- File and Directory Permissions Modification
- Windows File and Directory Permissions Modification
File and Directory Permissions Modification: Windows File and Directory Permissions Modification
Other sub-techniques of File and Directory Permissions Modification (2)
|T1222.001||Windows File and Directory Permissions Modification|
|T1222.002||Linux and Mac File and Directory Permissions Modification|
Adversaries may modify file or directory permissions/attributes to evade access control lists (ACLs) and access protected files. File and directory permissions are commonly managed by ACLs configured by the file or directory owner, or users with the appropriate permissions. File and directory ACL implementations vary by platform, but generally explicitly designate which users or groups can perform which actions (read, write, execute, etc.).
Windows implements file and directory ACLs as Discretionary Access Control Lists (DACLs). Similar to a standard ACL, DACLs identifies the accounts that are allowed or denied access to a securable object. When an attempt is made to access a securable object, the system checks the access control entries in the DACL in order. If a matching entry is found, access to the object is granted. Otherwise, access is denied.
Adversaries can interact with the DACLs using built-in Windows commands, such as
attrib, which can grant adversaries higher permissions on specific files and folders. Further, PowerShell provides cmdlets that can be used to retrieve or modify file and directory DACLs. Specific file and directory modifications may be a required step for many techniques, such as establishing Persistence via Accessibility Features, Boot or Logon Initialization Scripts, or tainting/hijacking other instrumental binary/configuration files via Hijack Execution Flow.
|Privileged Account Management||
Ensure critical system files as well as those known to be abused by adversaries have restrictive permissions and are owned by an appropriately privileged account, especially if access is not required by users nor will inhibit system functionality.
|Restrict File and Directory Permissions||
Applying more restrictive permissions to files and directories could prevent adversaries from modifying the access control lists.
Monitor and investigate attempts to modify DACLs and file/directory ownership. Many of the commands used to modify DACLs and file/directory ownership are built-in system utilities and may generate a high false positive alert rate, so compare against baseline knowledge for how systems are typically used and correlate modification events with other indications of malicious activity where possible.
Consider enabling file/directory permission change auditing on folders containing key binary/configuration files. For example, Windows Security Log events (Event ID 4670) are created when DACLs are modified.
- Hybrid Analysis. (2018, June 12). c9b65b764985dfd7a11d3faf599c56b8.exe. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Hybrid Analysis. (2018, May 30). 2a8efbfadd798f6111340f7c1c956bee.dll. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Microsoft. (2018, May 30). DACLs and ACEs. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- M. Satran, M. Jacobs. (2018, May 30). Access Control Lists. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting Team. (2016, April 29). PLATINUM: Targeted attacks in South and Southeast Asia. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Noerenberg, E., Costis, A., and Quist, N. (2017, May 16). A Technical Analysis of WannaCry Ransomware. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- Netsurion. (2014, February 19). Monitoring File Permission Changes with the Windows Security Log. Retrieved August 19, 2018.