Event Triggered Execution: Netsh Helper DLL

Adversaries may establish persistence by executing malicious content triggered by Netsh Helper DLLs. Netsh.exe (also referred to as Netshell) is a command-line scripting utility used to interact with the network configuration of a system. It contains functionality to add helper DLLs for extending functionality of the utility.[1] The paths to registered netsh.exe helper DLLs are entered into the Windows Registry at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Netsh.

Adversaries can use netsh.exe helper DLLs to trigger execution of arbitrary code in a persistent manner. This execution would take place anytime netsh.exe is executed, which could happen automatically, with another persistence technique, or if other software (ex: VPN) is present on the system that executes netsh.exe as part of its normal functionality.[2][3]

ID: T1546.007
Sub-technique of:  T1546
Platforms: Windows
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM
Contributors: Matthew Demaske, Adaptforward
Version: 1.0
Created: 24 January 2020
Last Modified: 20 April 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0108 netsh

netsh can be used as a persistence proxy technique to execute a helper DLL when netsh.exe is executed.[3]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0011 Module Module Load
DS0009 Process Process Creation
DS0024 Windows Registry Windows Registry Key Modification

It is likely unusual for netsh.exe to have any child processes in most environments. Monitor process executions and investigate any child processes spawned by netsh.exe for malicious behavior. Monitor the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Netsh registry key for any new or suspicious entries that do not correlate with known system files or benign software.[3]