Search Victim-Owned Websites
Adversaries may search websites owned by the victim for information that can be used during targeting. Victim-owned websites may contain a variety of details, including names of departments/divisions, physical locations, and data about key employees such as names, roles, and contact info (ex: Email Addresses). These sites may also have details highlighting business operations and relationships.
Adversaries may search victim-owned websites to gather actionable information. Information from these sources may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Phishing for Information or Search Open Technical Databases), establishing operational resources (ex: Establish Accounts or Compromise Accounts), and/or initial access (ex: Trusted Relationship or Phishing).
Silent Librarian has searched victim's websites to identify the interests and academic areas of targeted individuals and to scrape source code, branding, and organizational contact information for phishing pages.
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.
Monitor for suspicious network traffic that could be indicative of adversary reconnaissance, such as rapid successions of requests indicative of web crawling and/or large quantities of requests originating from a single source (especially if the source is known to be associated with an adversary). Analyzing web metadata may also reveal artifacts that can be attributed to potentially malicious activity, such as referer or user-agent string HTTP/S fields.
- Bischoff, P. (2020, October 15). Broadvoice database of more than 350 million customer records exposed online. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Scott W. Brady. (2020, October 15). United States vs. Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko et al.. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- DOJ. (2018, March 23). U.S. v. Rafatnejad et al . Retrieved February 3, 2021.