Hide Artifacts: NTFS File Attributes
Adversaries may use NTFS file attributes to hide their malicious data in order to evade detection. Every New Technology File System (NTFS) formatted partition contains a Master File Table (MFT) that maintains a record for every file/directory on the partition.  Within MFT entries are file attributes,  such as Extended Attributes (EA) and Data [known as Alternate Data Streams (ADSs) when more than one Data attribute is present], that can be used to store arbitrary data (and even complete files).    
Adversaries may store malicious data or binaries in file attribute metadata instead of directly in files. This may be done to evade some defenses, such as static indicator scanning tools and anti-virus.  
|Restrict File and Directory Permissions||
Consider adjusting read and write permissions for NTFS EA, though this should be tested to ensure routine OS operations are not impeded. 
Forensic techniques exist to identify information stored in NTFS EA.  Monitor calls to the
ZwQueryEaFile Windows API functions as well as binaries used to interact with EA,   and consider regularly scanning for the presence of modified information. 
There are many ways to create and interact with ADSs using Windows utilities. Monitor for operations (execution, copies, etc.) with file names that contain colons. This syntax (ex:
file.ext:ads[.ext]) is commonly associated with ADSs.    For a more exhaustive list of utilities that can be used to execute and create ADSs, see https://gist.github.com/api0cradle/cdd2d0d0ec9abb686f0e89306e277b8f.
The Streams tool of Sysinternals can be used to uncover files with ADSs. The
dir /r command can also be used to display ADSs.  Many PowerShell commands (such as Get-Item, Set-Item, Remove-Item, and Get-ChildItem) can also accept a
-stream parameter to interact with ADSs.  
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