Search Closed Sources
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may search and gather information about victims from closed sources that can be used during targeting. Information about victims may be available for purchase from reputable private sources and databases, such as paid subscriptions to feeds of technical/threat intelligence data. Adversaries may also purchase information from less-reputable sources such as dark web or cybercrime blackmarkets.
Adversaries may search in different closed 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: Develop Capabilities or Obtain Capabilities), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services or Valid Accounts).
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.