Search Open Technical Databases: Scan Databases
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may search within public scan databases for information about victims that can be used during targeting. Various online services continuously publish the results of Internet scans/surveys, often harvesting information such as active IP addresses, hostnames, open ports, certificates, and even server banners.
Adversaries may search scan databases to gather actionable information. Threat actors can use online resources and lookup tools to harvest information from these services. Adversaries may seek information about their already identified targets, or use these datasets to discover opportunities for successful breaches. Information from these sources may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Active Scanning or Search Open Websites/Domains), establishing operational resources (ex: Develop Capabilities or Obtain Capabilities), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services 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.