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Remote System Discovery

Adversaries will likely attempt to get a listing of other systems by IP address, hostname, or other logical identifier on a network that may be used for Lateral Movement from the current system. Functionality could exist within remote access tools to enable this, but utilities available on the operating system could also be used. Adversaries may also use local host files in order to discover the hostname to IP address mappings of remote systems.

Windows

Examples of tools and commands that acquire this information include "ping" or "net view" using Net. The contents of the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts file can be viewed to gain insight into the existing hostname to IP mappings on the system.

Mac

Specific to Mac, the bonjour protocol to discover additional Mac-based systems within the same broadcast domain. Utilities such as "ping" and others can be used to gather information about remote systems. The contents of the /etc/hosts file can be viewed to gain insight into existing hostname to IP mappings on the system.

Linux

Utilities such as "ping" and others can be used to gather information about remote systems. The contents of the /etc/hosts file can be viewed to gain insight into existing hostname to IP mappings on the system.

ID: T1018
Tactic: Discovery
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows
Permissions Required: User, Administrator, SYSTEM
Data Sources: Network protocol analysis, Process monitoring, Process use of network, Process command-line parameters
Contributors: RedHuntLabs (@redhuntlabs)
Version: 1.1

Procedure Examples

Name Description
APT3 APT3 has a tool that can detect the existence of remote systems. [15] [25]
APT32 APT32 used the net view command to show all shares available, including the administrative shares such as C$ and ADMIN$. APT32 also used the ping command. [26]
BRONZE BUTLER BRONZE BUTLER typically use ping and Net to enumerate systems. [27]
Carbon Carbon uses the net view command. [12]
Cobalt Strike Cobalt Strike uses the native Windows Network Enumeration APIs to interrogate and discover targets in a Windows Active Directory network. [3]
Comnie Comnie runs the net view command
Deep Panda Deep Panda has used ping to identify other machines of interest. [22]
Dragonfly 2.0 Dragonfly 2.0 likely obtained a list of hosts in the victim environment. [21]
Epic Epic uses the net view command on the victim’s machine. [7]
FIN5 FIN5 has used the open source tool Essential NetTools to map the network and build a list of targets. [23]
FIN6 FIN6 used publicly available tools (including Microsoft's built-in SQL querying tool, osql.exe) to map the internal network and conduct reconnaissance against Active Directory, Structured Query Language (SQL) servers, and NetBIOS. [20]
FIN8 FIN8 uses dsquery and other Active Directory utilities to enumerate hosts. [28]
Ke3chang Ke3chang has used network scanning and enumeration tools, including Ping. [24]
Kwampirs Kwampirs collects a list of available servers with the command net view. [10]
Leafminer Leafminer used Microsoft’s Sysinternals tools to gather detailed information about remote systems. [31]
menuPass menuPass uses scripts to enumerate IP ranges on the victim network. menuPass has also issued the command net view /domain to a PlugX implant to gather information about remote systems on the network. [29] [30]
MURKYTOP MURKYTOP has the capability to identify remote hosts on connected networks. [8]
Net Commands such as net view can be used in Net to gather information about available remote systems. [1]
njRAT njRAT can identify remote hosts on connected networks. [18]
Nltest Nltest may be used to enumerate remote domain controllers using options such as /dclist and /dsgetdc. [4]
Olympic Destroyer Olympic Destroyer uses Windows Management Instrumentation to enumerate all systems in the network. [16]
OSInfo OSInfo performs a connection test to discover remote systems in the network [15]
Ping Ping can be used to identify remote systems within a network. [2]
RATANKBA RATANKBA runs the net view /domain and net view commands. [11]
Remsec Remsec can ping or traceroute a remote host. [14]
Shamoon Shamoon scans the C-class subnet of the IPs on the victim's interfaces. [9]
SHOTPUT SHOTPUT has a command to list all servers in the domain, as well as one to locate domain controllers on a domain. [6]
Soft Cell Soft Cell used a modified version of nbtscan to identify available NetBIOS name servers over the network as well as ping to identify remote systems. [32]
Sykipot Sykipot may use net view /domain to display hostnames of available systems on a network. [13]
Threat Group-3390 Threat Group-3390 has used the net view command. [19]
Turla Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover remote systems on a local network using the net view and net view /DOMAIN commands. [7]
WannaCry WannaCry scans its local network segment for remote systems to try to exploit and copy itself to. [17]
yty yty uses the net view command for discovery. [5]

Mitigations

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

Detection

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.

Normal, benign system and network events related to legitimate remote system discovery may be uncommon, depending on the environment and how they are used. Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. 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.

References

  1. Savill, J. (1999, March 4). Net.exe reference. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  2. Microsoft. (n.d.). Ping. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  3. Strategic Cyber LLC. (2017, March 14). Cobalt Strike Manual. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  4. ss64. (n.d.). NLTEST.exe - Network Location Test. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  5. Schwarz, D., Sopko J. (2018, March 08). Donot Team Leverages New Modular Malware Framework in South Asia. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  6. Falcone, R. and Wartell, R.. (2015, July 27). Observations on CVE-2015-3113, Prior Zero-Days and the Pirpi Payload. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  7. Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team. (2014, August 7). The Epic Turla Operation: Solving some of the mysteries of Snake/Uroburos. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  8. FireEye. (2018, March 16). Suspected Chinese Cyber Espionage Group (TEMP.Periscope) Targeting U.S. Engineering and Maritime Industries. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  9. FireEye. (2016, November 30). FireEye Responds to Wave of Destructive Cyber Attacks in Gulf Region. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  10. Symantec Security Response Attack Investigation Team. (2018, April 23). New Orangeworm attack group targets the healthcare sector in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. Trend Micro. (2017, February 27). RATANKBA: Delving into Large-scale Watering Holes against Enterprises. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  12. GovCERT. (2016, May 23). Technical Report about the Espionage Case at RUAG. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  13. Blasco, J. (2011, December 12). Another Sykipot sample likely targeting US federal agencies. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  14. Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team. (2016, August 9). The ProjectSauron APT. Technical Analysis. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  15. Symantec Security Response. (2016, September 6). Buckeye cyberespionage group shifts gaze from US to Hong Kong. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  16. Mercer, W. and Rascagneres, P. (2018, February 12). Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim At Winter Olympics. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  1. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, May 18). WCry Ransomware Analysis. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  2. Fidelis Cybersecurity. (2013, June 28). Fidelis Threat Advisory #1009: "njRAT" Uncovered. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  3. Pantazopoulos, N., Henry T. (2018, May 18). Emissary Panda – A potential new malicious tool. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  4. FireEye Threat Intelligence. (2016, April). Follow the Money: Dissecting the Operations of the Cyber Crime Group FIN6. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  5. US-CERT. (2018, March 16). Alert (TA18-074A): Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  6. Alperovitch, D. (2014, July 7). Deep in Thought: Chinese Targeting of National Security Think Tanks. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  7. Bromiley, M. and Lewis, P. (2016, October 7). Attacking the Hospitality and Gaming Industries: Tracking an Attacker Around the World in 7 Years. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  8. Smallridge, R. (2018, March 10). APT15 is alive and strong: An analysis of RoyalCli and RoyalDNS. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. Chen, X., Scott, M., Caselden, D.. (2014, April 26). New Zero-Day Exploit targeting Internet Explorer Versions 9 through 11 Identified in Targeted Attacks. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  10. Dahan, A. (2017). Operation Cobalt Kitty. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  11. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, October 12). BRONZE BUTLER Targets Japanese Enterprises. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  12. Elovitz, S. & Ahl, I. (2016, August 18). Know Your Enemy: New Financially-Motivated & Spear-Phishing Group. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  13. PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper: Technical Annex. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  14. FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence. (2017, April 6). APT10 (MenuPass Group): New Tools, Global Campaign Latest Manifestation of Longstanding Threat. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  15. Symantec Security Response. (2018, July 25). Leafminer: New Espionage Campaigns Targeting Middle Eastern Regions. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  16. Cybereason Nocturnus. (2019, June 25). Operation Soft Cell: A Worldwide Campaign Against Telecommunications Providers. Retrieved July 18, 2019.