Gather Victim Network Information: IP Addresses
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may gather the victim's IP addresses that can be used during targeting. Public IP addresses may be allocated to organizations by block, or a range of sequential addresses. Information about assigned IP addresses may include a variety of details, such as which IP addresses are in use. IP addresses may also enable an adversary to derive other details about a victim, such as organizational size, physical location(s), Internet service provider, and or where/how their publicly-facing infrastructure is hosted.
Adversaries may gather this information in various ways, such as direct collection actions via Active Scanning or Phishing for Information. Information about assigned IP addresses may also be exposed to adversaries via online or other accessible data sets (ex: Search Open Technical Databases). Gathering this information may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Active Scanning or Search Open Websites/Domains), establishing operational resources (ex: Acquire Infrastructure or Compromise Infrastructure), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services).
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. Efforts should focus on minimizing the amount and sensitivity of data available to external parties.
Much of this activity may have a very high occurrence and associated false positive rate, as well as potentially taking place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection difficult for defenders.
Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access.