System Service Discovery
|System Service Discovery|
|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
- OilRig has used
sc queryon a victim to gather information about services.2
- After compromising a victim, Poseidon Group discovers all running services.3
- Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover running services and associated processes using the
- admin@338 actors used the following command following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to obtain information about services:
net start >> %temp%\download5
- BBSRAT can query service configuration information.6
- Elise executes
net startafter initial communication is made to the remote server.7
- Emissary has the capability to execute the command
net startto interact with services.8
- GeminiDuke collects information on programs and services on the victim that are configured to automatically run at startup.9
net startcommand can be used in Net to find information about Windows services.10
- S-Type runs the command
net starton a victim.11
- Sykipot may use
net startto display running services.12
- Tasklist can be used to discover services running on a system.13
- Volgmer queries the system to identify existing services.14
- ZLib has the ability to discover and manipulate Windows services.11
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 whitelisting15 tools, like AppLocker,1617 or Software Restriction Policies18 where appropriate.19
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.
- Falcone, R. and Lee, B.. (2016, May 26). The OilRig Campaign: Attacks on Saudi Arabian Organizations Deliver Helminth Backdoor. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lee, B. Grunzweig, J. (2015, December 22). BBSRAT Attacks Targeting Russian Organizations Linked to Roaming Tiger. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- 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.
- F-Secure Labs. (2015, September 17). The Dukes: 7 years of Russian cyberespionage. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Savill, J. (1999, March 4). Net.exe reference. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- Gross, J. (2016, February 23). Operation Dust Storm. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- Blasco, J. (2011, December 12). Another Sykipot sample likely targeting US federal agencies. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Tasklist. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- US-CERT. (2017, November 22). Alert (TA17-318B): HIDDEN COBRA – North Korean Trojan: Volgmer. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- 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.