Evaluate exploit protection
Exploit protection helps protect devices from malware that uses exploits to spread and infect other devices. It consists of a number of mitigations that can be applied to either the operating system or an individual app. Many of the features that were part of the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) are included in exploit protection.
This topic helps you enable exploit protection in audit mode and review related events in Event Viewer. You can enable audit mode for certain app-level mitigations to see how they will work in a test environment. This lets you see a record of what would have happened if you had enabled the mitigation in production. You can make sure it doesn't affect your line-of-business apps, and see which suspicious or malicious events occur.
You can also visit the Windows Defender Testground website at demo.wd.microsoft.com to see how exploit protection works.
Enable exploit protection in audit mode
You can set mitigations in audit mode for specific programs either by using the Windows Security app or PowerShell.
Windows Security app
Open the Windows Security app by clicking the shield icon in the task bar or searching the start menu for Defender.
Click the App & browser control tile (or the app icon on the left menu bar) and then click Exploit protection.
Go to Program settings and choose the app you want to apply mitigations to:
- If the app you want to configure is already listed, click it and then click Edit
- If the app is not listed, at the top of the list click Add program to customize and then choose how you want to add the app:
- Use Add by program name to have the mitigation applied to any running process with that name. You must specify a file with an extension. You can enter a full path to limit the mitigation to only the app with that name in that location.
- Use Choose exact file path to use a standard Windows Explorer file picker window to find and select the file you want.
After selecting the app, you'll see a list of all the mitigations that can be applied. Choosing Audit will apply the mitigation in audit mode only. You will be notified if you need to restart the process or app, or if you need to restart Windows.
Repeat this for all the apps and mitigations you want to configure. Click Apply when you're done setting up your configuration.
To set app-level mitigations to audit mode, use
Set-ProcessMitigation with the Audit mode cmdlet.
Configure each mitigation in the following format:
Set-ProcessMitigation -<scope> <app executable> -<action> <mitigation or options>,<mitigation or options>,<mitigation or options>
-Nameto indicate the mitigations should be applied to a specific app. Specify the app's executable after this flag.
-Enableto enable the mitigation
-Disableto disable the mitigation
- The mitigation's cmdlet as defined in the following table. Each mitigation is separated with a comma.
|Mitigation||Audit mode cmdlet|
|Arbitrary code guard (ACG)||AuditDynamicCode|
|Block low integrity images||AuditImageLoad|
|Block untrusted fonts||AuditFont, FontAuditOnly|
|Code integrity guard||AuditMicrosoftSigned, AuditStoreSigned|
|Disable Win32k system calls||AuditSystemCall|
|Do not allow child processes||AuditChildProcess|
For example, to enable Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG) in audit mode for an app named testing.exe, run the following command:
Set-ProcesMitigation -Name c:\apps\lob\tests\testing.exe -Enable AuditDynamicCode
You can disable audit mode by replacing
Review exploit protection audit events
To review which apps would have been blocked, open Event Viewer and filter for the following events in the Security-Mitigations log.
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||1||ACG audit|
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||3||Do not allow child processes audit|
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||5||Block low integrity images audit|
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||7||Block remote images audit|
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||9||Disable win32k system calls audit|
|Exploit protection||Security-Mitigations (Kernel Mode/User Mode)||11||Code integrity guard audit|
- Comparison with Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit
- Enable exploit protection
- Configure and audit exploit protection mitigations
- Import, export, and deploy exploit protection configurations
- Troubleshoot exploit protection
- Enable network protection
- Enable controlled folder access
- Enable attack surface reduction
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