Search Open Technical Databases
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may search freely available technical databases for information about victims that can be used during targeting. Information about victims may be available in online databases and repositories, such as registrations of domains/certificates as well as public collections of network data/artifacts gathered from traffic and/or scans.
Adversaries may search in different open databases depending on what information they seek to gather. Information from these sources may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Phishing for Information or Search Open Websites/Domains), establishing operational resources (ex: Acquire Infrastructure or Compromise Infrastructure), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services or Trusted Relationship).
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.
- NTT America. (n.d.). Whois Lookup. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Hacker Target. (n.d.). DNS Dumpster. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- CIRCL Computer Incident Response Center. (n.d.). Passive DNS. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Jain, M. (2019, September 16). Export & Download — SSL Certificate from Server (Site URL). Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- SSL Shopper. (n.d.). SSL Checker. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Swisscom & Digital Shadows. (2017, September 6). Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) Can Leave You Exposed – How You Might Be Affected And What You Can Do About It. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Shodan. (n.d.). Shodan. Retrieved October 20, 2020.