Application Window Discovery

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Application Window Discovery
Technique
ID T1010
Tactic 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, Windows 10, MacOS, OS X
Permissions Required User
Data Sources API monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of open application windows. Window listings could convey information about how the system is used or give context to information collected by a keylogger.

In Mac, this can be done natively with a small AppleScript script.

Examples

  • Lazarus Group malware IndiaIndia obtains and sends to its C2 server the title of the window for each running process.1 The KilaAlfa keylogger also reports the title of the window in the foreground.2
  • The discovery modules used with Duqu can collect information on open windows.3
  • NetTraveler reports window names along with keylogger information to provide application context.4
  • PowerDuke has a command to get text of the current foreground window.5
  • SOUNDBITE is capable of enumerating application windows.6

Mitigation

Identify unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software that may be used to acquire information, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting7 tools, like AppLocker,89 or Software Restriction Policies10 where appropriate.11

Detection

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 based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. 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.