|Platform||Linux, macOS, Windows|
|Data Sources||API monitoring, Process monitoring, File monitoring|
Adversaries may attempt to take screen captures of the desktop to gather information over the course of an operation. Screen capturing functionality may be included as a feature of a remote access tool used in post-compromise operations.
On OSX, the native command
screencapture is used to capture screenshots.
On Linux, there is the native command
- APT28 regularly deploys a custom tool to take regular screenshots of victims.23
- APT34 has a tool called CANDYKING to capture a screenshot of user's desktop.4
- BRONZE BUTLER has used a tool to capture screenshots.5
- Dragonfly has performed screen captures of victims.6
- Malware used by Group5 is capable of watching the victim's screen.7
- Magic Hound malware can take a screenshot and upload the file to its C2 server.8
- BADNEWS has a command to take a screenshot and send it to the C2 server.910
- BlackEnergy is capable of taking screenshots.11
- Cobalt Strike's "beacon" payload is capable of capturing screen shots.12
- CosmicDuke takes periodic screenshots and exfiltrates them.13
- Crimson contains a command to perform screen captures.14
- is capable of capturing screenshots.15
- Daserf can take screenshots.165
- Derusbi is capable of performing screen captures.17
- EvilGrab has the capability to capture screenshots.18
- Flame can take regular screenshots when certain applications are open that are sent to the command and control server.19
- HALFBAKED can obtain screenshots from the victim.20
- Hydraq includes a component based on the code of VNC that can stream a live feed of the desktop of an infected host.21
- A JHUHUGIT variant takes screenshots by simulating the user pressing the "Take Screenshot" key (VK_SCREENSHOT), accessing the screenshot saved in the clipboard, and converting it to a JPG image.22
- Janicab captured screenshots and sent them out to a C2 server 23.
- Kasidet has the ability to initiate keylogging and screen captures.24
- Matroyshka is capable of performing screen captures.2526
- can capture the victim's screen.27
- POORAIM can perform screen capturing.15
- POWERSTATS can retrieve screenshots from compromised hosts.28
- POWRUNER can capture a screenshot from a victim.29
Get-TimedScreenshotExfiltration module can take screenshots at regular intervals.3031
- Prikormka contains a module that captures screenshots of the victim's desktop.32
- Pteranodon can capture screenshots at a configurable interval.33
- Pupy can drop a mouse-logger that will take small screenshots around at each click and then send back to the server.34
- RTM can capture screenshots.35
- RedLeaves can capture screenshots.36
- Rover takes screenshots of the compromised system's desktop and saves them to
C:\system\screenshot.bmpfor exfiltration every 60 minutes.37
- SHUTTERSPEED can capture screenshots.15
- T9000 can take screenshots of the desktop and target application windows, saving them to user directories as one byte XOR encrypted .dat files.38
- TURNEDUP is capable of taking screenshots.39
- TinyZBot contains screen capture functionality.40
- Trojan.Karagany can take a desktop screenshot and save the file into
- XAgentOSX contains the takeScreenShot (along with startTakeScreenShot and stopTakeScreenShot) functions to take screenshots using the CGGetActiveDisplayList, CGDisplayCreateImage, and NSImage:initWithCGImage methods.3
- ZLib has the ability to obtain screenshots of the compromised system.42
Blocking software based on screen capture functionality may be difficult, and there may be legitimate software that performs those actions. Instead, identify potentially malicious software that may have functionality to acquire screen captures, and audit and/or block it by using whitelisting43 tools, like AppLocker,4445 or Software Restriction Policies46 where appropriate.47
Monitoring for screen capture behavior will depend on the method used to obtain data from the operating system and write output files. Detection methods could include collecting information from unusual processes using API calls used to obtain image data, and monitoring for image files written to disk. The sensor data may need to be correlated with other events to identify malicious activity, depending on the legitimacy of this behavior within a given network environment.
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