The sub-techniques beta is now live! Read the release blog post for more info.


ZLib is a full-featured backdoor that was used as a second-stage implant by Dust Storm from 2014 to 2015. It is malware and should not be confused with the compression library from which its name is derived. [1]

ID: S0086
Platforms: Windows
Version: 1.0
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 17 October 2018

Techniques Used

Domain ID Name Use
Enterprise T1059 Command-Line Interface

ZLib has the ability to execute shell commands.[1]

Enterprise T1002 Data Compressed

The ZLib backdoor compresses communications using the standard Zlib compression library.[1]

Enterprise T1083 File and Directory Discovery

ZLib has the ability to enumerate files and drives.[1]

Enterprise T1036 Masquerading

ZLib mimics the resource version information of legitimate Realtek Semiconductor, Nvidia, or Synaptics modules.[1]

Enterprise T1050 New Service

ZLib creates Registry keys to allow itself to run as various services.[1]

Enterprise T1105 Remote File Copy

ZLib has the ability to download files.[1]

Enterprise T1113 Screen Capture

ZLib has the ability to obtain screenshots of the compromised system.[1]

Enterprise T1071 Standard Application Layer Protocol

ZLib communicates over HTTP for C2.[1]

Enterprise T1082 System Information Discovery

ZLib has the ability to enumerate system information.[1]

Enterprise T1007 System Service Discovery

ZLib has the ability to discover and manipulate Windows services.[1]

Groups That Use This Software

ID Name References
G0031 Dust Storm [1]