Graphical User Interface

Adversaries may attempt to gain access to a machine via a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to enhance execution capabilities. Access to a GUI allows a user to interact with a computer in a more visual manner than a CLI. A GUI allows users to move a cursor and click on interface objects, with a mouse and keyboard as the main input devices, as opposed to just using the keyboard. If physical access is not an option, then access might be possible via protocols such as VNC on Linux-based and Unix-based operating systems, and RDP on Windows operating systems. An adversary can use this access to execute programs and applications on the target machine. In the Oldsmar water treatment attack, adversaries utilized the operator HMI interface through the graphical user interface. This action led to immediate operator detection as they were able to see the adversary making changes on their screen. [1]

ID: T0823
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Execution
Platforms: Human-Machine Interface
Version: 1.0
Created: 21 May 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0034 Sandworm Team

In the Ukraine 2015 Incident, Sandworm Team utilized HMI GUIs in the SCADA environment to open breakers. [2]


ID Mitigation Description
M0816 Mitigation Limited or Not Effective

Once an adversary has access to a remote GUI they can abuse system features, such as required HMI functions.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content
Network Traffic Flow
DS0009 Process Process Creation