Software Discovery: Security Software Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment. This may include things such as cloud monitoring agents and anti-virus. Adversaries may use the information from Security 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.

Example commands that can be used to obtain security software information are netsh, reg query with Reg, dir with cmd, and Tasklist, but other indicators of discovery behavior may be more specific to the type of software or security system the adversary is looking for. It is becoming more common to see macOS malware perform checks for LittleSnitch and KnockKnock software.

Adversaries may also utilize the Cloud API to discover cloud-native security software installed on compute infrastructure, such as the AWS CloudWatch agent, Azure VM Agent, and Google Cloud Monitor agent. These agents may collect metrics and logs from the VM, which may be centrally aggregated in a cloud-based monitoring platform.

ID: T1518.001
Sub-technique of:  T1518
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: IaaS, Linux, Windows, macOS
Contributors: Isif Ibrahima, Mandiant
Version: 1.5
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 16 April 2024

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0469 ABK

ABK has the ability to identify the installed anti-virus product on the compromised host.[1]

S1028 Action RAT

Action RAT can identify AV products on an infected host using the following command: cmd.exe WMIC /Node:localhost /Namespace:\\root\SecurityCenter2 Path AntiVirusProduct Get displayName /Format:List.[2]

S1025 Amadey

Amadey has checked for a variety of antivirus products.[3][4]

G0082 APT38

APT38 has identified security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors installed on a compromised system.[5]

G0143 Aquatic Panda

Aquatic Panda has attempted to discover third party endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools on compromised systems.[6]

S0373 Astaroth

Astaroth checks for the presence of Avast antivirus in the C:\Program\Files\ folder. [7]

S1029 AuTo Stealer

AuTo Stealer has the ability to collect information about installed AV products from an infected host.[2]

S0473 Avenger

Avenger has the ability to identify installed anti-virus products on a compromised host.[1]

S0337 BadPatch

BadPatch uses WMI to enumerate installed security products in the victim’s environment.[8]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar can identify the installed antivirus engine.[9]


BLUELIGHT can collect a list of anti-virus products installed on a machine.[10]

S1063 Brute Ratel C4

Brute Ratel C4 can detect EDR userland hooks.[11]

S0471 build_downer

build_downer has the ability to detect if the infected host is running an anti-virus process.[1]

S1039 Bumblebee

Bumblebee can identify specific analytical tools based on running processes.[12][13][14]

S0484 Carberp

Carberp has queried the infected system's registry searching for specific registry keys associated with antivirus products.[15]


CHOPSTICK checks for antivirus and forensics software.[16]

S0611 Clop

Clop can search for processes with antivirus and antimalware product names.[17][18]

G0080 Cobalt Group

Cobalt Group used a JavaScript backdoor that is capable of collecting a list of the security solutions installed on the victim's machine.[19]

S0244 Comnie

Comnie attempts to detect several anti-virus products.[20]

S0492 CookieMiner

CookieMiner has checked for the presence of "Little Snitch", macOS network monitoring and application firewall software, stopping and exiting if it is found.[21]

S0046 CozyCar

The main CozyCar dropper checks whether the victim has an anti-virus product installed. If the installed product is on a predetermined list, the dropper will exit.[22]

S0115 Crimson

Crimson contains a command to collect information about anti-virus software on the victim.[23][24]

S1111 DarkGate

DarkGate looks for various security products by process name using hard-coded values in the malware. DarkGate will not execute its keylogging thread if a process name associated with Trend Micro anti-virus is identified, or if runtime checks identify the presence of Kaspersky anti-virus. DarkGate will initiate a new thread if certain security products are identified on the victim, and recreate any malicious files associated with it if it determines they were removed by security software in a new system location.[25]

G0012 Darkhotel

Darkhotel has searched for anti-malware strings and anti-virus processes running on the system.[26][27]

S1066 DarkTortilla

DarkTortilla can check for the Kaspersky Anti-Virus suite.[28]

S0673 DarkWatchman

DarkWatchman can search for anti-virus products on the system.[29]

S0472 down_new

down_new has the ability to detect anti-virus products and processes on a compromised host.[1]

S0062 DustySky

DustySky checks for the existence of anti-virus.[30]

S0363 Empire

Empire can enumerate antivirus software on the target.[31]

S0091 Epic

Epic searches for anti-malware services running on the victim’s machine and terminates itself if it finds them.[32]

S0396 EvilBunny

EvilBunny has been observed querying installed antivirus software.[33]


EVILNUM can search for anti-virus products on the system.[34]

S0171 Felismus

Felismus checks for processes associated with anti-virus vendors.[35]


FELIXROOT checks for installed security software like antivirus and firewall.[36]

S0679 Ferocious

Ferocious has checked for AV software as part of its persistence process.[37]

G0061 FIN8

FIN8 has used Registry keys to detect and avoid executing in potential sandboxes.[38]

S0182 FinFisher

FinFisher probes the system to check for antimalware processes.[39][40]

S0143 Flame

Flame identifies security software such as antivirus through the Security module.[41][42]

S0381 FlawedAmmyy

FlawedAmmyy will attempt to detect anti-virus products during the initial infection.[43]

C0001 Frankenstein

During Frankenstein, the threat actors used WMI queries to determine if analysis tools were running on a compromised system.[44]

S1044 FunnyDream

FunnyDream can identify the processes for Bkav antivirus.[45]

S0666 Gelsemium

Gelsemium can check for the presence of specific security products.[46]

S0249 Gold Dragon

Gold Dragon checks for anti-malware products and processes.[47]

S0531 Grandoreiro

Grandoreiro can list installed security products including the Trusteer and Diebold Warsaw GAS Tecnologia online banking protections.[48][48]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole can check for the presence of network sniffers, AV, and BitDefender firewall.[49]

S0201 JPIN

JPIN checks for the presence of certain security-related processes and deletes its installer/uninstaller component if it identifies any of them.[50]

S0283 jRAT

jRAT can list security software, such as by using WMIC to identify anti-virus products installed on the victim’s machine and to obtain firewall details.[51][52]

S0088 Kasidet

Kasidet has the ability to identify any anti-virus installed on the infected system.[53]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has checked for the presence of antivirus software with powershell Get-CimInstance -Namespace root/securityCenter2 – classname antivirusproduct.[54]

S0513 LiteDuke

LiteDuke has the ability to check for the presence of Kaspersky security software.[55]

S0680 LitePower

LitePower can identify installed AV software.[37]

S0681 Lizar

Lizar can search for processes associated with an anti-virus product from list.[56]

S1060 Mafalda

Mafalda can search for a variety of security software programs, EDR systems, and malware analysis tools.[57][58]

G1026 Malteiro

Malteiro collects the installed antivirus on the victim machine.[59]

S0652 MarkiRAT

MarkiRAT can check for running processes on the victim’s machine to look for Kaspersky and Bitdefender antivirus products.[60]

S0455 Metamorfo

Metamorfo collects a list of installed antivirus software from the victim’s system.[61][62]

S0688 Meteor

Meteor has the ability to search for Kaspersky Antivirus on a victim's machine.[63]

S0339 Micropsia

Micropsia searches for anti-virus software and firewall products installed on the victim’s machine using WMI.[64][65]

S1122 Mispadu

Mispadu can list installed security products in the victim’s environment.[66][67]

S0553 MoleNet

MoleNet can use WMI commands to check the system for firewall and antivirus software.[68]

S0284 More_eggs

More_eggs can obtain information on installed anti-malware programs.[69]

S0256 Mosquito

Mosquito's installer searches the Registry and system to see if specific antivirus tools are installed on the system.[70]

G0069 MuddyWater

MuddyWater has used malware to check running processes against a hard-coded list of security tools often used by malware researchers.[71]

G0019 Naikon

Naikon uses commands such as netsh advfirewall firewall to discover local firewall settings.[72]

S0108 netsh

netsh can be used to discover system firewall settings.[73][74]

S0457 Netwalker

Netwalker can detect and terminate active security software-related processes on infected systems.[75]

S0368 NotPetya

NotPetya determines if specific antivirus programs are running on an infected host machine.[76]

C0014 Operation Wocao

During Operation Wocao, threat actors used scripts to detect security software.[77]

S1091 Pacu

Pacu can enumerate AWS security services, including WAF rules and GuardDuty detectors.[78]

G0040 Patchwork

Patchwork scanned the "Program Files" directories for a directory with the string "Total Security" (the installation path of the "360 Total Security" antivirus tool).[79]

S0501 PipeMon

PipeMon can check for the presence of ESET and Kaspersky security software.[80]


POWERSTATS has detected security tools.[81]


POWRUNER may collect information on the victim's anti-virus software.[82]

S0113 Prikormka

A module in Prikormka collects information from the victim about installed anti-virus software.[83]


PUNCHBUGGY can gather AVs registered in the system.[84]

S0650 QakBot

QakBot can identify the installed antivirus product on a targeted system.[85][86][86][87]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec has a plugin detect security products via active drivers.[88]

G0106 Rocke

Rocke used scripts which detected and uninstalled antivirus software.[89][90]

S0270 RogueRobin

RogueRobin enumerates running processes to search for Wireshark and Windows Sysinternals suite.[91][92]

S0148 RTM

RTM can obtain information about security software on the victim.[93]

G1008 SideCopy

SideCopy uses a loader DLL file to collect AV product names from an infected host.[2]

G0121 Sidewinder

Sidewinder has used the Windows service winmgmts:\.\root\SecurityCenter2 to check installed antivirus products.[94]


SILENTTRINITY can determine if an anti-virus product is installed through the resolution of the service's virtual SID.[95]

S0468 Skidmap

Skidmap has the ability to check if /usr/sbin/setenforce exists. This file controls what mode SELinux is in.[96]

S0646 SpicyOmelette

SpicyOmelette can check for the presence of 29 different antivirus tools.[97]

S0380 StoneDrill

StoneDrill can check for antivirus and antimalware programs.[98]

S0142 StreamEx

StreamEx has the ability to scan for security tools such as firewalls and antivirus tools.[99]

S0491 StrongPity

StrongPity can identify if ESET or BitDefender antivirus are installed before dropping its payload.[100]

S0603 Stuxnet

Stuxnet enumerates the currently running processes related to a variety of security products.[101]


SUNBURST checked for a variety of antivirus/endpoint detection agents prior to execution.[102][103]

S0098 T9000

T9000 performs checks for various antivirus and security products during installation.[104]

G1018 TA2541

TA2541 has used tools to search victim systems for security products such as antivirus and firewall software.[105]

S0467 TajMahal

TajMahal has the ability to identify which anti-virus products, firewalls, and anti-spyware products are in use.[106]

S0057 Tasklist

Tasklist can be used to enumerate security software currently running on a system by process name of known products.[107]

G0139 TeamTNT

TeamTNT has searched for security products on infected machines.[108][109]

G0089 The White Company

The White Company has checked for specific antivirus products on the target’s computer, including Kaspersky, Quick Heal, AVG, BitDefender, Avira, Sophos, Avast!, and ESET.[110]

S0595 ThiefQuest

ThiefQuest uses the kill_unwanted function to get a list of running processes, compares each process with an encrypted list of "unwanted" security related programs, and kills the processes for security related programs.[111]

G1022 ToddyCat

ToddyCat can determine is Kaspersky software is running on an endpoint by running cmd /c wmic process where name="avp.exe".[112]

G0081 Tropic Trooper

Tropic Trooper can search for anti-virus software running on the system.[113]

G0010 Turla

Turla has obtained information on security software, including security logging information that may indicate whether their malware has been detected.[114]

S0476 Valak

Valak can determine if a compromised host has security products installed.[115]


VERMIN uses WMI to check for anti-virus software installed on the system.[116]

S0579 Waterbear

Waterbear can find the presence of a specific security software.[117]

S0689 WhisperGate

WhisperGate can recognize the presence of monitoring tools on a target system.[118]

G0112 Windshift

Windshift has used malware to identify installed AV and commonly used forensic and malware analysis tools.[119]

S0176 Wingbird

Wingbird checks for the presence of Bitdefender security software.[120]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has used WMI to identify anti-virus products installed on a victim's machine.[121]

S1065 Woody RAT

Woody RAT can detect Avast Software, Doctor Web, Kaspersky, AVG, ESET, and Sophos antivirus programs.[122]

S0653 xCaon

xCaon has checked for the existence of Kaspersky antivirus software on the system.[123]


XCSSET searches firewall configuration files located in /Library/Preferences/ and uses csrutil status to determine if System Integrity Protection is enabled.[124]


YAHOYAH checks for antimalware solution processes on the system.[125]

S0330 Zeus Panda

Zeus Panda checks to see if anti-virus, anti-spyware, or firewall products are installed in the victim’s environment.[126][127]

S1013 ZxxZ

ZxxZ can search a compromised host to determine if it is running Windows Defender or Kasperky antivirus.[128]


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


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0017 Command Command Execution

Monitor executed commands and arguments that may attempt to get a listing of security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment.

Note: For Windows, Event ID 4104 (from the Microsoft-Windows-Powershell/Operational log) captures Powershell script blocks, which can be analyzed and used to detect on potential Security Software Discovery.

DS0018 Firewall Firewall Enumeration

Monitor for an extracted list of available firewalls and/or their associated settings/rules (ex: Azure Network Firewall CLI Show commands)

Firewall Metadata

Monitor for contextual data about a firewall and activity around it such as name, policy, or status

DS0009 Process OS API Execution

Monitor for API calls that may attempt to get a listing of security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment. OS API calls associated with LSASS process dumping include EnumProcesses, which can be used to enumerate the set of processes running on a host and filtered to look for security-specific processes.

Note: Most EDR tools do not support direct monitoring of API calls due to the sheer volume of calls produced by an endpoint but may have alerts or events that are based on abstractions of OS API calls. Dynamic malware analysis tools (i.e., sandboxes) can be used to trace the execution, including OS API calls, for a single PE binary.

Process Creation

Monitor newly executed processes that may attempt to get a listing of security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment.


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