Software Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of software and software versions that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment. Adversaries may use the information from Software Discovery during automated discovery to shape follow-on behaviors, including whether or not the adversary fully infects the target and/or attempts specific actions.

Adversaries may attempt to enumerate software for a variety of reasons, such as figuring out what security measures are present or if the compromised system has a version of software that is vulnerable to Exploitation for Privilege Escalation.

ID: T1518
Sub-techniques:  T1518.001
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Linux, Office 365, SaaS, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, Firewall: Firewall Enumeration, Firewall: Firewall Metadata, Process: OS API Execution, Process: Process Creation
Version: 1.3
Created: 16 September 2019
Last Modified: 29 March 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0534 Bazar

Bazar can query the Registry for installed applications.[1]


BRONZE BUTLER has used tools to enumerate software installed on an infected host.[2]

S0482 Bundlore

Bundlore has the ability to enumerate what browser is being used as well as version information for Safari.[3]

S0126 ComRAT

ComRAT can check the victim's default browser to determine which process to inject its communications module into.[4]

S0472 down_new

down_new has the ability to gather information on installed applications.[2]

S0062 DustySky

DustySky lists all installed software for the infected machine.[5]

S0024 Dyre

Dyre has the ability to identify installed programs on a compromised host.[6]

S0431 HotCroissant

HotCroissant can retrieve a list of applications from the SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths registry key.[7]

G0100 Inception

Inception has enumerated installed software on compromised systems.[8]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole can collect information about installed software used by specific users, software executed on user login, and software executed by each system.[9][10]


KGH_SPY can collect information on installed applications.[11]

S0455 Metamorfo

Metamorfo has searched the system for an extensive list of Brazilian banking software.[12]

G0069 MuddyWater

MuddyWater has used a PowerShell backdoor to check for Skype connectivity on the target machine.[13]

G0129 Mustang Panda

Mustang Panda has searched the victim system for the InstallUtil.exe program and its version.[14]

G0116 Operation Wocao

Operation Wocao has collected a list of installed software on the infected system.[15]

S0229 Orz

Orz can gather the victim's Internet Explorer version.[16]

S0598 P.A.S. Webshell

P.A.S. Webshell can list PHP server configuration details.[17]

S0148 RTM

RTM can scan victim drives to look for specific banking software on the machine to determine next actions.[18]

S0445 ShimRatReporter

ShimRatReporter gathered a list of installed software on the infected host.[19]

G0121 Sidewinder

Sidewinder has used tools to enumerate software installed on an infected host.[20][21]

S0467 TajMahal

TajMahal has the ability to identify the Internet Explorer (IE) version on an infected host.[22]

G0081 Tropic Trooper

Tropic Trooper's backdoor could list the infected system's installed software.[23]

G0124 Windigo

Windigo has used a script to detect installed software on targeted systems.[24]

G0112 Windshift

Windshift has used malware to identify installed software.[25]


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


System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. 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 lateral movement, based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.


  1. Cybereason Nocturnus. (2020, July 16). A BAZAR OF TRICKS: FOLLOWING TEAM9’S DEVELOPMENT CYCLES. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  2. Chen, J. et al. (2019, November). Operation ENDTRADE: TICK’s Multi-Stage Backdoors for Attacking Industries and Stealing Classified Data. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  3. Sushko, O. (2019, April 17). macOS Bundlore: Mac Virus Bypassing macOS Security Features. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  4. Faou, M. (2020, May). From Agent.btz to ComRAT v4: A ten-year journey. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
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  10. Hromcova, Z. and Cherpanov, A. (2020, June). INVISIMOLE: THE HIDDEN PART OF THE STORY. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
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  12. Sierra, E., Iglesias, G.. (2018, April 24). Metamorfo Campaigns Targeting Brazilian Users. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  13. Peretz, A. and Theck, E. (2021, March 5). Earth Vetala – MuddyWater Continues to Target Organizations in the Middle East. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  1. Anomali Threat Research. (2019, October 7). China-Based APT Mustang Panda Targets Minority Groups, Public and Private Sector Organizations. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  2. Dantzig, M. v., Schamper, E. (2019, December 19). Operation Wocao: Shining a light on one of China’s hidden hacking groups. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  3. Axel F, Pierre T. (2017, October 16). Leviathan: Espionage actor spearphishes maritime and defense targets. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  5. Faou, M. and Boutin, J. (2017, February). Read The Manual: A Guide to the RTM Banking Trojan. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  6. Yonathan Klijnsma. (2016, May 17). Mofang: A politically motivated information stealing adversary. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  7. Hegel, T. (2021, January 13). A Global Perspective of the SideWinder APT. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  8. Rewertz. (2020, April 20). Sidewinder APT Group Campaign Analysis. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  9. GReAT. (2019, April 10). Project TajMahal – a sophisticated new APT framework. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  10. Chen, J.. (2020, May 12). Tropic Trooper’s Back: USBferry Attack Targets Air gapped Environments. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  11. Dumont, R., M.Léveillé, M., Porcher, H. (2018, December 1). THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORSSHE A landscape of OpenSSH backdoors. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  12. The Blackberry Research & Intelligence Team. (2020, October). BAHAMUT: Hack-for-Hire Masters of Phishing, Fake News, and Fake Apps. Retrieved February 8, 2021.