Windows Management Instrumentation
|Windows Management Instrumentation|
|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|
WMI service, winmgmt, running. Host/network firewalls allowing SMB and WMI ports from source to destination.SMB authentication.
|Permissions Required||User, Administrator|
|Data Sources||Authentication logs, Netflow/Enclave netflow, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring|
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a Windows administration feature that provides a uniform environment for local and remote access to Windows system components. It relies on the WMI service for local and remote access and the server message block (SMB)1 and Remote Procedure Call Service (RPCS)2 for remote access. RPCS operates over port 135.3
An adversary can use WMI to interact with local and remote systems and use it as a means to perform many tactic functions, such as gathering information for Discovery and remote Execution of files as part of Lateral Movement.4
- APT29 used WMI to steal credentials and execute backdoors at a future time.5
- The Deep Panda group is known to utilize WMI for lateral movement.6
- Lazarus Group malware SierraAlfa uses the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line application wmic to start itself on a target system during lateral movement.7
- Stealth Falcon malware gathers system information via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).8
- menuPass uses a modified version of pentesting script wmiexec.vbs, which logs into a remote machine using WMI.910
- A BlackEnergy 2 plug-in uses WMI to gather victim host details.11
- Cobalt Strike can use WMI to deliver a payload to a remote host.12
- The DustySky dropper uses Windows Management Instrumentation to extract information about the operating system and whether an anti-virus is active.13
- HALFBAKED can use WMI queries to gather system information.14
- KOMPROGO is capable of running WMI queries.15
Disabling WMI or RPCS may cause system instability and should be evaluated to assess the impact to a network. By default, only administrators are allowed to connect remotely using WMI. Restrict other users who are allowed to connect, or disallow all users to connect remotely to WMI. Prevent credential overlap across systems of administrator and privileged accounts.4
Monitor network traffic for WMI connections; the use of WMI in environments that do not typically use WMI may be suspect. Perform process monitoring to capture command-line arguments of "wmic" and detect commands that are used to perform remote behavior.4
- Wikipedia. (2016, June 12). Server Message Block. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Microsoft. (2003, March 28). What Is RPC?. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Windows Management Instrumentation. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Ballenthin, W., et al. (2015). Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Offense, Defense, and Forensics. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- Dunwoody, M. and Carr, N.. (2016, September 27). No Easy Breach DerbyCon 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Alperovitch, D. (2014, July 7). Deep in Thought: Chinese Targeting of National Security Think Tanks. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Remote Administration Tools & Content Staging Malware Report. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Marczak, B. and Scott-Railton, J.. (2016, May 29). Keep Calm and (Don’t) Enable Macros: A New Threat Actor Targets UAE Dissidents. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper: Technical Annex. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Twi1ight. (2015, July 11). AD-Pentest-Script - wmiexec.vbs. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- Baumgartner, K. and Garnaeva, M.. (2015, February 17). BE2 extraordinary plugins, Siemens targeting, dev fails. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Strategic Cyber LLC. (2017, March 14). Cobalt Strike Manual. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- ClearSky. (2016, January 7). Operation DustySky. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Carr, N., et al. (2017, April 24). FIN7 Evolution and the Phishing LNK. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- Carr, N.. (2017, May 14). Cyber Espionage is Alive and Well: APT32 and the Threat to Global Corporations. Retrieved June 18, 2017.