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System Service Discovery

Adversaries may try to get information about registered services. Commands that may obtain information about services using operating system utilities are "sc," "tasklist /svc" using Tasklist, and "net start" using Net, but adversaries may also use other tools as well.

ID: T1007
Tactic: Discovery
Platform: Windows
Permissions Required: User, Administrator, SYSTEM
Data Sources: Process monitoring, Process command-line parameters
Version: 1.0

Procedure Examples

Name Description
admin@338 admin@338 actors used the following command following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to obtain information about services: net start >> %temp%\download [33]
APT1 APT1 used the commands net start and tasklist to get a listing of the services on the system. [32]
BBSRAT BBSRAT can query service configuration information. [14]
Comnie Comnie runs the command: net start >> %TEMP%\info.dat on a victim. [16]
Elise Elise executes net start after initial communication is made to the remote server. [4]
Emissary Emissary has the capability to execute the command net start to interact with services. [23]
Epic Epic uses the tasklist /svc command to list the services on the system. [5]
GeminiDuke GeminiDuke collects information on programs and services on the victim that are configured to automatically run at startup. [20]
GravityRAT GravityRAT has a feature to list the available services on the system. [10]
GreyEnergy GreyEnergy enumerates all Windows services. [18]
Hydraq Hydraq creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can monitor services. [6] [7]
HyperBro HyperBro can list all services and their configurations. [28]
InvisiMole InvisiMole can obtain running services on the victim. [24]
Ixeshe Ixeshe can list running services. [27]
JPIN JPIN can list running services. [8]
jRAT jRAT can list local services. [25]
Ke3chang Ke3chang performs service discovery using net start commands. [29]
Kwampirs Kwampirs collects a list of running services with the command tasklist /svc. [21]
Net The net start command can be used in Net to find information about Windows services. [2]
OilRig OilRig has used sc query on a victim to gather information about services. [31]
Poseidon Group After compromising a victim, Poseidon Group discovers all running services. [30]
PoshC2 PoshC2 can enumerate service and service permission information. [3]
RATANKBA RATANKBA uses tasklist /svc to display running tasks. [19]
S-Type S-Type runs the command net start on a victim. [17]
Sykipot Sykipot may use net start to display running services. [22]
SynAck SynAck enumerates all running services. [12] [13]
Tasklist Tasklist can be used to discover services running on a system. [1]
TrickBot TrickBot collects a list of install programs and services on the system’s machine. [11]
Turla Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover running services and associated processes using the tasklist /svc command. [5]
Ursnif Ursnif has gathered information about running services. [26]
Volgmer Volgmer queries the system to identify existing services. [9]
WINERACK WINERACK can enumerate services. [15]
ZLib ZLib has the ability to discover and manipulate Windows services. [17]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as Lateral Movement, based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system information related to services. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.


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  12. Ivanov, A. et al.. (2018, May 7). SynAck targeted ransomware uses the Doppelgänging technique. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  13. Bettencourt, J. (2018, May 7). Kaspersky Lab finds new variant of SynAck ransomware using sophisticated Doppelgänging technique. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. Lee, B. Grunzweig, J. (2015, December 22). BBSRAT Attacks Targeting Russian Organizations Linked to Roaming Tiger. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
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