System Service Discovery
|System Service Discovery|
|Platform||Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 8.1|
|Permissions Required||User, Administrator, SYSTEM|
|Data Sources||Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring|
Adversaries may try to get information about registered services. Commands that may obtain information about services using operating system utilities are "sc," "tasklist /svc" using Tasklist, and "net start" using Net, but adversaries may also use other tools as well.
- Ke3chang performs service discovery using net start commands.1
- Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover running services and associated processes using the tasklist /svc command.2
- admin@338 actors used the following command following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to obtain information about services: net start >> %temp%\download3
- After compromising a victim, Poseidon Group discovers all running services.4
- Sykipot may use net start to display running services.5
- The net start command can be used in Net to find information about Windows services.6
- GeminiDuke collects information on programs and services on the victim that are configured to automatically run at startup.7
- Tasklist can be used to discover services running on a system.8
- Elise executes net start after initial communication is made to the remote server.9
- Emissary has the capability to execute the command net start to interact with services.10
- S-Type runs the command net start on a victim.11
- ZLib has the ability to discover and manipulate Windows services.11
- BBSRAT can query service configuration information.12
Identify unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software that may be used to acquire information about services, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting13 tools, like AppLocker,1415 or Software Restriction Policies16 where appropriate.17
System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as Lateral Movement, based on the information obtained.
Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system information related to services. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.
- Villeneuve, N., Bennett, J. T., Moran, N., Haq, T., Scott, M., & Geers, K. (2014). OPERATION “KE3CHANG”: Targeted Attacks Against Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team. (2014, August 7). The Epic Turla Operation: Solving some of the mysteries of Snake/Uroburos. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- FireEye Threat Intelligence. (2015, December 1). China-based Cyber Threat Group Uses Dropbox for Malware Communications and Targets Hong Kong Media Outlets. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
- Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team. (2016, February 9). Poseidon Group: a Targeted Attack Boutique specializing in global cyber-espionage. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Blasco, J. (2011, December 12). Another Sykipot sample likely targeting US federal agencies. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Savill, J. (1999, March 4). Net.exe reference. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- F-Secure Labs. (2015, September 17). The Dukes: 7 years of Russian cyberespionage. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Tasklist. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- Falcone, R., et al.. (2015, June 16). Operation Lotus Blossom. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- Falcone, R. and Miller-Osborn, J.. (2016, February 3). Emissary Trojan Changelog: Did Operation Lotus Blossom Cause It to Evolve?. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- Gross, J. (2016, February 23). Operation Dust Storm. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Lee, B. Grunzweig, J. (2015, December 22). BBSRAT Attacks Targeting Russian Organizations Linked to Roaming Tiger. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- Beechey, J. (2010, December). Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda?. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Tomonaga, S. (2016, January 26). Windows Commands Abused by Attackers. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- NSA Information Assurance Directorate. (2014, August). Application Whitelisting Using Microsoft AppLocker. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
- Corio, C., & Sayana, D. P. (2008, June). Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Microsoft. (2012, June 27). Using Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker Policies. Retrieved April 7, 2016.