Timestomping is a technique that modifies the timestamps of a file (the modify, access, create, and change times), often to mimic files that are in the same folder. This is done, for example, on files that have been modified or created by the adversary so that they do not appear conspicuous to forensic investigators or file analysis tools. Timestomping may be used along with file name Masquerading to hide malware and tools. 
|3PARA RAT||3PARA RAT has a command to set certain attributes such as creation/modification timestamps on files. |
|APT28||APT28 has performed timestomping on victim files. |
|APT32||APT32 has used scheduled task raw XML with a backdated timestamp of June 2, 2016. The group has also set the creation time of the files dropped by the second stage of the exploit to match the creation time of kernel32.dll. Additionally, APT32 has used a random value to modify the timestamp of the file storing the clientID.   |
|Bankshot||Bankshot modifies the time of a file as specified by the control server. |
|China Chopper||China Chopper's server component can change the timestamp of files.   |
|Cobalt Strike||Cobalt Strike will timestomp any files or payloads placed on a target machine to help them blend in. |
|Derusbi||The Derusbi malware supports timestomping.  |
|Elise||Elise performs timestomping of a CAB file it creates. |
|Empire||Empire can timestomp any files or payloads placed on a target machine to help them blend in. |
|FALLCHILL||FALLCHILL can modify file or directory timestamps. |
|Gazer||For early Gazer versions, the compilation timestamp was faked. |
|InvisiMole||InvisiMole samples were timestomped by the authors by setting the PE timestamps to all zero values. InvisiMole also has a built-in command to modify file times. |
|KeyBoy||KeyBoy time-stomped its DLL in order to evade detection. |
|Lazarus Group||Several Lazarus Group malware families use timestomping, including modifying the last write timestamp of a specified Registry key to a random date, as well as copying the timestamp for legitimate .exe files (such as calc.exe or mspaint.exe) to its dropped files.    |
|Misdat||Many Misdat samples were programmed using Borland Delphi, which will mangle the default PE compile timestamp of a file. |
|OwaAuth||OwaAuth has a command to timestop a file or directory. |
|POSHSPY||POSHSPY modifies timestamps of all downloaded executables to match a randomly selected file created prior to 2013. |
|PowerStallion||PowerStallion modifies the MAC times of its local log files to match that of the victim's desktop.ini file. |
|Psylo||Psylo has a command to conduct timestomping by setting a specified file’s timestamps to match those of a system file in the System32 directory. |
|SEASHARPEE||SEASHARPEE can timestomp files on victims using a Web shell. |
|TDTESS||After creating a new service for persistence, TDTESS sets the file creation time for the service to the creation time of the victim's legitimate svchost.exe file. |
|TEMP.Veles||TEMP.Veles used timestomping to modify the $STANDARD_INFORMATION attribute on tools. |
|USBStealer||USBStealer sets the timestamps of its dropper files to the last-access and last-write timestamps of a standard Windows library chosen on the system. |
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
Forensic techniques exist to detect aspects of files that have had their timestamps modified.  It may be possible to detect timestomping using file modification monitoring that collects information on file handle opens and can compare timestamp values.
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