File and Directory Discovery
|File and Directory 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, Linux, Windows 10, MacOS, OS X|
|System Requirements||Some folders may require Administrator, SYSTEM or specific user depending on permission levels and access controls|
|Permissions Required||User, Administrator, SYSTEM|
|Data Sources||File monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring|
Adversaries may enumerate files and directories or may search in specific locations of a host or network share for certain information within a file system.
Example utilities used to obtain this information are
tree.1 Custom tools may also be used to gather file and directory information and interact with the Windows API.
Mac and Linux
In Mac and Linux, this kind of discovery is accomplished with the
- APT28 has a utility to list detailed information about files and directories 2
- Dust Storm has used Android backdoors capable of enumerating specific files on the infected devices.3
- Ke3chang uses command-line interaction to search files and directories.4
- Several Lazarus Group malware samples use a common function to identify target files by their extension. Lazarus Group malware families also enumerate files and directories on lettered drives.5
- A Patchwork payload has searched all fixed drives on the victim for files matching a specified list of extensions.6
- Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover files in specific locations on the hard disk %TEMP% directory, the current user's desktop, and in the Program Files directory.7
- admin@338 actors used the following commands after exploiting a machine with LOWBALL malware to obtain information about files and directories:
dir c:\ >> %temp%\download
dir "c:\Documents and Settings" >> %temp%\download
dir "c:\Program Files\" >> %temp%\download
dir d:\ >> %temp%\download8
dir C:\progra~1when initially run.26
E$\Windowsshares on the victim with its current privileges.46
File system activity is a common part of an operating system, so it is unlikely that mitigation would be appropriate for this technique. It may still be beneficial to identify and block unnecessary system utilities or potentially malicious software by using whitelisting48 tools, like AppLocker,149 or Software Restriction Policies50 where appropriate.51
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 Collection and Exfiltration, 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.
- Tomonaga, S. (2016, January 26). Windows Commands Abused by Attackers. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Robert Falcone. (2017, February 14). XAgentOSX: Sofacy's Xagent macOS Tool. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- Gross, J. (2016, February 23). Operation Dust Storm. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- 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.
- Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Unraveling the Long Thread of the Sony Attack. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Cymmetria. (2016). Unveiling Patchwork - The Copy-Paste APT. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
- Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team. (2014, August 7). The Epic Turla Operation: Solving some of the mysteries of Snake/Uroburos. Retrieved December 11, 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.
- Crowdstrike Global Intelligence Team. (2014, June 9). CrowdStrike Intelligence Report: Putter Panda. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- ESET. (2016, October). En Route with Sednit - Part 2: Observing the Comings and Goings. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Bitdefender. (2015, December). APT28 Under the Scope. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Settle, A., et al. (2016, August 8). MONSOON - Analysis Of An APT Campaign. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- FireEye Labs. (2015, April). APT30 AND THE MECHANICS OF A LONG-RUNNING CYBER ESPIONAGE OPERATION. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- Lee, B. Grunzweig, J. (2015, December 22). BBSRAT Attacks Targeting Russian Organizations Linked to Roaming Tiger. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- FireEye Labs/FireEye Threat Intelligence. (2015, May 14). Hiding in Plain Sight: FireEye and Microsoft Expose Obfuscation Tactic. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Symantec Security Response. (2014, July 7). Dragonfly: Cyberespionage Attacks Against Energy Suppliers. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- F-Secure Labs. (2014). BlackEnergy & Quedagh: The convergence of crimeware and APT attacks. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Baumgartner, K. and Garnaeva, M.. (2014, November 3). BE2 custom plugins, router abuse, and target profiles. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Miller-Osborn, J. and Grunzweig, J.. (2017, February 16). menuPass Returns with New Malware and New Attacks Against Japanese Academics and Organizations. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence. (2017, April 6). APT10 (MenuPass Group): New Tools, Global Campaign Latest Manifestation of Longstanding Threat. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- F-Secure Labs. (2014, July). COSMICDUKE Cosmu with a twist of MiniDuke. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Huss, D.. (2016, March 1). Operation Transparent Tribe. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- Fidelis Cybersecurity. (2016, February 29). The Turbo Campaign, Featuring Derusbi for 64-bit Linux. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- ClearSky. (2016, January 7). Operation DustySky. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Winters, R.. (2015, December 20). The EPS Awakens - Part 2. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Falcone, R., et al.. (2015, June 16). Operation Lotus Blossom. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- F-Secure Labs. (2015, September 17). The Dukes: 7 years of Russian cyberespionage. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit Threat Intelligence. (2015, August 5). Threat Group-3390 Targets Organizations for Cyberespionage. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Desai, D.. (2015, August 14). Chinese cyber espionage APT group leveraging recently leaked Hacking Team exploits to target a Financial Services Firm. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Yadav, A., et al. (2016, January 29). Malicious Office files dropping Kasidet and Dridex. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Falcone, R. and Miller-Osborn, J.. (2016, January 24). Scarlet Mimic: Years-Long Espionage Campaign Targets Minority Activists. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Miller-Osborn, J. and Grunzweig, J.. (2017, March 30). Trochilus and New MoonWind RATs Used In Attack Against Thai Organizations. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Grunzweig, J., et al. (2016, May 24). New Wekby Attacks Use DNS Requests As Command and Control Mechanism. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Adair, S.. (2016, November 9). PowerDuke: Widespread Post-Election Spear Phishing Campaigns Targeting Think Tanks and NGOs. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- Cherepanov, A.. (2016, May 17). Operation Groundbait: Analysis of a surveillance toolkit. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- Kasza, A. and Reichel, D.. (2017, February 27). The Gamaredon Group Toolset Evolution. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Camba, A. (2013, February 27). BKDR_RARSTONE: New RAT to Watch Out For. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Faou, M. and Boutin, J.. (2017, February). Read The Manual: A Guide to the RTM Banking Trojan. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper: Technical Annex. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Symantec Security Response. (2016, August 8). Backdoor.Remsec indicators of compromise. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team. (2016, August 9). The ProjectSauron APT. Technical Analysis. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team. (2016, August 9). The ProjectSauron APT. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Ray, V., Hayashi, K. (2016, February 29). New Malware ‘Rover’ Targets Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
- Falcone, R. and Wartell, R.. (2015, July 27). Observations on CVE-2015-3113, Prior Zero-Days and the Pirpi Payload. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Carr, N.. (2017, May 14). Cyber Espionage is Alive and Well: APT32 and the Threat to Global Corporations. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- FireEye. (2016, November 30). FireEye Responds to Wave of Destructive Cyber Attacks in Gulf Region. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- Cylance SPEAR Team. (2017, February 9). Shell Crew Variants Continue to Fly Under Big AV’s Radar. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Beechey, J. (2010, December). Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda?. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- 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.