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Data Staged

Collected data is staged in a central location or directory prior to Exfiltration. Data may be kept in separate files or combined into one file through techniques such as Data Compressed or Data Encrypted.

Interactive command shells may be used, and common functionality within cmd and bash may be used to copy data into a staging location.

ID: T1074

Tactic: Collection

Platform:  Linux, macOS, Windows

Data Sources:  File monitoring, Process monitoring, Process command-line parameters

Version: 1.0

Examples

NameDescription
ADVSTORESHELL

ADVSTORESHELL stores output from command execution in a .dat file in the %TEMP% directory.[1]

APT28

APT28 has stored captured credential information in a file named pi.log.[2]

APT3

APT3 has been known to stage files for exfiltration in a single location.[3]

BADNEWS

BADNEWS copies documents under 15MB found on the victim system to is the user's %temp%\SMB\ folder. It also copies files from USB devices to a predefined directory.[4][5]

Calisto

Calisto uses a hidden directory named .calisto to store data from the victim’s machine before exfiltration.[6][7]

Catchamas

Catchamas stores the gathered data from the machine in .db files and .bmp files under four separate locations.[8]

Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 created a directory named "out" in the user's %AppData% folder and copied files to it.[9]

Duqu

Modules can be pushed to and executed by Duqu that copy data to a staging area, compress it, and XOR encrypt it.[10]

FIN5

FIN5 scripts save memory dump data into a specific directory on hosts in the victim environment.[11]

FIN6

TRINITY malware used by FIN6 identifies payment card track data on the victim and then copies it to a local file in a subdirectory of C:\Windows\. Once the malware collects the data, FIN6 actors compressed data and moved it to another staging system before exfiltration.[12]

FIN8

FIN8 aggregates staged data from a network into a single location.[13]

FLASHFLOOD

FLASHFLOOD stages data it copies from the local system or removable drives in the "%WINDIR%\$NtUninstallKB885884$\" directory.[14]

Gold Dragon

Gold Dragon stores information gathered from the endpoint in a file named 1.hwp.[15]

Helminth

Helminth creates folders to store output from batch scripts prior to sending the information to its C2 server.[16]

Honeybee

Honeybee adds collected files to a temp.zip file saved in the %temp% folder, then base64 encodes it and uploads it to control server.[17]

InvisiMole

InvisiMole determines a working directory where it stores all the gathered data about the compromised machine.[18]

Kazuar

Kazuar stages command output and collected data in files before exfiltration.[19]

Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group malware IndiaIndia saves information gathered about the victim to a file that is saved in the %TEMP% directory, then compressed, encrypted, and uploaded to a C2 server.[20][21]

Leviathan

Leviathan has used C:\Windows\Debug and C:\Perflogs as staging directories.[22]

menuPass

menuPass stages data prior to exfiltration in multi-part archives, often saved in the Recycle Bin.[23]

MoonWind

MoonWind saves information from its keylogging routine as a .zip file in the present working directory.[24]

NavRAT

NavRAT writes multiple outputs to a TMP file using the >> method.[25]

OopsIE

OopsIE stages the output from command execution and collected files in specific folders before exfiltration.[26]

Patchwork

Patchwork copied all targeted files to a directory called index that was eventually uploaded to the C&C server.[5]

PoisonIvy

PoisonIvy stages collected data in a text file.[27]

Prikormka

Prikormka creates a directory, %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\SKC\, which is used to store collected log files.[28]

Pteranodon

Pteranodon creates various subdirectories under %Temp%\reports\% and copies files to those subdirectories. It also creates a folder at C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\store to store screenshot JPEG files.[29]

PUNCHTRACK

PUNCHTRACK aggregates collected data in a tmp file.[13]

RawPOS

Data captured by RawPOS is placed in a temporary file under a directory named "memdump".[30]

Rover

Rover copies files from removable drives to C:\system.[31]

SPACESHIP

SPACESHIP identifies files with certain extensions and copies them to a directory in the user's profile.[14]

Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has staged encrypted archives for exfiltration on Internet-facing servers that had previously been compromised with China Chopper.[32]

Trojan.Karagany

Trojan.Karagany can create a directory (C:\ProgramData\Mail\MailAg\gl) to use as a temporary directory for uploading files.[33]

USBStealer

USBStealer collects files matching certain criteria from the victim and stores them in a local directory for later exfiltration.[34][35]

Mitigation

Identify unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software that may be used to collect data from removable media, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting [36] tools, like AppLocker, [37] [38] or Software Restriction Policies [39] where appropriate. [40]

Detection

Processes that appear to be reading files from disparate locations and writing them to the same directory or file may be an indication of data being staged, especially if they are suspected of performing encryption or compression on the files.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to collect and combine files. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather and copy to a location. Data may also be acquired and staged through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.

References

  1. ESET. (2016, October). En Route with Sednit - Part 2: Observing the Comings and Goings. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  2. Anthe, C. et al. (2015, October 19). Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 19. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  3. valsmith. (2012, September 21). More on APTSim. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  4. Settle, A., et al. (2016, August 8). MONSOON - Analysis Of An APT Campaign. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  5. Lunghi, D., et al. (2017, December). Untangling the Patchwork Cyberespionage Group. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  6. Kuzin, M., Zelensky S. (2018, July 20). Calisto Trojan for macOS. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  7. Pantig, J. (2018, July 30). OSX.Calisto. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  8. Balanza, M. (2018, April 02). Infostealer.Catchamas. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  9. US-CERT. (2018, March 16). Alert (TA18-074A): Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. Symantec Security Response. (2011, November). W32.Duqu: The precursor to the next Stuxnet. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  11. 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.
  12. FireEye Threat Intelligence. (2016, April). Follow the Money: Dissecting the Operations of the Cyber Crime Group FIN6. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  13. Elovitz, S. & Ahl, I. (2016, August 18). Know Your Enemy: New Financially-Motivated & Spear-Phishing Group. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  14. FireEye Labs. (2015, April). APT30 AND THE MECHANICS OF A LONG-RUNNING CYBER ESPIONAGE OPERATION. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  15. Sherstobitoff, R., Saavedra-Morales, J. (2018, February 02). Gold Dragon Widens Olympics Malware Attacks, Gains Permanent Presence on Victims’ Systems. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  16. Falcone, R. and Lee, B.. (2016, May 26). The OilRig Campaign: Attacks on Saudi Arabian Organizations Deliver Helminth Backdoor. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  17. Sherstobitoff, R. (2018, March 02). McAfee Uncovers Operation Honeybee, a Malicious Document Campaign Targeting Humanitarian Aid Groups. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  18. Hromcová, Z. (2018, June 07). InvisiMole: Surprisingly equipped spyware, undercover since 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  19. Levene, B, et al. (2017, May 03). Kazuar: Multiplatform Espionage Backdoor with API Access. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  20. Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Unraveling the Long Thread of the Sony Attack. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  1. Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Loaders, Installers and Uninstallers Report. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  2. FireEye. (2018, March 16). Suspected Chinese Cyber Espionage Group (TEMP.Periscope) Targeting U.S. Engineering and Maritime Industries. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  3. PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  4. Miller-Osborn, J. and Grunzweig, J.. (2017, March 30). Trochilus and New MoonWind RATs Used In Attack Against Thai Organizations. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. Mercer, W., Rascagneres, P. (2018, May 31). NavRAT Uses US-North Korea Summit As Decoy For Attacks In South Korea. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  6. Lee, B., Falcone, R. (2018, February 23). OopsIE! OilRig Uses ThreeDollars to Deliver New Trojan. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. Hayashi, K. (2005, August 18). Backdoor.Darkmoon. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  8. Cherepanov, A.. (2016, May 17). Operation Groundbait: Analysis of a surveillance toolkit. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  9. Kasza, A. and Reichel, D.. (2017, February 27). The Gamaredon Group Toolset Evolution. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  10. Nesbit, B. and Ackerman, D. (2017, January). Malware Analysis Report - RawPOS Malware: Deconstructing an Intruder’s Toolkit. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  11. Ray, V., Hayashi, K. (2016, February 29). New Malware ‘Rover’ Targets Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  12. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, June 27). BRONZE UNION Cyberespionage Persists Despite Disclosures. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. Symantec Security Response. (2014, July 7). Dragonfly: Cyberespionage Attacks Against Energy Suppliers. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  14. Calvet, J. (2014, November 11). Sednit Espionage Group Attacking Air-Gapped Networks. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  15. Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team. (2015, December 4). Sofacy APT hits high profile targets with updated toolset. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  16. Beechey, J. (2010, December). Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda?. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  17. Tomonaga, S. (2016, January 26). Windows Commands Abused by Attackers. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  18. NSA Information Assurance Directorate. (2014, August). Application Whitelisting Using Microsoft AppLocker. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  19. Corio, C., & Sayana, D. P. (2008, June). Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  20. Microsoft. (2012, June 27). Using Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker Policies. Retrieved April 7, 2016.