Protect devices from exploits with Windows Defender Exploit Guard
- Windows 10, version 1709
- Enterprise security administrators
Manageability available with
- Windows Defender Security Center app
- Group Policy
Exploit protection automatically applies a number of exploit mitigation techniques on both the operating system processes and on individual apps.
It is part of Windows Defender Exploit Guard.
You can also visit the Windows Defender Testground website at demo.wd.microsoft.com to confirm the feature is working and see how it works.
Exploit protection works best with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection - which gives you detailed reporting into Windows Defender EG events and blocks as part of the usual alert investigation scenarios.
You configure these settings using the Windows Defender Security Center app or PowerShell on an individual machine, and then export the configuration as an XML file that you can deploy to other machines. You can use Group Policy to distribute the XML file to multiple devices at once.
When a mitigation is encountered on the machine, a notification will be displayed from the Action Center. You can customize the notification with your company details and contact information. You can also enable the rules individually to customize what techniques the feature monitors.
You can also use audit mode to evaluate how Exploit protection would impact your organization if it were enabled.
Many of the features in the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) have been included in Exploit protection, and you can convert and import existing EMET configuration profiles into Exploit protection. See the Comparison between Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit and Windows Defender Exploit Guard topic for more information on how Exploit protection supersedes EMET and what the benefits are when considering moving to Exploit protection on Windows 10.
If you are currently using EMET you should be aware that EMET will reach end of life on July 31, 2018. You should consider replacing EMET with Exploit protection in Windows 10. You can convert an existing EMET configuration file into Exploit protection to make the migration easier and keep your existing settings.
Some security mitigation technologies may have compatibility issues with some applications. You should test Exploit protection in all target use scenarios by using audit mode before deploying the configuration across a production environment or the rest of your network.
The following requirements must be met before Exploit protection will work:
|Windows 10 version||Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection|
|Insider Preview build 16232 or later (dated July 1, 2017 or later)||For full reporting you need a license for Windows Defender ATP|
Review Exploit protection events in Windows Event Viewer
You can review the Windows event log to see events that are created when Exploit protection blocks (or audits) an app:
Download the Exploit Guard Evaluation Package and extract the file ep-events.xml to an easily accessible location on the machine.
Type Event viewer in the Start menu to open the Windows Event Viewer.
On the left panel, under Actions, click Import custom view...
Navigate to where you extracted ep-events.xml and select it. Alternatively, copy the XML directly.
This will create a custom view that filters to only show the following events related to Exploit protection:
|Security-Mitigations||3||Do not allow child processes audit|
|Security-Mitigations||4||Do not allow child processes block|
|Security-Mitigations||5||Block low integrity images audit|
|Security-Mitigations||6||Block low integrity images block|
|Security-Mitigations||7||Block remote images audit|
|Security-Mitigations||8||Block remote images block|
|Security-Mitigations||9||Disable win32k system calls audit|
|Security-Mitigations||10||Disable win32k system calls block|
|Security-Mitigations||11||Code integrity guard audit|
|Security-Mitigations||12||Code integrity guard block|
|Security-Mitigations||19||ROP StackPivot audit|
|Security-Mitigations||20||ROP StackPivot enforce|
|Security-Mitigations||21||ROP CallerCheck audit|
|Security-Mitigations||22||ROP CallerCheck enforce|
|Security-Mitigations||23||ROP SimExec audit|
|Security-Mitigations||24||ROP SimExec enforce|
In this section
|Comparison with Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit||Many of the features in the EMET are now included in Exploit protection. This topic identifies those features and explains how the features have changed or evolved.|
|Evaluate Exploit protection||Undertake a demo scenario to see how Exploit protection mitigations can protect your network from malicious and suspicious behavior.|
|Enable Exploit protection||Use Group Policy or PowerShell to enable and manage Exploit protection in your network.|
|Customize and configure Exploit protection||Configure mitigations for the operating system and for individual apps.|
|Import, export, and deploy Exploit protection configurations||Export, import, and deploy the settings across your organization. You can also convert an existing EMET configuration profile and import it into Exploit protection.|