Dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) that are specified in the AppCertDLLs value in the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager are loaded into every process that calls the ubiquitously used application programming interface (API) functions CreateProcess, CreateProcessAsUser, CreateProcessWithLoginW, CreateProcessWithTokenW, or WinExec. 
Similar to Process Injection, this value can be abused to obtain persistence and privilege escalation by causing a malicious DLL to be loaded and run in the context of separate processes on the computer.
Honeybee's service-based DLL implant can execute a downloaded file with parameters specified using
|PUNCHBUGGY||PUNCHBUGGY can establish using a AppCertDLLs Registry key. |
|Execution Prevention||Adversaries install new AppCertDLL binaries to execute this technique. Identify and block potentially malicious software executed through AppCertDLLs functionality by using application whitelisting tools, like Windows Defender Application Control, AppLocker, or Software Restriction Policies where appropriate.|
Monitor DLL loads by processes, specifically looking for DLLs that are not recognized or not normally loaded into a process. Monitor the AppCertDLLs Registry value for modifications that do not correlate with known software, patch cycles, etc. Monitor and analyze application programming interface (API) calls that are indicative of Registry edits such as RegCreateKeyEx and RegSetValueEx. 
Look for abnormal process behavior that may be due to a process loading a malicious DLL. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as making network connections for Command and Control, learning details about the environment through Discovery, and conducting Lateral Movement.
- Hosseini, A. (2017, July 18). Ten Process Injection Techniques: A Technical Survey Of Common And Trending Process Injection Techniques. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Elovitz, S. & Ahl, I. (2016, August 18). Know Your Enemy: New Financially-Motivated & Spear-Phishing Group. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- Sherstobitoff, R. (2018, March 02). McAfee Uncovers Operation Honeybee, a Malicious Document Campaign Targeting Humanitarian Aid Groups. Retrieved May 16, 2018.