Adversaries may use email rules to hide inbound emails in a compromised user's mailbox. Many email clients allow users to create inbox rules for various email functions, including moving emails to other folders, marking emails as read, or deleting emails. Rules may be created or modified within email clients or through external features such as the
Set-InboxRule PowerShell cmdlets on Windows systems.
Adversaries may utilize email rules within a compromised user's mailbox to delete and/or move emails to less noticeable folders. Adversaries may do this to hide security alerts, C2 communication, or responses to Internal Spearphishing emails sent from the compromised account.
Any user or administrator within the organization (or adversary with valid credentials) may be able to create rules to automatically move or delete emails. These rules can be abused to impair/delay detection had the email content been immediately seen by a user or defender. Malicious rules commonly filter out emails based on key words (such as
hack) found in message bodies and subject lines. 
In some environments, administrators may be able to enable email rules that operate organization-wide rather than on individual inboxes. For example, Microsoft Exchange supports transport rules that evaluate all mail an organization receives against user-specified conditions, then performs a user-specified action on mail that adheres to those conditions. Adversaries that abuse such features may be able to automatically modify or delete all emails related to specific topics (such as internal security incident notifications).
FIN4 has created rules in victims' Microsoft Outlook accounts to automatically delete emails containing words such as "hacked," "phish," and "malware" in a likely attempt to prevent organizations from communicating about their activities.
Enterprise email solutions may have monitoring mechanisms that may include the ability to audit inbox rules on a regular basis.
In an Exchange environment, Administrators can use
|ID||Data Source||Data Component||Detects|
|DS0015||Application Log||Application Log Content||
Monitor for third-party application logging, messaging, and/or other artifacts that may use email rules to hide inbound emails in a compromised user's mailbox. Monitor email clients and applications for suspicious activity, such as missing messages or abnormal configuration and/or log entries. In environments using Exchange, monitor logs for the creation or modification of mail transport rules.
On Windows systems, monitor for creation of suspicious inbox rules through the use of the
On MacOS systems, monitor for modifications to the