Permission Groups Discovery
|Permission Groups 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|
|Data Sources||API monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring|
Adversaries may attempt to find local system or domain-level groups and permissions settings. Examples of commands that can list groups are
net group /domain and
net localgroup using the Net utility.
- Ke3chang performs discovery of permission groups net group /domain.1
- admin@338 actors used the following command following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to list local groups: net localgroup administrator >> %temp%\download2
- Commands such as net group and net localgroup can be used in Net to gather information about and manipulate groups.3
- Sys10 collects the group name of the logged-in user and sends it to the C2.4
- Emissary has the capability to execute the command net localgroup administrators.5
- dsquery can be used to gather information on permission groups within a domain.6
Identify unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software that may be used to acquire information about groups and permissions, and audit and/or block them by using whitelisting7 tools, like AppLocker,89 or Software Restriction Policies10 where appropriate.11
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Savill, J. (1999, March 4). Net.exe reference. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- Baumgartner, K., Golovkin, M.. (2015, May). The MsnMM Campaigns: The Earliest Naikon APT Campaigns. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- Falcone, R. and Miller-Osborn, J.. (2016, February 3). Emissary Trojan Changelog: Did Operation Lotus Blossom Cause It to Evolve?. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Dsquery. Retrieved April 18, 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.