Initial Access

The adversary is trying to get into your network.

Initial Access consists of techniques that use various entry vectors to gain their initial foothold within a network. Techniques used to gain a foothold include targeted spearphishing and exploiting weaknesses on public-facing web servers. Footholds gained through initial access may allow for continued access, like valid accounts and use of external remote services, or may be limited-use due to changing passwords.

ID: TA0001
Created: 17 October 2018
Last Modified: 19 July 2019

Techniques

Techniques: 9
ID Name Description
T1189 Drive-by Compromise Adversaries may gain access to a system through a user visiting a website over the normal course of browsing. With this technique, the user's web browser is typically targeted for exploitation, but adversaries may also use compromised websites for non-exploitation behavior such as acquiring Application Access Token.
T1190 Exploit Public-Facing Application Adversaries may attempt to take advantage of a weakness in an Internet-facing computer or program using software, data, or commands in order to cause unintended or unanticipated behavior. The weakness in the system can be a bug, a glitch, or a design vulnerability. These applications are often websites, but can include databases (like SQL), standard services (like SMB or SSH), network device administration and management protocols (like SNMP and Smart Install), and any other applications with Internet accessible open sockets, such as web servers and related services. Depending on the flaw being exploited this may include Exploitation for Defense Evasion.
T1133 External Remote Services Adversaries may leverage external-facing remote services to initially access and/or persist within a network. Remote services such as VPNs, Citrix, and other access mechanisms allow users to connect to internal enterprise network resources from external locations. There are often remote service gateways that manage connections and credential authentication for these services. Services such as Windows Remote Management can also be used externally.
T1200 Hardware Additions Adversaries may introduce computer accessories, computers, or networking hardware into a system or network that can be used as a vector to gain access. While public references of usage by APT groups are scarce, many penetration testers leverage hardware additions for initial access. Commercial and open source products are leveraged with capabilities such as passive network tapping , man-in-the middle encryption breaking , keystroke injection , kernel memory reading via DMA , adding new wireless access to an existing network , and others.
T1566 Phishing Adversaries may send phishing messages to gain access to victim systems. All forms of phishing are electronically delivered social engineering. Phishing can be targeted, known as spearphishing. In spearphishing, a specific individual, company, or industry will be targeted by the adversary. More generally, adversaries can conduct non-targeted phishing, such as in mass malware spam campaigns.
.001 Spearphishing Attachment Adversaries may send spearphishing emails with a malicious attachment in an attempt to gain access to victim systems. Spearphishing attachment is a specific variant of spearphishing. Spearphishing attachment is different from other forms of spearphishing in that it employs the use of malware attached to an email. All forms of spearphishing are electronically delivered social engineering targeted at a specific individual, company, or industry. In this scenario, adversaries attach a file to the spearphishing email and usually rely upon User Execution to gain execution. Spearphishing may also involve social engineering techniques, such as posing as a trusted source.
.002 Spearphishing Link Adversaries may send spearphishing emails with a malicious link in an attempt to gain access to victim systems. Spearphishing with a link is a specific variant of spearphishing. It is different from other forms of spearphishing in that it employs the use of links to download malware contained in email, instead of attaching malicious files to the email itself, to avoid defenses that may inspect email attachments. Spearphishing may also involve social engineering techniques, such as posing as a trusted source.
.003 Spearphishing via Service Adversaries may send spearphishing messages via third-party services in an attempt to gain access to victim systems. Spearphishing via service is a specific variant of spearphishing. It is different from other forms of spearphishing in that it employs the use of third party services rather than directly via enterprise email channels.
T1091 Replication Through Removable Media Adversaries may move onto systems, possibly those on disconnected or air-gapped networks, by copying malware to removable media and taking advantage of Autorun features when the media is inserted into a system and executes. In the case of Lateral Movement, this may occur through modification of executable files stored on removable media or by copying malware and renaming it to look like a legitimate file to trick users into executing it on a separate system. In the case of Initial Access, this may occur through manual manipulation of the media, modification of systems used to initially format the media, or modification to the media's firmware itself.
T1195 Supply Chain Compromise Adversaries may manipulate products or product delivery mechanisms prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise.
.001 Compromise Software Dependencies and Development Tools Adversaries may manipulate software dependencies and development tools prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise. Applications often depend on external software to function properly. Popular open source projects that are used as dependencies in many applications may be targeted as a means to add malicious code to users of the dependency.
.002 Compromise Software Supply Chain Adversaries may manipulate application software prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise. Supply chain compromise of software can take place in a number of ways, including manipulation of the application source code, manipulation of the update/distribution mechanism for that software, or replacing compiled releases with a modified version.
.003 Compromise Hardware Supply Chain Adversaries may manipulate hardware components in products prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise. By modifying hardware or firmware in the supply chain, adversaries can insert a backdoor into consumer networks that may be difficult to detect and give the adversary a high degree of control over the system. Hardware backdoors may be inserted into various devices, such as servers, workstations, network infrastructure, or peripherals.
T1199 Trusted Relationship Adversaries may breach or otherwise leverage organizations who have access to intended victims. Access through trusted third party relationship exploits an existing connection that may not be protected or receives less scrutiny than standard mechanisms of gaining access to a network.
T1078 Valid Accounts Adversaries may obtain and abuse credentials of existing accounts as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. Compromised credentials may be used to bypass access controls placed on various resources on systems within the network and may even be used for persistent access to remote systems and externally available services, such as VPNs, Outlook Web Access and remote desktop. Compromised credentials may also grant an adversary increased privilege to specific systems or access to restricted areas of the network. Adversaries may choose not to use malware or tools in conjunction with the legitimate access those credentials provide to make it harder to detect their presence.
.001 Default Accounts Adversaries may obtain and abuse credentials of a default account as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. Default accounts are those that are built-into an OS, such as the Guest or Administrator accounts on Windows systems. Default accounts also include default factory/provider set accounts on other types of systems, software, or devices, including the root user account in AWS and the default service account in Kubernetes.
.002 Domain Accounts Adversaries may obtain and abuse credentials of a domain account as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. Domain accounts are those managed by Active Directory Domain Services where access and permissions are configured across systems and services that are part of that domain. Domain accounts can cover users, administrators, and services.
.003 Local Accounts Adversaries may obtain and abuse credentials of a local account as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. Local accounts are those configured by an organization for use by users, remote support, services, or for administration on a single system or service.
.004 Cloud Accounts Adversaries may obtain and abuse credentials of a cloud account as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. Cloud accounts are those created and configured by an organization for use by users, remote support, services, or for administration of resources within a cloud service provider or SaaS application. In some cases, cloud accounts may be federated with traditional identity management system, such as Window Active Directory.