Adversaries may attempt to take screen captures of the desktop to gather information over the course of an operation. Screen capturing functionality may be included as a feature of a remote access tool used in post-compromise operations.
On OSX, the native command
screencapture is used to capture screenshots.
On Linux, there is the native command
|Agent Tesla||Agent Tesla can capture screenshots of the victim’s desktop.    |
|APT28||APT28 has used tools to take screenshots from victims.  |
|Azorult||Azorult can capture screenshots of the victim’s machines. |
|BADNEWS||BADNEWS has a command to take a screenshot and send it to the C2 server.  |
|BadPatch||BadPatch captures screenshots in .jpg format and then exfiltrates them. |
|Bandook||Bandook is capable of taking an image of and uploading the current desktop. |
|BISCUIT||BISCUIT has a command to periodically take screenshots of the system. |
|BlackEnergy||BlackEnergy is capable of taking screenshots. |
|BRONZE BUTLER||BRONZE BUTLER has used a tool to capture screenshots. |
|Cannon||Cannon can take a screenshot of the desktop. |
|Carbanak||Carbanak performs desktop video recording and captures screenshots of the desktop and sends it to the C2 server. |
|Cardinal RAT||Cardinal RAT can capture screenshots. |
|Catchamas||Catchamas captures screenshots based on specific keywords in the window’s title. |
|CHOPSTICK||CHOPSTICK has the capability to capture screenshots. |
|Cobalt Strike||Cobalt Strike's "beacon" payload is capable of capturing screen shots. |
|Cobian RAT||Cobian RAT has a feature to perform screen capture. |
|CosmicDuke||CosmicDuke takes periodic screenshots and exfiltrates them. |
|Crimson||Crimson contains a command to perform screen captures. |
|CrossRAT||CrossRAT is capable of taking screen captures. |
|Dark Caracal||Dark Caracal took screen shots using their Windows malware. |
|Daserf||Daserf can take screenshots.  |
|Derusbi||Derusbi is capable of performing screen captures. |
|DOGCALL||DOGCALL is capable of capturing screenshots of the victim's machine.  |
|Dragonfly 2.0||Dragonfly 2.0 has performed screen captures of victims, including by using a tool, scr.exe (which matched the hash of ScreenUtil).  |
|Empire||Empire is capable of capturing screenshots on Windows and macOS systems. |
|EvilGrab||EvilGrab has the capability to capture screenshots. |
|FIN7||FIN7 captured screenshots and desktop video recordings. |
|FinFisher||FinFisher takes a screenshot of the screen and displays it on top of all other windows for few seconds in an apparent attempt to hide some messages showed by the system during the setup process.  |
|Flame||Flame can take regular screenshots when certain applications are open that are sent to the command and control server. |
|FruitFly||FruitFly takes screenshots of the user's desktop. |
|gh0st RAT||gh0st RAT can capture the victim’s screen remotely. |
|Group5||Malware used by Group5 is capable of watching the victim's screen. |
|HALFBAKED||HALFBAKED can obtain screenshots from the victim. |
|Hydraq||Hydraq includes a component based on the code of VNC that can stream a live feed of the desktop of an infected host. |
|HyperBro||HyperBro has the ability to take screenshots. |
|InvisiMole||InvisiMole can capture screenshots of not only the entire screen, but of each separate window open, in case they are overlapping. |
|Janicab||Janicab captured screenshots and sent them out to a C2 server.  |
|JHUHUGIT||A JHUHUGIT variant takes screenshots by simulating the user pressing the "Take Screenshot" key (VK_SCREENSHOT), accessing the screenshot saved in the clipboard, and converting it to a JPG image.  |
|jRAT||jRAT has the capability to take screenshots of the victim’s machine.  |
|Kasidet||Kasidet has the ability to initiate keylogging and screen captures. |
|Kazuar||Kazuar captures screenshots of the victim’s screen. |
|KeyBoy||KeyBoy has a command to perform screen grabbing. |
|KEYMARBLE||KEYMARBLE can capture screenshots of the victim’s machine. |
|KONNI||KONNI can take screenshots of the victim’s machine. |
|MacSpy||MacSpy can capture screenshots of the desktop over multiple monitors. |
|Magic Hound||Magic Hound malware can take a screenshot and upload the file to its C2 server. |
|Matroyshka||Matroyshka is capable of performing screen captures.  |
|Micropsia||Micropsia takes screenshots every 90 seconds by calling the Gdi32.BitBlt API. |
|MuddyWater||MuddyWater has used malware that can capture screenshots of the victim’s machine. |
|NETWIRE||NETWIRE can capture the victim's screen. |
|njRAT||njRAT can capture screenshots of the victim’s machines. |
|Octopus||Octopus can capture screenshots of the victims’ machine. |
|OilRig||OilRig has a tool called CANDYKING to capture a screenshot of user's desktop. |
|PlugX||PlugX allows the operator to capture screenshots. |
|POORAIM||POORAIM can perform screen capturing. |
|POWERSTATS||POWERSTATS can retrieve screenshots from compromised hosts. |
|POWRUNER||POWRUNER can capture a screenshot from a victim. |
|Prikormka||Prikormka contains a module that captures screenshots of the victim's desktop. |
|Proton||Proton captures the content of the desktop with the screencapture binary. |
|Pteranodon||Pteranodon can capture screenshots at a configurable interval. |
|Pupy||Pupy can drop a mouse-logger that will take small screenshots around at each click and then send back to the server. |
|RedLeaves||RedLeaves can capture screenshots.  |
|Remcos||Remcos takes automated screenshots of the infected machine. |
|Remexi||Remexi takes screenshots of windows of interest. |
|Revenge RAT||Revenge RAT has a plugin for screen capture. |
RogueRobin has a command named
|ROKRAT||ROKRAT captures screenshots of the infected system.   |
Rover takes screenshots of the compromised system's desktop and saves them to
|RTM||RTM can capture screenshots. |
|SHUTTERSPEED||SHUTTERSPEED can capture screenshots. |
|Silence||Silence can capture victim screen activity. |
|Socksbot||Socksbot can take screenshots. |
|StoneDrill||StoneDrill can take screenshots. |
|T9000||T9000 can take screenshots of the desktop and target application windows, saving them to user directories as one byte XOR encrypted .dat files. |
|TinyZBot||TinyZBot contains screen capture functionality. |
Trojan.Karagany can take a desktop screenshot and save the file into
|TURNEDUP||TURNEDUP is capable of taking screenshots. |
|UPPERCUT||UPPERCUT can capture desktop screenshots in the PNG format and send them to the C2 server. |
|Ursnif||Ursnif has used hooked APIs to take screenshots.  |
|VERMIN||VERMIN can perform screen captures of the victim’s machine. |
|XAgentOSX||XAgentOSX contains the takeScreenShot (along with startTakeScreenShot and stopTakeScreenShot) functions to take screenshots using the CGGetActiveDisplayList, CGDisplayCreateImage, and NSImage:initWithCGImage methods. |
|yty||yty collects screenshots of the victim machine. |
|Zebrocy||A variant of Zebrocy captures screenshots of the victim’s machine in JPEG and BMP format.     |
|Zeus Panda||Zeus Panda can take screenshots of the victim’s machine. |
|ZLib||ZLib has the ability to obtain screenshots of the compromised system. |
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
Monitoring for screen capture behavior will depend on the method used to obtain data from the operating system and write output files. Detection methods could include collecting information from unusual processes using API calls used to obtain image data, and monitoring for image files written to disk. The sensor data may need to be correlated with other events to identify malicious activity, depending on the legitimacy of this behavior within a given network environment.
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