Data Staged: Remote Data Staging

ID Name
T1074.001 Local Data Staging
T1074.002 Remote Data Staging

Adversaries may stage data collected from multiple systems in a central location or directory on one system prior to Exfiltration. Data may be kept in separate files or combined into one file through techniques such as Archive Collected Data. Interactive command shells may be used, and common functionality within cmd and bash may be used to copy data into a staging location.

In cloud environments, adversaries may stage data within a particular instance or virtual machine before exfiltration. An adversary may Create Cloud Instance and stage data in that instance.[1]

By staging data on one system prior to Exfiltration, adversaries can minimize the number of connections made to their C2 server and better evade detection.

ID: T1074.002
Sub-technique of:  T1074
Tactic: Collection
Platforms: AWS, Azure, GCP, Linux, Windows, macOS
Data Sources: File monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring
Contributors: Praetorian
Version: 1.0
Created: 13 March 2020
Last Modified: 24 June 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description
FIN6

FIN6 actors have compressed data from remote systems and moved it to another staging system before exfiltration.[4]

FIN8

FIN8 aggregates staged data from a network into a single location.[2]

menuPass

menuPass has staged data on remote MSP systems or other victim networks prior to exfiltration.[5]

Night Dragon

Night Dragon has copied files to company web servers and subsequently downloaded them.[3]

Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has moved staged encrypted archives to Internet-facing servers that had previously been compromised with China Chopper prior to exfiltration.[6]

Mitigations

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

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, such as 7zip, RAR, ZIP, or zlib. Monitor publicly writeable directories, central locations, and commonly used staging directories (recycle bin, temp folders, etc.) to regularly check for compressed or encrypted data that may be indicative of staging.

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