Disabling Security Tools
Adversaries may disable security tools to avoid possible detection of their tools and activities. This can take the form of killing security software or event logging processes, deleting Registry keys so that tools do not start at run time, or other methods to interfere with security scanning or event reporting.
The "ZR" variant of BACKSPACE will check to see if known host-based firewalls are installed on the infected systems. BACKSPACE will attempt to establish a C2 channel, then will examine open windows to identify a pop-up from the firewall software and will simulate a mouse-click to allow the connection to proceed.
Various Lazarus Group malware modifies the Windows firewall to allow incoming connections or disable it entirely using netsh. Lazarus Group malware TangoDelta attempts to terminate various processes associated with McAfee. Additionally, Lazarus Group malware SHARPKNOT disables the Microsoft Windows System Event Notification and Alerter services.
Night Dragon has disabled anti-virus and anti-spyware tools in some instances on the victim’s machines. The actors have also disabled proxy settings to allow direct communication from victims to the Internet.[
|Restrict File and Directory Permissions||
Ensure proper process, Registry, and file permissions are in place to prevent adversaries from disabling or interfering with security services.
|User Account Management||
Ensure proper user permissions are in place to prevent adversaries from disabling or interfering with security services.
Monitor processes and command-line arguments to see if security tools are killed or stop running. Monitor Registry edits for modifications to services and startup programs that correspond to security tools. Lack of log or event file reporting may be suspicious.
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