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Data from Removable Media

Sensitive data can be collected from any removable media (optical disk drive, USB memory, etc.) connected to the compromised system prior to Exfiltration.

Adversaries may search connected removable media on computers they have compromised to find files of interest. Interactive command shells may be in use, and common functionality within cmd may be used to gather information. Some adversaries may also use Automated Collection on removable media.

ID: T1025
Tactic: Collection
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows
System Requirements: Privileges to access removable media drive and files
Data Sources: File monitoring, Process monitoring, Process command-line parameters
Version: 1.0
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 17 October 2018

Procedure Examples

Name Description

An APT28 backdoor may collect the entire contents of an inserted USB device.[12]


BADNEWS copies files with certain extensions from USB devices toa predefined directory.[9]


CosmicDuke steals user files from removable media with file extensions and keywords that match a predefined list.[4]


Crimson contains a module to collect data from removable drives.[10]


FLASHFLOOD searches for interesting files (either a default or customized set of file extensions) on removable media and copies them to a staging area. The default file types copied would include data copied to the drive by SPACESHIP.[5]

Gamaredon Group

A Gamaredon Group file stealer has the capability to steal data from newly connected logical volumes on a system, including USB drives.[13]


GravityRAT steals files based on an extension list if a USB drive is connected to the system.[3]


Machete copies files from newly inserted drives. [11]


Machete had a module in its malware to find, encrypt, and upload files from fixed and removable drives.[16]


Prikormka contains a module that collects documents with certain extensions from removable media or fixed drives connected via USB.[6]


Remsec has a package that collects documents from any inserted USB sticks.[8]


Rover searches for files on attached removable drives based on a predefined list of file extensions every five seconds.[7]


Turla RPC backdoors can collect files from USB thumb drives.[14][15]


Once a removable media device is inserted back into the first victim, USBStealer collects data from it that was exfiltrated from a second victim.[1][2]


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


Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to collect files from a system's connected removable media. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather data. Data may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.