Network Service Scanning

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of services running on remote hosts, including those that may be vulnerable to remote software exploitation. Methods to acquire this information include port scans and vulnerability scans using tools that are brought onto a system.

ID: T1046

Tactic: Discovery

Platform:  Linux, Windows, macOS

Permissions Required:  Administrator, SYSTEM, User

Data Sources:  Netflow/Enclave netflow, Network protocol analysis, Packet capture, Process command-line parameters, Process use of network

Version: 1.0

Examples

NameDescription
APT32

APT32 performed network scanning on the network to search for open ports, services, OS finger-printing, and other vulnerabilities.[1]

APT39

APT39 used a custom port scanner known as BLUETORCH[2]

BlackEnergy

BlackEnergy has conducted port scans on a host.[3]

China Chopper

China Chopper's server component can spider authentication portals.[4]

Cobalt Group

Cobalt Group leveraged an open-source tool called SoftPerfect Network Scanner to perform network scanning.[5][6][7]

Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can perform port scans from an infected host.[8]

Empire

Empire can perform port scans from an infected host.[9]

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.[10]

HDoor

HDoor scans to identify open ports on the victim.[11]

Koadic

Koadic can scan for open TCP ports on the target network.[12]

Leafminer

Leafminer scanned network services to search for vulnerabilities in the victim system.[13]

menuPass

menuPass has used tcping.exe, similar to Ping, to probe port status on systems of interest.[14]

MURKYTOP

MURKYTOP has the capability to scan for open ports on hosts in a connected network.[4]

OilRig

OilRig has used the publicly available tool SoftPerfect Network Scanner as well as a custom tool called GOLDIRONY to conduct network scanning.[15]

PoshC2

PoshC2 can perform port scans from an infected host.[16]

Pupy

Pupy has a built-in module for port scanning.[17]

Remsec

Remsec has a plugin that can perform ARP scanning as well as port scanning.[18]

SpeakUp

SpeakUp checks for availability of specific ports on servers.[19]

Suckfly

Suckfly the victim's internal network for hosts with ports 8080, 5900, and 40 open.[20]

Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 actors use the Hunter tool to conduct network service discovery for vulnerable systems.[21]

Xbash

Xbash can perform port scanning of TCP and UDP ports.[22]

XTunnel

XTunnel is capable of probing the network for open ports.[23]

Mitigation

Use network intrusion detection/prevention systems to detect and prevent remote service scans. Ensure that unnecessary ports and services are closed and proper network segmentation is followed to protect critical servers and devices.

Identify unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software that may be used to acquire information about services running on remote systems, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting [24] tools, like AppLocker, [25] [26] or Software Restriction Policies [27] where appropriate. [28]

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 from legitimate remote service scanning may be uncommon, depending on the environment and how they are used. Legitimate open port and vulnerability scanning may be conducted within the environment and will need to be deconflicted with any detection capabilities developed. Network intrusion detection systems can also be used to identify scanning activity. Monitor for process use of the networks and inspect intra-network flows to detect port scans.

References

  1. Dahan, A. (2017). Operation Cobalt Kitty. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  2. Hawley et al. (2019, January 29). APT39: An Iranian Cyber Espionage Group Focused on Personal Information. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  3. Baumgartner, K. and Garnaeva, M.. (2014, November 3). BE2 custom plugins, router abuse, and target profiles. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  4. FireEye. (2018, March 16). Suspected Chinese Cyber Espionage Group (TEMP.Periscope) Targeting U.S. Engineering and Maritime Industries. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  5. Positive Technologies. (2017, August 16). Cobalt Strikes Back: An Evolving Multinational Threat to Finance. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  6. Positive Technologies. (2016, December 16). Cobalt Snatch. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  7. Matveeva, V. (2017, August 15). Secrets of Cobalt. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  8. Strategic Cyber LLC. (2017, March 14). Cobalt Strike Manual. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  9. Schroeder, W., Warner, J., Nelson, M. (n.d.). Github PowerShellEmpire. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  10. FireEye Threat Intelligence. (2016, April). Follow the Money: Dissecting the Operations of the Cyber Crime Group FIN6. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  11. Baumgartner, K., Golovkin, M.. (2015, May). The MsnMM Campaigns: The Earliest Naikon APT Campaigns. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  12. Magius, J., et al. (2017, July 19). Koadic. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  13. Symantec Security Response. (2018, July 25). Leafminer: New Espionage Campaigns Targeting Middle Eastern Regions. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  14. PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper: Technical Annex. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  1. Davis, S. and Caban, D. (2017, December 19). APT34 - New Targeted Attack in the Middle East. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  2. Nettitude. (2016, June 8). PoshC2: Powershell C2 Server and Implants. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  3. Nicolas Verdier. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  4. Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team. (2016, August 9). The ProjectSauron APT. Technical Analysis. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  5. Check Point Research. (2019, February 4). SpeakUp: A New Undetected Backdoor Linux Trojan. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  6. DiMaggio, J.. (2016, May 17). Indian organizations targeted in Suckfly attacks. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  7. Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit Threat Intelligence. (2015, August 5). Threat Group-3390 Targets Organizations for Cyberespionage. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  8. Xiao, C. (2018, September 17). Xbash Combines Botnet, Ransomware, Coinmining in Worm that Targets Linux and Windows. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  9. Belcher, P.. (2016, July 28). Tunnel of Gov: DNC Hack and the Russian XTunnel. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  10. Beechey, J. (2010, December). Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda?. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  11. Tomonaga, S. (2016, January 26). Windows Commands Abused by Attackers. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  12. NSA Information Assurance Directorate. (2014, August). Application Whitelisting Using Microsoft AppLocker. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  13. Corio, C., & Sayana, D. P. (2008, June). Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  14. Microsoft. (2012, June 27). Using Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker Policies. Retrieved April 7, 2016.