hound has used the command-line interface for code execution.[212][213][214]

S0652 MarkiRAT

MarkiRAT can utilize cmd.exe to execute commands in a victim's environment.[215]

S0449 Maze

The Maze encryption process has used batch scripts with various commands.[216][217]

S0500 MCMD

MCMD can launch a console process (cmd.exe) with redirected standard input and output.[218]

S0459 MechaFlounder

MechaFlounder has the ability to run commands on a compromised host.[219]

S0576 MegaCortex

MegaCortex has used .cmd scripts on the victim's system.[220]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass executes commands using a command-line interface and reverse shell. The group has used a modified version of pentesting script wmiexec.vbs to execute commands.[221][222][223][224] menuPass has used malicious macros embedded inside Office documents to execute files.[225][224]

G1013 Metador

Metador has used the Windows command line to execute commands.[226]

S0455 Metamorfo

Metamorfo has used cmd.exe /c to execute files.[227]

S0688 Meteor

Meteor can run set.bat, update.bat, cache.bat, bcd.bat, msrun.bat, and similar scripts.[228]

S0339 Micropsia

Micropsia creates a command-line shell using cmd.exe.[229]

S1015 Milan

Milan can use cmd.exe for discovery actions on a targeted system.[99]

S0280 MirageFox

MirageFox has the capability to execute commands using cmd.exe.[230]

S0084 Mis-Type

Mis-Type has used cmd.exe to run commands on a compromised host.[231]

S0083 Misdat

Misdat is capable of providing shell functionality to the attacker to execute commands.[231]

S0080 Mivast

Mivast has the capability to open a remote shell and run basic commands.[232]

S0553 MoleNet

MoleNet can execute commands via the command line utility.[112]

S0149 MoonWind

MoonWind can execute commands via an interactive command shell.[233] MoonWind uses batch scripts for various purposes, including to restart and uninstall itself.[233]

S0284 More_eggs

More_eggs has used cmd.exe for execution.[234][235]

S0256 Mosquito

Mosquito executes cmd.exe and uses a pipe to read the results and send back the output to the C2 server.[236]

G0069 MuddyWater

MuddyWater has used a custom tool for creating reverse shells.[237]


MURKYTOP uses the command-line interface.[169]

G0129 Mustang Panda

Mustang Panda has executed HTA files via cmd.exe, and used batch scripts for collection.[238][239]

S0336 NanoCore

NanoCore can open a remote command-line interface and execute commands.[240] NanoCore uses JavaScript files.[241]

S0247 NavRAT

NavRAT leverages cmd.exe to perform discovery techniques.[242] NavRAT loads malicious shellcode and executes it in memory.[242]

S0630 Nebulae

Nebulae can use CMD to execute a process.[243]


NETEAGLE allows adversaries to execute shell commands on the infected host.[36]

S0457 Netwalker

Operators deploying Netwalker have used batch scripts to retrieve the Netwalker payload.[244]


NETWIRE can issue commands using cmd.exe.[245][246]

C0002 Night Dragon

During Night Dragon, threat actors used zwShell to establish full remote control of the connected machine and run command-line shells.[247]

S0385 njRAT

njRAT can launch a command shell interface for executing commands.[248]

G0133 Nomadic Octopus

Nomadic Octopus used cmd.exe /c within a malicious macro.[249]

S0346 OceanSalt

OceanSalt can create a reverse shell on the infected endpoint using cmd.exe.[250] OceanSalt has been executed via malicious macros.[250]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used macros to deliver malware such as QUADAGENT and OopsIE.[251][252][253][254][255] OilRig has used batch scripts.[251][252][253][254][255]

S0439 Okrum

Okrum's backdoor has used cmd.exe to execute arbitrary commands as well as batch scripts to update itself to a newer version.[256]

S0264 OopsIE

OopsIE uses the command prompt to execute commands on the victim's machine.[253][257]

C0012 Operation CuckooBees

During Operation CuckooBees, the threat actors used batch scripts to perform reconnaissance.[258]

C0022 Operation Dream Job

During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group launched malicious DLL files, created new folders, and renamed folders with the use of the Windows command shell.[259][260]

C0006 Operation Honeybee

During Operation Honeybee, various implants used batch scripting and cmd.exe for execution.[261]

C0014 Operation Wocao

During Operation Wocao, threat actors spawned a new cmd.exe process to execute commands.[262]

S0229 Orz

Orz can execute shell commands.[263] Orz can execute commands with JavaScript.[263]

S0594 Out1

Out1 can use native command line for execution.[264]

S1017 OutSteel

OutSteel has used cmd.exe to scan a compromised host for specific file extensions.[118]

G0040 Patchwork

Patchwork ran a reverse shell with Meterpreter.[265] Patchwork used JavaScript code and .SCT files on victim machines.[40][266]

S1050 PcShare

PcShare can execute cmd commands on a compromised host.[69]

S0643 Peppy

Peppy has the ability to execute shell commands.[267]


PHOREAL is capable of creating reverse shell.[192]

S1031 PingPull

PingPull can use cmd.exe to run various commands as a reverse shell.[268]

S0124 Pisloader

Pisloader uses cmd.exe to set the Registry Run key value. It also has a command to spawn a command shell.[269]


PLAINTEE uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[270]


PLEAD has the ability to execute shell commands on the compromised host.[271]

S0013 PlugX

PlugX allows actors to spawn a reverse shell on a victim.[172][272]

S0428 PoetRAT

PoetRAT has called cmd through a Word document macro.[273]

S0012 PoisonIvy

PoisonIvy creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can open a command-line interface.[274]

S0453 Pony

Pony has used batch scripts to delete itself after execution.[275]

S0139 PowerDuke

PowerDuke runs cmd.exe /c and sends the output to its C2.[276]


POWRUNER can execute commands from its C2 server.[251]

S0238 Proxysvc

Proxysvc executes a binary on the system and logs the results into a temp file by using: cmd.exe /c " > %temp%\PM* .tmp 2>&1".[201]

S0147 Pteranodon

Pteranodon can use cmd.exe for execution on victim systems.[144][277]

S1032 PyDCrypt

PyDCrypt has used cmd.exe for execution.[278]

S0650 QakBot

QakBot can use cmd.exe to launch itself and to execute multiple C2 commands.[279][280][281][89]


QUADAGENT uses cmd.exe to execute scripts and commands on the victim’s machine.[254]

S0262 QuasarRAT

QuasarRAT can launch a remote shell to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[282][283]

S0481 Ragnar Locker

Ragnar Locker has used cmd.exe and batch scripts to execute commands.[284]

S0629 RainyDay

RainyDay can use the Windows Command Shell for execution.[243]

G0075 Rancor

Rancor has used cmd.exe to execute commmands.[270]


RATANKBA uses cmd.exe to execute commands.[285][286]

S0662 RCSession

RCSession can use cmd.exe for execution on compromised hosts.[77]

S0495 RDAT

RDAT has executed commands using cmd.exe /c.[287]

S0153 RedLeaves

RedLeaves can receive and execute commands with cmd.exe. It can also provide a reverse shell.[222][288]

S0332 Remcos

Remcos can launch a remote command line to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[289]

S0375 Remexi

Remexi silently executes received commands with cmd.exe.[290]

S0379 Revenge RAT

Revenge RAT uses cmd.exe to execute commands and run scripts on the victim's machine.[291]

S0496 REvil

REvil can use the Windows command line to delete volume shadow copies and disable recovery.[292][293][294][295]

S0258 RGDoor

RGDoor uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[296]

S0448 Rising Sun

Rising Sun has executed commands using cmd.exe /c "<command> > <%temp%>\AM<random>. tmp" 2>&1.[297]

S0400 RobbinHood

RobbinHood uses cmd.exe on the victim's computer.[298]

S0270 RogueRobin

RogueRobin uses Windows Script Components.[299][300]

S0148 RTM

RTM uses the command line and rundll32.exe to execute.[301]

S0253 RunningRAT

RunningRAT uses a batch file to kill a security program task and then attempts to remove itself.[149]

S0446 Ryuk

Ryuk has used cmd.exe to create a Registry entry to establish persistence.[302]

S0085 S-Type

S-Type has provided the ability to execute shell commands on a compromised host.[231]

S1018 Saint Bot

Saint Bot has used cmd.exe and .bat scripts for execution.[118]

S0074 Sakula

Sakula calls cmd.exe to run various DLL files via rundll32 and also to perform file cleanup. Sakula also has the capability to invoke a reverse shell.[303]

S0370 SamSam

SamSam uses custom batch scripts to execute some of its components.[304]

S1099 Samurai

Samurai can use a remote command module for execution via the Windows command line.[305]

S1085 Sardonic

Sardonic has the ability to run cmd.exe or other interactive processes on a compromised computer.[138]

S0461 SDBbot

SDBbot has the ability to use the command shell to execute commands on a compromised host.[306]

S0053 SeaDuke

SeaDuke is capable of executing commands.[307]

S0345 Seasalt

Seasalt uses cmd.exe to create a reverse shell on the infected endpoint.[47]


SEASHARPEE can execute commands on victims.[308]

S0382 ServHelper

ServHelper can execute shell commands against cmd.[309][310]

S0639 Seth-Locker

Seth-Locker can execute commands via the command line shell.[311]

S1019 Shark

Shark has the ability to use CMD to execute commands.[99][312]

S1089 SharpDisco

SharpDisco can use cmd.exe to execute plugins and to send command output to specified SMB shares.[313]

S0546 SharpStage

SharpStage can execute arbitrary commands with the command line.[112][113]

S0444 ShimRat

ShimRat can be issued a command shell function from the C2.[314]

S0610 SideTwist

SideTwist can execute shell commands on a compromised host.[315]

G0091 Silence

Silence has used Windows command-line to run commands.[316][317][318]


SILENTTRINITY can use cmd.exe to enable lateral movement using DCOM.[319]

S0623 Siloscape

Siloscape can run cmd through an IRC channel.[320]


SLOTHFULMEDIA can open a command line to execute commands.[321]

S1035 Small Sieve

Small Sieve can use cmd.exe to execute commands on a victim's system.[322]


SNUGRIDE is capable of executing commands and spawning a reverse shell.[288]

C0024 SolarWinds Compromise

During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 used cmd.exe to execute commands on remote machines.[323][324]

G0054 Sowbug

Sowbug has used command line during its intrusions.[325]

S0543 Spark

Spark can use cmd.exe to run commands.[326]

S0390 SQLRat

SQLRat has used SQL to execute JavaScript and VB scripts on the host system.[133]

S1030 Squirrelwaffle

Squirrelwaffle has used cmd.exe for execution.[327]


STARWHALE has the ability to execute commands via cmd.exe.[328]

S0142 StreamEx

StreamEx has the ability to remotely execute commands.[329]

S1034 StrifeWater

StrifeWater can execute shell commands using cmd.exe.[330]

G0039 Suckfly

Several tools used by Suckfly have been command-line driven.[331]


SUGARUSH has used cmd for execution on an infected host.[332]


SYSCON has the ability to execute commands through cmd on a compromised host.[67]

G0092 TA505

TA505 has executed commands using cmd.exe.[333]

G0127 TA551

TA551 has used cmd.exe to execute commands.[334]

S0011 Taidoor

Taidoor can copy cmd.exe into the system temp folder.[335]


TAINTEDSCRIBE can enable Windows CLI access and execute files.[336]

S1011 Tarrask

Tarrask may abuse the Windows schtasks command-line tool to create "hidden" scheduled tasks.[337]


TDTESS provides a reverse shell on the victim.[338]

G0139 TeamTNT

TeamTNT has used batch scripts to download tools and executing cryptocurrency miners.[339]


TEXTMATE executes cmd.exe to provide a reverse shell to adversaries.[340][341]

G0028 Threat Group-1314

Threat Group-1314 actors spawned shells on remote systems on a victim network to execute commands.[342]

G0027 Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has used command-line interfaces for execution.[73][343]

S0668 TinyTurla

TinyTurla has been installed using a .bat file.[344]

S0004 TinyZBot

TinyZBot supports execution from the command-line.[345]

G1022 ToddyCat

ToddyCat has used .bat scripts and cmd for execution on compromised hosts.[346]

S0266 TrickBot

TrickBot has used macros in Excel documents to download and deploy the malware on the user’s machine.[347]

S0094 Trojan.Karagany

Trojan.Karagany can perform reconnaissance commands on a victim machine via a cmd.exe process.[348]

G0081 Tropic Trooper

Tropic Trooper has used Windows command scripts.[349]

S0436 TSCookie

TSCookie has the ability to execute shell commands on the infected host.[350]

S0647 Turian

Turian can create a remote shell and execute commands using cmd.[351]

G0010 Turla

Turla RPC backdoors have used cmd.exe to execute commands.[352][353]


TURNEDUP is capable of creating a reverse shell.[354]


TYPEFRAME can uninstall malware components using a batch script.[355] TYPEFRAME can execute commands using a shell.[355]

S0333 UBoatRAT

UBoatRAT can start a command shell.[356]

S0221 Umbreon

Umbreon provides access using both standard facilities like SSH and additional access using its backdoor Espeon, providing a reverse shell upon receipt of a special packet[357]


UPPERCUT uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the victim’s machine.[224]

S0022 Uroburos

Uroburos has the ability to use the command line for execution on the targeted system.[358]

S0452 USBferry

USBferry can execute various Windows commands.[349]

S0180 Volgmer

Volgmer can execute commands on the victim's machine.[359][360]

G1017 Volt Typhoon

Volt Typhoon has used the Windows command line to perform hands-on-keyboard activities in targeted environments including for discovery.[361][362][363]

S0670 WarzoneRAT

WarzoneRAT can use cmd.exe to execute malicious code.[364]

S0612 WastedLocker

WastedLocker has used cmd to execute commands on the system.[365]

S0109 WEBC2

WEBC2 can open an interactive command shell.[12]

S0514 WellMess

WellMess can execute command line scripts received from C2.[366]

S0689 WhisperGate

WhisperGate can use cmd.exe to execute commands.[367]

S0206 Wiarp

Wiarp creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can open a command line interface.[368]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has used cmd.exe to execute commands on a victim's machine.[369][370]

S1065 Woody RAT

Woody RAT can execute commands using cmd.exe.[371]

S0653 xCaon

xCaon has a command to start an interactive shell.[58]

S0117 XTunnel

XTunnel has been used to execute remote commands.[372]

S0251 Zebrocy

Zebrocy uses cmd.exe to execute commands on the system.[373][374]

S0330 Zeus Panda

Zeus Panda can launch an interface where it can execute several commands on the victim’s PC.[375]


ZIRCONIUM has used a tool to open a Windows Command Shell on a remote host.[376]

S0086 ZLib

ZLib has the ability to execute shell commands.[231]

S0350 zwShell

zwShell can launch command-line shells.[247]

S0412 ZxShell

ZxShell can launch a reverse command shell.[26][377][378]


ID Mitigation Description
M1038 Execution Prevention

Use application control where appropriate.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0017 Command Command Execution

Monitor executed commands and arguments that may abuse the Windows command shell for execution. Usage of the Windows command shell may be common on administrator, developer, or power user systems depending on job function. If scripting is restricted for normal users, then any attempt to enable scripts running on a system would be considered suspicious. If scripts are not commonly used on a system, but enabled, scripts running out of cycle from patching or other administrator functions are suspicious. Scripts should be captured from the file system when possible to determine their actions and intent.

DS0009 Process Process Creation

Monitor for newly executed processes that may abuse the Windows command shell for execution.

Note: Try an Analytic by creating a baseline of parent processes of cmd seen over the last 30 days and a list of parent processes of cmd seen today. Parent processes in the baseline are removed from the set of parent processes seen today, leaving a list of new parent processes. This analytic attempts to identify suspicious programs spawning cmd by looking for programs that do not normally create cmd.  It is very common for some programs to spawn cmd as a subprocess, for example to run batch files or Windows commands. However, many processes don’t routinely launch a command prompt - e.g., Microsoft Outlook. A command prompt being launched from a process that normally doesn’t launch command prompts could be the result of malicious code being injected into that process, or of an attacker replacing a legitimate program with a malicious one.

Analytic 1 - Unusual Command Execution

(source="WinEventLog:Microsoft-Windows-Sysmon/Operational" EventCode="1") OR (source="WinEventLog:Security" EventCode="4688") AND CommandLine="cmd.exe" AND (CommandLine REGEXP "./c." OR CommandLine REGEXP ".._ \/k.*")


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