Taint Shared Content

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Taint Shared Content
ID T1080
Tactic Lateral Movement
Platform Windows
System Requirements Access to shared folders and content with write permissions
Data Sources File monitoring, Process monitoring

Content stored on network drives or in other shared locations may be tainted by adding malicious programs, scripts, or exploit code to otherwise valid files. Once a user opens the shared tainted content, the malicious portion can be executed to run the adversary's code on a remote system. Adversaries may use tainted shared content to move laterally.


  • Darkhotel uses a virus that propagates by infecting executables stored on shared drives.1
  • H1N1 has functionality to copy itself to network shares.2
  • Miner-C copies itself into the public folder of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and infects new victims who open the file.3


Protect shared folders by minimizing users who have write access. Use utilities that detect or mitigate common features used in exploitation, such as the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).

Identify potentially malicious software that may be used to taint content or may result from it and audit and/or block the unknown programs by using whitelisting4 tools, like AppLocker,56 or Software Restriction Policies7 where appropriate.8


Processes that write or overwrite many files to a network shared directory may be suspicious. Monitor processes that are executed from removable media for malicious or abnormal activity such as network connections due to Command and Control and possible network Discovery techniques.