Attack surface reduction rules demonstrations

Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) rules target specific behaviors that are typically used by malware and malicious apps to infect machines, such as:

  • Executable files and scripts used in Office apps or web mail that attempt to download or run files
  • Scripts that are obfuscated or otherwise suspicious
  • Behaviors that apps undertake that aren't initiated during normal day-to-day work

Scenario requirements and setup

  • Windows 10 1709 build 16273
  • Windows 10 1803 build (1803 rules)
  • Microsoft Defender AV
  • Microsoft Office (required for Office rules and sample)
  • Download ASR PowerShell scripts

PowerShell commands

Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids BE9BA2D9-53EA-4CDC-84E5-9B1EEEE46550 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D4F940AB-401B-4EfC-AADC-AD5F3C50688A -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 3B576869-A4EC-4529-8536-B80A7769E899 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 75668C1F-73B5-4CF0-BB93-3ECF5CB7CC84 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D3E037E1-3EB8-44C8-A917-57927947596D -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 5BEB7EFE-FD9A-4556-801D-275E5FFC04CC -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 92E97FA1-2EDF-4476-BDD6-9DD0B4DDDC7B -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D1E49AAC-8F56-4280-B9BA-993A6D77406C -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids B2B3F03D-6A65-4F7B-A9C7-1C7EF74A9BA4 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids C1DB55AB-C21A-4637-BB3F-A12568109D35 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 01443614-CD74-433A-B99E-2ECDC07BFC25 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 26190899-1602-49E8-8B27-EB1D0A1CE869 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions AuditMode
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 7674BA52-37EB-4A4F-A9A1-F0F9A1619A2C -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions AuditMode

Rule states

State Mode Numeric value
Disabled = Off 0
Enabled = Block mode 1
Audit = Audit mode 2

Verify configuration


Test files

Note - some test files have multiple exploits embedded and will trigger multiple rules

Rule name Rule GUID Windows version
Block executable content from email client and webmail BE9BA2D9-53EA-4CDC-84E5-9B1EEEE46550 1709
Block Office applications from creating child processes D4F940AB-401B-4EFC-AADC-AD5F3C50688A 1709
Block Office applications from creating executable content 3B576869-A4EC-4529-8536-B80A7769E899 1709
Block Office applications from injecting into other processes 75668C1F-73B5-4CF0-BB93-3ECF5CB7CC84 1709
Impede JavaScript and VBScript to launch executables D3E037E1-3EB8-44C8-A917-57927947596D 1709
Block execution of potentially obfuscated scripts 5BEB7EFE-FD9A-4556-801D-275E5FFC04CC 1709
Block Win32 imports from Macro code in Office 92E97FA1-2EDF-4476-BDD6-9DD0B4DDDC7B 1709
{Block Process Creations originating from PSExec & WMI commands D1E49AAC-8F56-4280-B9BA-993A6D77406C 1803
Block Execution of untrusted or unsigned executables inside removable USB media B2B3F03D-6A65-4F7B-A9C7-1C7EF74A9BA4 1803
Aggressive Ransomware Prevention C1DB55AB-C21A-4637-BB3F-A12568109D35 1803
Block executable files from running unless they meet a prevalence, age, or trusted list criteria 01443614-CD74-433A-B99E-2ECDC07BFC25 1803
Block Adobe Reader from creating child processes 7674ba52-37eb-4a4f-a9a1-f0f9a1619a2c 1803



Download and run this setup script. Before running the script set execution policy to Unrestricted using this PowerShell command:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

You can perform these manual steps instead:

  1. Create a folder under c: named demo, "c:\demo"
  2. Save this clean file into c:\demo.
  3. Enable all rules using the powershell commands above.

Scenario 1: ASR blocks a test file with multiple vulnerabilities

  1. Enable all rules in block mode using the PowerShell commands above (you can copy paste all)
  2. Download and open any of the test file/documents linked above, enable editing and content if prompted.

Scenario 1 expected results

You should immediately see an "Action blocked" notification.

Scenario 2: ASR rule blocks the test file with the corresponding vulnerability

  1. Configure the rule you want to test using the PowerShell command from above.
  2. Example: Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D4F940AB-401B-4EfC-AADC-AD5F3C50688A -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
  3. Download and open the test file/document for the rule you want to test linked above, enable editing and content if prompted
  4. Example: Block Office applications from creating child processes D4F940AB-401B-4EFC-AADC-AD5F3C50688A

Scenario 2 expected results

You should immediately see an "Action blocked" notification.

Scenario 3 (1803): ASR rule blocks unsigned USB content from executing

  1. Configure the rule for USB protection (B2B3F03D-6A65-4F7B-A9C7-1C7EF74A9BA4).
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids B2B3F03D-6A65-4F7B-A9C7-1C7EF74A9BA4 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Enabled
  1. Download the file and put it on a USB stick and execute it Block Execution of untrusted or unsigned executables inside removable USB media

Scenario 3 expected results

You should immediately see an "Action blocked" notification.

Scenario 4: What would happen without ASR

  1. Turn off all ASR rules using PowerShell commands below in the cleanup section
  2. Download any test file/document linked above, enable editing and content if prompted

Scenario 4 expected results

  • The files in c:\demo will be encrypted and you should get a warning message
  • Execute the test file again to decrypt the files


Download and run this clean-up script

Alternately, you can perform these manual steps:

Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids BE9BA2D9-53EA-4CDC-84E5-9B1EEEE46550 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D4F940AB-401B-4EfC-AADC-AD5F3C50688A -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 3B576869-A4EC-4529-8536-B80A7769E899 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 75668C1F-73B5-4CF0-BB93-3ECF5CB7CC84 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D3E037E1-3EB8-44C8-A917-57927947596D -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 5BEB7EFE-FD9A-4556-801D-275E5FFC04CC -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 92E97FA1-2EDF-4476-BDD6-9DD0B4DDDC7B -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids D1E49AAC-8F56-4280-B9BA-993A6D77406C -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids B2B3F03D-6A65-4F7B-A9C7-1C7EF74A9BA4 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids C1DB55AB-C21A-4637-BB3F-A12568109D35 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 01443614-CD74-433A-B99E-2ECDC07BFC25 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 26190899-1602-49E8-8B27-EB1D0A1CE869 -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled
Add-MpPreference -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Ids 7674BA52-37EB-4A4F-A9A1-F0F9A1619A2C -AttackSurfaceReductionRules_Actions Disabled

Cleanup c:\demo encryption run the encrypt/decrypt file

See also

Attack surface reduction rules deployment guide

Attack surface reduction rules reference

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint - demonstration scenarios