Network Service Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of services running on remote hosts and local network infrastructure devices, including those that may be vulnerable to remote software exploitation. Common methods to acquire this information include port and/or vulnerability scans using tools that are brought onto a system.[1]

Within cloud environments, adversaries may attempt to discover services running on other cloud hosts. Additionally, if the cloud environment is connected to a on-premises environment, adversaries may be able to identify services running on non-cloud systems as well.

Within macOS environments, adversaries may use the native Bonjour application to discover services running on other macOS hosts within a network. The Bonjour mDNSResponder daemon automatically registers and advertises a host’s registered services on the network. For example, adversaries can use a mDNS query (such as dns-sd -B _ssh._tcp .) to find other systems broadcasting the ssh service.[2][3]

ID: T1046
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Containers, IaaS, Linux, Network, Windows, macOS
Contributors: Praetorian
Version: 3.1
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 11 August 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0050 APT32

APT32 performed network scanning on the network to search for open ports, services, OS finger-printing, and other vulnerabilities.[4]

G0087 APT39

APT39 has used CrackMapExec and a custom port scanner known as BLUETORCH for network scanning.[5][6]

G0096 APT41

APT41 used a malware variant called WIDETONE to conduct port scans on specified subnets.[7]

S0093 Backdoor.Oldrea

Backdoor.Oldrea can use a network scanning module to identify ICS-related ports.[8]

G0135 BackdoorDiplomacy

BackdoorDiplomacy has used SMBTouch, a vulnerability scanner, to determine whether a target is vulnerable to EternalBlue malware.[9]


BADHATCH can check for open ports on a computer by establishing a TCP connection.[10]

S0089 BlackEnergy

BlackEnergy has conducted port scans on a host.[11]

G0098 BlackTech

BlackTech has used the SNScan tool to find other potential targets on victim networks.[12]

S1063 Brute Ratel C4

Brute Ratel C4 can conduct port scanning against targeted systems.[13]

C0018 C0018

During C0018, the threat actors used the SoftPerfect Network Scanner for network scanning.[14]

C0027 C0027

During C0027, used RustScan to scan for open ports on targeted ESXi appliances.[15]

S0572 Caterpillar WebShell

Caterpillar WebShell has a module to use a port scanner on a system.[16]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has used the get -b -e -p command for network scanning as well as a custom Python tool packed into a Windows executable named Get.exe to scan IP ranges for HTTP.[17]

S0020 China Chopper

China Chopper's server component can spider authentication portals.[18]

G0080 Cobalt Group

Cobalt Group leveraged an open-source tool called SoftPerfect Network Scanner to perform network scanning.[19][20][21]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can perform port scans from an infected host.[22][23][24]

S0608 Conficker

Conficker scans for other machines to infect.[25]

C0004 CostaRicto

During CostaRicto, the threat actors employed nmap and pscan to scan target environments.[26]

G0105 DarkVishnya

DarkVishnya performed port scanning to obtain the list of active services.[27]

S0363 Empire

Empire can perform port scans from an infected host.[28]

G1016 FIN13

FIN13 has utilized nmap for reconnaissance efforts. FIN13 has also scanned for internal MS-SQL servers in a compromised network.[29][30]

G0037 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.[31]

G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has used tools including NMAP to conduct broad scanning to identify open ports.[32][33]

S0061 HDoor

HDoor scans to identify open ports on the victim.[34]

S0698 HermeticWizard

HermeticWizard has the ability to scan ports on a compromised network.[35]

S0601 Hildegard

Hildegard has used masscan to look for kubelets in the internal Kubernetes network.[36]

S0604 Industroyer

Industroyer uses a custom port scanner to map out a network.[37]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole can scan the network for open ports and vulnerable instances of RDP and SMB protocols.[38]

S0250 Koadic

Koadic can scan for open TCP ports on the target network.[39]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has used nmap from a router VM to scan ports on systems within the restricted segment of an enterprise network.[40]

G0077 Leafminer

Leafminer scanned network services to search for vulnerabilities in the victim system.[41]

S0532 Lucifer

Lucifer can scan for open ports including TCP ports 135 and 1433.[42]

G0059 Magic Hound

Magic Hound has used KPortScan 3.0 to perform SMB, RDP, and LDAP scanning.[43]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass has used tcping.exe, similar to Ping, to probe port status on systems of interest.[44]


MURKYTOP has the capability to scan for open ports on hosts in a connected network.[18]

G0019 Naikon

Naikon has used the LadonGo scanner to scan target networks.[45]

S0590 NBTscan

NBTscan can be used to scan IP networks.[46][47]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used the publicly available tool SoftPerfect Network Scanner as well as a custom tool called GOLDIRONY to conduct network scanning.[48]

C0014 Operation Wocao

During Operation Wocao, threat actors scanned for open ports and used nbtscan to find NETBIOS nameservers.[49]

S0598 P.A.S. Webshell

P.A.S. Webshell can scan networks for open ports and listening services.[50]

S0683 Peirates

Peirates can initiate a port scan against a given IP address.[51]

S0378 PoshC2

PoshC2 can perform port scans from an infected host.[52]

S0192 Pupy

Pupy has a built-in module for port scanning.[53]

S0583 Pysa

Pysa can perform network reconnaissance using the Advanced Port Scanner tool.[54]

S0458 Ramsay

Ramsay can scan for systems that are vulnerable to the EternalBlue exploit.[55][56]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec has a plugin that can perform ARP scanning as well as port scanning.[57]

G0106 Rocke

Rocke conducted scanning for exposed TCP port 7001 as well as SSH and Redis servers.[58][59]

S1073 Royal

Royal can scan the network interfaces of targeted systems.[60]


SILENTTRINITY can scan for open ports on a compromised machine.[61]

S0374 SpeakUp

SpeakUp checks for availability of specific ports on servers.[62]

G0039 Suckfly

Suckfly the victim's internal network for hosts with ports 8080, 5900, and 40 open.[63]

G0139 TeamTNT

TeamTNT has used masscan to search for open Docker API ports and Kubernetes clusters.[64][36][65] TeamTNT has also used malware that utilizes zmap and zgrab to search for vulnerable services in cloud environments.[66]

G0027 Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 actors use the Hunter tool to conduct network service discovery for vulnerable systems.[67][68]

G0081 Tropic Trooper

Tropic Trooper used pr and an openly available tool to scan for open ports on target systems.[69][70]

S0341 Xbash

Xbash can perform port scanning of TCP and UDP ports.[71]

S0117 XTunnel

XTunnel is capable of probing the network for open ports.[72]

S0412 ZxShell

ZxShell can launch port scans.[7][73]


ID Mitigation Description
M1042 Disable or Remove Feature or Program

Ensure that unnecessary ports and services are closed to prevent risk of discovery and potential exploitation.

M1031 Network Intrusion Prevention

Use network intrusion detection/prevention systems to detect and prevent remote service scans.

M1030 Network Segmentation

Ensure proper network segmentation is followed to protect critical servers and devices.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0025 Cloud Service Cloud Service Enumeration

Cloud service discovery techniques will likely occur throughout an operation where an adversary is targeting cloud-based systems and services. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities based on the information obtained.Normal, benign system and network events that look like cloud service discovery may be uncommon, depending on the environment and how they are used. Monitor cloud service usage for anomalous behavior that may indicate adversarial presence within the environment.

DS0017 Command Command Execution

Monitor executed commands and arguments that may attempt to get a listing of services running on remote hosts, including those that may be vulnerable to remote software exploitation.

DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Flow

Monitor network data for uncommon data flows. Processes utilizing the network that do not normally have network communication or have never been seen before are suspicious. It should be noted that when a host/ port/ service scan is performed from a compromised machine, a single machine makes multiple calls to other hosts in the network to identify live hosts and services.

After compromising an initial machine, adversaries commonly attempt to laterally move across the network. The first step to attempt the Lateral Movement often involves conducting host identification, port and service scans on the internal network via the compromised machine using tools such as Nmap, Cobalt Strike, etc.

Note: It should be noted that when a host/ port/ service scan is performed from a compromised machine, a single machine makes multiple calls to other hosts in the network to identify live hosts and services. This can be detected using the following query

Analytic 1 - Identifying Port Scanning Activity

sourcetype='firewall_logs' dest_ip='internal_subnet' | stats dc(dest_port) as pcount by src_ip | where pcount >5


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