|Platform||Linux, macOS, Windows|
|Data Sources||Netflow/Enclave netflow, Process use of network, Process monitoring|
Data exfiltration may be performed only at certain times of day or at certain intervals. This could be done to blend traffic patterns with normal activity or availability.
When scheduled exfiltration is used, other exfiltration techniques likely apply as well to transfer the information out of the network, such as Exfiltration Over Command and Control Channel and Exfiltration Over Alternative Protocol.
- ADVSTORESHELL collects, compresses, encrypts, and exfiltrates data to the C2 server every 10 minutes.1
- Cobalt Strike can set its "beacon" payload to reach out to the C2 server on an arbitrary and random interval. In addition it will break large data sets into smaller chunks for exfiltration.2
- Dipsind can be configured to only run during normal working hours, which would make its communications harder to distinguish from normal traffic.3
- creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can change the frequency at which compromised hosts contact remote C2 infrastructure.4
- POWERSTATS can sleep for a given number of seconds.5
Network intrusion detection and prevention systems that use network signatures to identify traffic for specific adversary command and control infrastructure and malware can be used to mitigate activity at the network level. Signatures are often for unique indicators within protocols and may be based on the specific obfuscation technique used by a particular adversary or tool, and will likely be different across various malware families and versions. Adversaries will likely change tool command and control signatures over time or construct protocols in such a way to avoid detection by common defensive tools.6
Monitor process file access patterns and network behavior. Unrecognized processes or scripts that appear to be traversing file systems and sending network traffic may be suspicious. Network connections to the same destination that occur at the same time of day for multiple days are suspicious.
- ESET. (2016, October). En Route with Sednit - Part 2: Observing the Comings and Goings. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Strategic Cyber LLC. (2017, March 14). Cobalt Strike Manual. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting Team. (2016, April 29). PLATINUM: Targeted attacks in South and Southeast Asia. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Zhou, R. (2012, May 15). Backdoor.Linfo. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Singh, S. et al.. (2018, March 13). Iranian Threat Group Updates Tactics, Techniques and Procedures in Spear Phishing Campaign. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Gardiner, J., Cova, M., Nagaraja, S. (2014, February). Command & Control Understanding, Denying and Detecting. Retrieved April 20, 2016.