Compromise Infrastructure: Server

Before compromising a victim, adversaries may compromise third-party servers that can be used during targeting. Use of servers allows an adversary to stage, launch, and execute an operation. During post-compromise activity, adversaries may utilize servers for various tasks, including for Command and Control. Instead of purchasing a Server or Virtual Private Server, adversaries may compromise third-party servers in support of operations.

Adversaries may also compromise web servers to support watering hole operations, as in Drive-by Compromise.

ID: T1584.004
Sub-technique of:  T1584
Tactic: Resource Development
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.0
Created: 01 October 2020
Last Modified: 12 October 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description

APT16 has compromised otherwise legitimate sites as staging servers for second-stage payloads.[1]


Turla has used compromised servers as infrastructure.[2]


Mitigation Description

This technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on behaviors performed outside of the scope of enterprise defenses and controls.


Much of this activity will take place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection of this behavior difficult. Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Command and Control.