Impair Defenses: Disable or Modify Tools

Adversaries may disable security tools to avoid possible detection of their tools and activities. This can take the form of killing security software or event logging processes, deleting Registry keys so that tools do not start at run time, or other methods to interfere with security tools scanning or reporting information.

ID: T1562.001
Sub-technique of:  T1562
Tactic: Defense Evasion
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, User
Data Sources: File monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Services, Windows Registry
Defense Bypassed: Anti-virus, File monitoring, Host intrusion prevention systems, Log analysis, Signature-based detection
CAPEC ID: CAPEC-578
Version: 1.0
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 29 March 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description
Agent Tesla

Agent Tesla has the capability to kill any running analysis processes and AV software.[1]

Brave Prince

Brave Prince terminates antimalware processes.[2]

BRONZE BUTLER

BRONZE BUTLER has incorporated code into several tools that attempts to terminate anti-virus processes.[3]

Bundlore

Bundlore can change macOS security settings and browser preferences to enable follow-on behaviors.[4]

Carberp

Carberp has attempted to disable security software by creating a suspended process for the security software and injecting code to delete antivirus core files when the process is resumed.[5]

ChChes

ChChes can alter the victim's proxy configuration.[6]

DarkComet

DarkComet can disable Security Center functions like anti-virus.[7][8]

FIN6

FIN6 has deployed a utility script named kill.bat to disable anti-virus.[9]

Gamaredon Group

Gamaredon Group has delivered macros which can tamper with Microsoft Office security settings.[10]

Gold Dragon

Gold Dragon terminates anti-malware processes if they’re found running on the system.[2]

Goopy

Goopy has the ability to disable Microsoft Outlook's security policies to disable macro warnings.[11]

Gorgon Group

Gorgon Group malware can attempt to disable security features in Microsoft Office and Windows Defender using the taskkill command.[12]

H1N1

H1N1 kills and disables services for Windows Security Center, and Windows Defender.[13]

HDoor

HDoor kills anti-virus found on the victim.[14]

Imminent Monitor

Imminent Monitor has a feature to disable Windows Task Manager.[15]

JPIN

JPIN can lower security settings by changing Registry keys.[16]

Kimsuky

Kimsuky has been observed turning off Windows Security Center.[17]

Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group malware TangoDelta attempts to terminate various processes associated with McAfee. Additionally, Lazarus Group malware SHARPKNOT disables the Microsoft Windows System Event Notification and Alerter services.[18][19][20][21]. During a 2019 intrusion, Lazarus Group disabled Windows Defender and Credential Guard as some of their first actions on host.[22]

LockerGoga

LockerGoga installation has been immediately preceded by a "task kill" command in order to disable anti-virus.[23]

Maze

Maze has disabled dynamic analysis and other security tools including IDA debugger, x32dbg, and OllyDbg.[24] It has also disabled Windows Defender's Real-Time Monitoring feature and attempted to disable endpoint protection services.[25]

Metamorfo

Metamorfo has a function to kill processes associated with defenses and can prevent certain processes from launching.[26][27]

NanHaiShu

NanHaiShu can change Internet Explorer settings to reduce warnings about malware activity.[28]

NanoCore

NanoCore can modify the victim's anti-virus.[29][30]

Netwalker

Netwalker can detect and terminate active security software-related processes on infected systems.[31][32]

Night Dragon

Night Dragon has disabled anti-virus and anti-spyware tools in some instances on the victim’s machines. The actors have also disabled proxy settings to allow direct communication from victims to the Internet.[33]

POWERSTATS

POWERSTATS can disable Microsoft Office Protected View by changing Registry keys.[34]

Proton

Proton kills security tools like Wireshark that are running.[35]

Putter Panda

Malware used by Putter Panda attempts to terminate processes corresponding to two components of Sophos Anti-Virus (SAVAdminService.exe and SavService.exe).[36]

Ragnar Locker

Ragnar Locker has attempted to terminate/stop processes and services associated with endpoint security products.[37]

REvil

REvil can connect to and disable the Symantec server on the victim's network.[38]

RobbinHood

RobbinHood will search for Windows services that are associated with antivirus software on the system and kill the process.[39]

Rocke

Rocke used scripts which detected and uninstalled antivirus software.[40][41]

RunningRAT

RunningRAT kills antimalware running process.[2]

Ryuk

Ryuk has stopped services related to anti-virus.[42]

Skidmap

Skidmap has the ability to set SELinux to permissive mode.[43]

SslMM

SslMM identifies and kills anti-malware processes.[14]

StrongPity

StrongPity can add directories used by the malware to the Windows Defender exclusions list to prevent detection.[44]

Sunburst

Sunburst attempted to disable software security services following checks against a FNV-1a + XOR hashed hardcoded blocklist.[45]

TinyZBot

TinyZBot can disable Avira anti-virus.[46]

TrickBot

TrickBot can disable Windows Defender.[47]

Turla

Turla has used a AMSI bypass, which patches the in-memory amsi.dll, in PowerShell scripts to bypass Windows antimalware products.[48]

UNC2452

UNC2452 used the service control manager on a remote system to disable services associated with security monitoring products.[49]

Unknown Logger

Unknown Logger has functionality to disable security tools, including Kaspersky, BitDefender, and MalwareBytes.[50]

Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has shut down or uninstalled security applications on victim systems that might prevent ransomware from executing.[51][52][53]

ZxShell

ZxShell can kill AV products' processes.[54]

Mitigations

Mitigation Description
Restrict File and Directory Permissions

Ensure proper process and file permissions are in place to prevent adversaries from disabling or interfering with security services.

Restrict Registry Permissions

Ensure proper Registry permissions are in place to prevent adversaries from disabling or interfering with security services.

User Account Management

Ensure proper user permissions are in place to prevent adversaries from disabling or interfering with security services.

Detection

Monitor processes and command-line arguments to see if security tools are killed or stop running. Monitor Registry edits for modifications to services and startup programs that correspond to security tools. Lack of log events may be suspicious.

References

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