Data Manipulation: Stored Data Manipulation

Adversaries may insert, delete, or manipulate data at rest in order to manipulate external outcomes or hide activity.[1][2] By manipulating stored data, adversaries may attempt to affect a business process, organizational understanding, and decision making.

Stored data could include a variety of file formats, such as Office files, databases, stored emails, and custom file formats. The type of modification and the impact it will have depends on the type of data as well as the goals and objectives of the adversary. For complex systems, an adversary would likely need special expertise and possibly access to specialized software related to the system that would typically be gained through a prolonged information gathering campaign in order to have the desired impact.

ID: T1565.001
Sub-technique of:  T1565
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User, root
Data Sources: Application logs, File monitoring
Impact Type: Integrity
Version: 1.0
Created: 02 March 2020
Last Modified: 02 March 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description

APT38 has used DYEPACK to create, delete, and alter records in databases used for SWIFT transactions.[1]


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.[3]


Sunspot created a copy of the SolarWinds Orion software source file with a .bk extension to backup the original content, wrote Sunburst using the same filename but with a .tmp extension, and then moved Sunburst using MoveFileEx to the original filename with a .cs extension so it could be compiled within Orion software.[4]


Mitigation Description
Encrypt Sensitive Information

Consider encrypting important information to reduce an adversary’s ability to perform tailored data modifications.

Remote Data Storage

Consider implementing IT disaster recovery plans that contain procedures for taking regular data backups that can be used to restore organizational data.[5] Ensure backups are stored off system and is protected from common methods adversaries may use to gain access and manipulate backups.

Restrict File and Directory Permissions

Ensure least privilege principles are applied to important information resources to reduce exposure to data manipulation risk.


Where applicable, inspect important file hashes, locations, and modifications for suspicious/unexpected values.