Graphical User Interface

The Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) is a common way to interact with an operating system. Adversaries may use a system's GUI during an operation, commonly through a remote interactive session such as Remote Desktop Protocol, instead of through a Command-Line Interface, to search for information and execute files via mouse double-click events, the Windows Run command [1], or other potentially difficult to monitor interactions.

ID: T1061

Tactic: Execution

Platform:  Linux, macOS, Windows

Permissions Required:  User, Administrator, SYSTEM

Data Sources:  File monitoring, Process monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Binary file metadata

Supports Remote:  Yes

Version: 1.0



APT3 has interacted with compromised systems to browse and copy files through its graphical user interface in Remote Desktop Protocol sessions.[2]


Prevent adversaries from gaining access to credentials through Credential Access that can be used to log into remote desktop sessions on systems.

Identify unnecessary system utilities, third-party tools, or potentially malicious software that may be used to log into remote interactive sessions, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting [3] tools, like AppLocker [4] [5] and Software Restriction Policies [6] where appropriate. [7]


Detection of execution through the GUI will likely lead to significant false positives. Other factors should be considered to detect misuse of services that can lead to adversaries gaining access to systems through interactive remote sessions.

Unknown or unusual process launches outside of normal behavior on a particular system occurring through remote interactive sessions are suspicious. Collect and audit security logs that may indicate access to and use of Legitimate Credentials to access remote systems within the network.