Gather Victim Host Information: Firmware
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may gather information about the victim's host firmware that can be used during targeting. Information about host firmware may include a variety of details such as type and versions on specific hosts, which may be used to infer more information about hosts in the environment (ex: configuration, purpose, age/patch level, etc.).
Adversaries may gather this information in various ways, such as direct elicitation via Phishing for Information. Information about host firmware may only be exposed to adversaries via online or other accessible data sets (ex: job postings, network maps, assessment reports, resumes, or purchase invoices). Gathering this information may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Search Open Technical Databases), establishing operational resources (ex: Develop Capabilities or Obtain Capabilities), and/or initial access (ex: Supply Chain Compromise or Exploit Public-Facing Application).
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.