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MITRE ATT&CK

MITRE ATT&CK for ICS

MITRE ATT&CK for ICS is a collection of behaviors that adversaries have exhibited while carrying out attacks against industrial control system networks. Defenders can operationalize the collective knowledge in the framework today with the Dragos Platform and Worldview Threat Intelligence.

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ATT&CK for ICS Detections in Dragos Platform

The Dragos Platform is continuously updated with new Threat Behavior Analytics via monthly Knowledge Packs. These software packages capture the expertise of our world-class Threat Intelligence team as they continuously research the behaviors of sophisticated ICS Threat Activity Groups. Dragos Threat Detections are mapped to tactics and techniques in MITRE ATT&CK for ICS to provide deep context of threats to help reduce threat discovery time, false positives, and alert fatigue.

Dragos Threat Activity Groups

Dragos Threat Intelligence has created profiles of known groups targeting ICS environments to provide industrial defenders with context on behaviors that can signal evidence of a potential cyberattack. See how the behaviors of these Threat Activity Groups map to the ATT&CK for ICS matrix below:

Initial Access Execution Persistence Evasion Discovery Lateral Movement Collection Command and Control Inhibit Response Function Impair Process Control Impact
Data Historian Compromise

Adversaries may compromise and gain control of a data historian to gain a foothold into the control system environment. Access to a data historian may be used to learn stored database archival and analysis information on the control system. A dual-homed data historian may provide adversaries an interface from the IT environment to the OT environment.

Dragos has released an updated analysis on CrashOverride that outlines the attack from the ICS network breach to payload delivery and execution. The report summarized that CrashOverride represents a new application of malware, but relied on standard intrusion techniques.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0810

Change Program State

Adversaries may attempt to change the state of the current program on a control device. Program state changes may be used to allow for another program to take over control or be loaded onto the device.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0875

Hooking

Adversaries may hook into application programming interface (API) functions used by processes to redirect calls for persistent means. Windows processes often leverage these API functions to perform tasks that require reusable system resources. Windows API functions are typically stored in dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) as exported functions.

One type of hooking seen in ICS involves redirecting calls to these functions via import address table (IAT) hooking. IAT hooking uses modifications to a process’s IAT, where pointers to imported API functions are stored.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0874

Exploitation for Evasion

Adversaries may exploit a software vulnerability to take advantage of a programming error in a program, service, or within the operating system software or kernel itself to evade detection. Vulnerabilities may exist in software that can be used to disable or circumvent security features.

Adversaries may have prior knowledge through Control Device Identification about security features implemented on control devices. These device security features will likely be targeted directly for exploitation. There are examples of firmware RAM/ROM consistency checks on control devices being targeted by adversaries to enable the installation of malicious System Firmware.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0820

Control Device Identification

Adversaries may perform control device identification to determine the make and model of a target device. Management software and device APIs may be utilized by the adversary to gain this information. By identifying and obtaining device specifics, the adversary may be able to determine device vulnerabilities. This device information can also be used to understand device functionality and inform the decision to target the environment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0808

Default Credentials

Adversaries may leverage manufacturer or supplier set default credentials on control system devices. These default credentials may have administrative permissions and may be necessary for initial configuration of the device. It is general best practice to change the passwords for these accounts as soon as possible, but some manufacturers may have devices that have passwords or usernames that cannot be changed.

Default credentials are normally documented in an instruction manual that is either packaged with the device, published online through official means, or published online through unofficial means. Adversaries may leverage default credentials that have not been properly modified or disabled.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0812

Automated Collection

Adversaries may automate collection of industrial environment information using tools or scripts. This automated collection may leverage native control protocols and tools available in the control systems environment. For example, the OPC protocol may be used to enumerate and gather information. Access to a system or interface with these native protocols may allow collection and enumeration of other attached, communicating servers and devices.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0802

Commonly Used Port

Adversaries may communicate over a commonly used port to bypass firewalls or network detection systems and to blend in with normal network activity, to avoid more detailed inspection. They may use the protocol associated with the port, or a completely different protocol. They may use commonly open ports, such as the examples provided below.

• TCP:80 (HTTP)

• TCP:443 (HTTPS)

• TCP/UDP:53 (DNS)

• TCP:1024-4999 (OPC on XP/Win2k3)

• TCP:49152-65535 (OPC on Vista and later)

• TCP:23 (TELNET)

• UDP:161 (SNMP)

• TCP:502 (MODBUS)

• TCP:102 (S7comm/ISO-TSAP)

• TCP:20000 (DNP3)

• TCP:44818 (Ethernet/IP)

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0885

Activate Firmware Update Mode

Adversaries may activate firmware update mode on devices to prevent expected response functions from engaging in reaction to an emergency or process malfunction. For example, devices such as protection relays may have an operation mode designed for firmware installation. This mode may halt process monitoring and related functions to allow new firmware to be loaded. A device left in update mode may be placed in an inactive holding state if no firmware is provided to it. By entering and leaving a device in this mode, the adversary may deny its usual functionalities.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0800

Brute Force I/O

Adversaries may brute force I/O addresses on a device and attempt to exhaustively perform an action. By enumerating the full range of I/O addresses, an adversary may manipulate a process function without having to target specific I/O interfaces. More than one process function manipulation and enumeration pass may occur on the targeted I/O range in a brute force attempt.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0806

Damage to Property

Adversaries may cause damage and destruction of property to infrastructure, equipment, and the surrounding environment when attacking control systems. This technique may result in device and operational equipment breakdown, or represent tangential damage from other techniques used in an attack. Depending on the severity of physical damage and disruption caused to control processes and systems, this technique may result in Loss of Safety. Operations that result in Loss of Control may also cause damage to property, which may be directly or indirectly motivated by an adversary seeking to cause impact in the form of Loss of Productivity and Revenue. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0879

Drive-by Compromise

Adversaries may gain access to a system during a drive-by compromise, when a user visits a website as part of a regular browsing session.With this technique, the user’s web browser is targeted and exploited simply by visiting the compromised website.

The adversary may target a specific community, such as trusted third party suppliers or other industry specific groups, which often visit the target website. This kind of targeted attack relies on a common interest, and is known as a strategic web compromise or watering hole attack.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0817

Command-Line Interface

Adversaries may utilize command-line interfaces (CLIs) to interact with systems and execute commands. CLIs provide a means of interacting with computer systems and are a common feature across many types of platforms and devices within control systems environments. Adversaries may also use CLIs to install and run new software, including malicious tools that may be installed over the course of an operation. CLIs are typically accessed locally, but can also be exposed via services, such as SSH, Telnet, and RDP. Commands that are executed in the CLI execute with the current permissions level of the process running the terminal emulator, unless the command specifies a change in permissions context. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0807

Module Firmware

Adversaries may install malicious or vulnerable firmware onto modular hardware devices. Control system devices often contain modular hardware devices. These devices may have their own set of firmware that is separate from the firmware of the main control system equipment.

This technique is similar to System Firmware, but is conducted on other system components that may not have the same capabilities or level of integrity checking. Although it results in a device re-image, malicious device firmware may provide persistent access to remaining devices.

An easy point of access for an adversary is the Ethernet card, which may have its own CPU, RAM, and operating system. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0839

Indicator Removal on Host

Adversaries may attempt to remove indicators of their presence on a system in an effort to cover their tracks. In cases where an adversary may feel detection is imminent, they may try to overwrite, delete, or cover up changes they have made to the device.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0872

I/O Module Discovery

Adversaries may use input/output (I/O) module discovery to gather key information about a control system device. An I/O module is a device that allows the control system device to either receive or send signals to other devices. These signals can be analog or digital, and may support a number of different protocols. Devices are often able to use attachable I/O modules to increase the number of inputs and outputs that it can utilize. An adversary with access to a device can use native device functions to enumerate I/O modules that are connected to the device. Information regarding the I/O modules can aid the adversary in understanding related control processes.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0824

Exploitation of Remote Services

Adversaries may exploit a software vulnerability to take advantage of a programming error in a program, service, or within the operating system software or kernel itself to enable remote service abuse. A common goal for post-compromise exploitation of remote services is for lateral movement to enable access to a remote system.

ICS asset owners and operators have been affected by ransomware (or disruptive malware masquerading as ransomware) migrating from enterprise IT to ICS environments: WannaCry, NotPetya, and BadRabbit. In each of these cases, self-propagating (“wormable”) malware initially infected IT networks, but through exploit (particularly the SMBv1-targeting MS17-010 vulnerability) spread to industrial networks, producing significant impacts.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0866

Data from Information Repositories

Adversaries may target and collect data from information repositories. This can include sensitive data such as specifications, schematics, or diagrams of control system layouts, devices, and processes. Examples of target information repositories include reference databases and local machines on the process environment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0811

Connection Proxy

Adversaries may use a connection proxy to direct network traffic between systems or act as an intermediary for network communications.

The definition of a proxy can also be expanded to encompass trust relationships between networks in peer-to-peer, mesh, or trusted connections between networks consisting of hosts or systems that regularly communicate with each other.

The network may be within a single organization or across multiple organizations with trust relationships. Adversaries could use these types of relationships to manage command and control communications, to reduce the number of simultaneous outbound network connections, to provide resiliency in the face of connection loss, or to ride over existing trusted communications paths between victims to avoid suspicion.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0884

Alarm Suppression

Adversaries may target protection function alarms to prevent them from notifying operators of critical conditions. Alarm messages may be a part of an overall reporting system and of particular interest for adversaries. Disruption of the alarm system does not imply the disruption of the reporting system as a whole. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0878

Change Program State

Adversaries may attempt to change the state of the current program on a control device. Program state changes may be used to allow for another program to take over control or be loaded onto the device.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0875

Denial of Control

Adversaries may cause a denial of control to temporarily prevent operators and engineers from interacting with process controls. An adversary may attempt to deny process control access to cause a temporary loss of communication with the control device or to prevent operator adjustment of process controls. An affected process may still be operating during the period of control loss, but not necessarily in a desired state. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0813

Engineering Workstation Compromise

Adversaries may compromise and gain control of an engineering workstation as an Initial Access technique into the control system environment. Access to an engineering workstation may occur as a result of remote access or by physical means, such as a person with privileged access or infection by removable media. A dual-homed engineering workstation may allow the adversary access into multiple networks. For example, unsegregated process control, safety system, or information system networks.

An Engineering Workstation is designed as a reliable computing platform that configures, maintains, and diagnoses control system equipment and applications. Compromise of an engineering workstation may provide access to and control of other control system applications and equipment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0818

Execution through API

Adversaries may attempt to leverage Application Program Interfaces (APIs) used for communication between control software and the hardware. Specific functionality is often coded into APIs which can be called by software to engage specific functions on a device or other software, such as Change Program State of a program on a PLC.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0871

Program Download

Adversaries may perform a program download to load malicious or unintended program logic on a device as a method of persistence or to disrupt response functions or process control. Program download onto devices, such as PLCs, allows adversaries to implement custom logic. Malicious PLC programs may be used to disrupt physical processes or enable adversary persistence. The act of a program download will cause the PLC to enter a STOP operation state, which may prevent response functions from operating correctly.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0843

Masquerading

Adversaries may use masquerading to disguise a malicious application or executable as another file, to avoid operator and engineer suspicion. Possible disguises of these masquerading files can include commonly found programs, expected vendor executables and configuration files, and other commonplace application and naming conventions. By impersonating expected and vendor-relevant files and applications, operators and engineers may not notice the presence of the underlying malicious content and possibly end up running those masquerading as legitimate functions.

Applications and other files commonly found on Windows systems or in engineering workstations have been impersonated before. This can be as simple as renaming a file to effectively disguise it in the ICS environment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0849

Network Connection Enumeration

Adversaries may perform network connection enumeration to discover information about device communication patterns. If an adversary can inspect the state of a network connection with tools, such as netstat, in conjunction with System Firmware, then they can determine the role of certain devices on the network. The adversary can also use Network Sniffing to watch network traffic for details about the source, destination, protocol, and content.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0840

External Remote Services

Adversaries may leverage external remote services as a point of initial access into your network. These services allow users to connect to internal network resources from external locations. Examples are VPNs, Citrix, and other access mechanisms. Remote service gateways often manage connections and credential authentication for these services.1 External remote services allow administration of a control system from outside the system. Often, vendors and internal engineering groups have access to external remote services to control system networks via the corporate network. In some cases, this access is enabled directly from the internet. While remote access enables ease of maintenance when a control system is in a remote area … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0822

Detect Operating Mode

Adversaries may gather information about the current operating state of a PLC. CPU operating modes are often controlled by a key switch on the PLC. Example states may be run, prog, stop, remote, and invalid. Knowledge of these states may be valuable to an adversary to determine if they are able to reprogram the PLC.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0868

Standard Application Layer Protocol

Adversaries may establish command and control capabilities over commonly used application layer protocols such as HTTP(S), OPC, RDP, telnet, DNP3, and Modbus. These protocols may be used to disguise adversary actions as benign network traffic. Standard protocols may be seen on their associated port or in some cases over a non-standard port.

Adversaries may use these protocols to reach out of the network for command and control, or in some cases to other infected devices within the network.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0869

Block Command Message

Adversaries may block a command message from reaching its intended target to prevent command execution. In OT networks, command messages are sent to provide instructions to control system devices. A blocked command message can inhibit response functions from correcting a disruption or unsafe condition. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0803

Masquerading

Adversaries may use masquerading to disguise a malicious application or executable as another file, to avoid operator and engineer suspicion. Possible disguises of these masquerading files can include commonly found programs, expected vendor executables and configuration files, and other commonplace application and naming conventions. By impersonating expected and vendor-relevant files and applications, operators and engineers may not notice the presence of the underlying malicious content and possibly end up running those masquerading as legitimate functions.

Applications and other files commonly found on Windows systems or in engineering workstations have been impersonated before. This can be as simple as renaming a file to effectively disguise it in the ICS environment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0849

Denial of View

Adversaries may cause a denial of view in attempt to disrupt and prevent operator oversight on the status of an ICS environment. This may manifest itself as a temporary communication failure between a device and its control source, where the interface recovers and becomes available once the interference ceases.

An adversary may attempt to deny operator visibility by preventing them from receiving status and reporting messages. Denying this view may temporarily block and prevent operators from noticing a change in state or anomalous behavior. The environment’s data and processes may still be operational, but functioning in an unintended or adversarial manner. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0815

Exploit Public-Facing Application

Adversaries may attempt to exploit public-facing applications to leverage weaknesses on Internet-facing computer systems, programs, or assets in order to cause unintended or unexpected behavior. These public-facing applications may include user interfaces, software, data, or commands. In particular, a public-facing application in the IT environment may provide adversaries an interface into the OT environment.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0819

Graphical User Interface

Adversaries may attempt to gain access to a machine via a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to enhance execution capabilities. Access to a GUI allows a user to interact with a computer in a more visual manner than a CLI. A GUI allows users to move a cursor and click on interface objects, with a mouse and keyboard as the input devices, as opposed to just the keyboard.

If physical access is not an option, then access might be possible via protocols such as VNC on Linux-based and Unix-based operating systems, and RDP on Windows operating systems. An adversary can use this access to execute programs and applications on the target machine.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0823

Project File

Adversaries may attempt to infect project files with malicious code. These project files may consist of objects, program organization units, variables such as tags, documentation, and other configurations needed for PLC programs to function. Using built in functions of the engineering software, adversaries may be able to download an infected program to a PLC in the operating environment enabling further execution and persistence techniques.

Adversaries may export their own code into project files with conditions to execute at specific intervals. Malicious programs allow adversaries control of all aspects of the process enabled by the PLC. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0873

Rogue Master Device

Adversaries may setup a rogue master to leverage control server functions to communicate with slave devices. A rogue master device can be used to send legitimate control messages to other control system devices, affecting processes in unintended ways. It may also be used to disrupt network communications by capturing and receiving the network traffic meant for the actual master device. Impersonating a master device may also allow an adversary to avoid detection. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0848

Network Service Scanning

Network Service Scanning is the process of discovering services on networked systems. This can be achieved through a technique called port scanning or probing. Port scanning interacts with the TCP/IP ports on a target system to determine whether ports are open, closed, or filtered by a firewall. This does not reveal the service that is running behind the port, but since many common services are run on specific port numbers, the type of service can be assumed. More in-depth testing includes interaction with the actual service to determine the service type and specific version. One of the most-popular tools to use for Network Service Scanning is Nmap. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0841

Program Organization Units

Program Organizational Units (POUs) are block structures used within PLC programming to create programs and projects. POUs can be used to hold user programs written in IEC 61131-3 languages: Structured text, Instruction list, Function block, and Ladder logic. They can also provide additional functionality, such as establishing connections between the PLC and other devices using TCON. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0844

Detect Program State

Adversaries may seek to gather information about the current state of a program on a PLC. State information reveals information about the program, including whether it’s running, halted, stopped, or has generated an exception. This information may be leveraged as a verification of malicious program execution or to determine if a PLC is ready to download a new program.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0870

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Block Reporting Message

Adversaries may block or prevent a reporting message from reaching its intended target. In control systems, reporting messages contain telemetry data (e.g., I/O values) pertaining to the current state of equipment and the industrial process. By blocking these reporting messages, an adversary can potentially hide their actions from an operator.

Blocking reporting messages in control systems that manage physical processes may contribute to system impact, causing inhibition of a response function. A control system may not be able to respond in a proper or timely manner to an event, such as a dangerous fault, if its corresponding reporting message is blocked.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0804

 

Modify Control Logic

Adversaries may place malicious code in a system, which can cause the system to malfunction by modifying its control logic. Control system devices use programming languages (e.g. relay ladder logic) to control physical processes by affecting actuators, which cause machines to operate, based on environment sensor readings. These devices often include the ability to perform remote control logic updates.

Program code is normally edited in a vendor-specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that relies on proprietary tools and features. These IDEs allow an engineer to perform host target development and may have the ability to run the code on the machine it is programmed for. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0833

Loss of Availability

Adversaries may attempt to disrupt essential components or systems to prevent owner and operator from delivering products or services.

Adversaries may leverage malware to delete or encrypt critical data on HMIs, workstations, or databases.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0826

External Remote Services

Adversaries may leverage external remote services as a point of initial access into your network. These services allow users to connect to internal network resources from external locations. Examples are VPNs, Citrix, and other access mechanisms. Remote service gateways often manage connections and credential authentication for these services.

External remote services allow administration of a control system from outside the system. Often, vendors and internal engineering groups have access to external remote services to control system networks via the corporate network. In some cases, this access is enabled directly from the internet. While remote access enables ease of maintenance when a control system is in a remote area, compromise of … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0822

Man in the Middle

Adversaries with privileged network access may seek to modify network traffic in real time using man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. This type of attack allows the adversary to intercept traffic to and/or from a particular device on the network. If a MITM attack is established, then the adversary has the ability to block, log, modify, or inject traffic into the communication stream. There are several ways to accomplish this attack, but some of the most-common are Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) poisoning and the use of a proxy. A MITM attack may allow an adversary to perform the following attacks:

Block Reporting Message, Spoof Reporting Message, Modify Parameter, Unauthorized Command Message

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0830

System Firmware

System firmware on modern assets is often designed with an update feature. Older device firmware may be factory installed and require special reprogramming equipment. When available, the firmware update feature enables vendors to remotely patch bugs and perform upgrades. Device firmware updates are often delegated to the user and may be done using a software update package. It may also be possible to perform this task over the network.

An adversary may exploit the firmware update feature on accessible devices to upload malicious or out-of-date firmware. Malicious modification of device firmware may provide an adversary with root access to a device, given firmware is one of the lowest programming abstraction layers. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0857

Rootkit

Adversaries may deploy rootkits to hide the presence of programs, files, network connections, services, drivers, and other system components. Rootkits are programs that hide the existence of malware by intercepting and modifying operating-system API calls that supply system information. Rootkits or rootkit-enabling functionality may reside at the user or kernel level in the operating system, or lower.

Firmware rootkits that affect the operating system yield nearly full control of the system. While firmware rootkits are normally developed for the main processing board, they can also be developed for I/O that can be attached to the asset. Compromise of this firmware allows the modification of all of the process … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0851

Network Sniffing

Network sniffing is the practice of using a network interface on a computer system to monitor or capture information regardless of whether it is the specified destination for the information. An adversary may attempt to sniff the traffic to gain information about the target. This information can vary in the level of importance. Relatively unimportant information is general communications to and from machines. Relatively important information would be login information. User credentials may be sent over an unencrypted protocol, such as Telnet, that can be captured and obtained through network packet analysis. Network sniffing can be a way to discover information for Control Device Identification. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0842

Remote File Copy

Adversaries may copy files from one system to another to stage adversary tools or other files over the course of an operation. Copying of files may also be performed laterally between internal victim systems to support Lateral Movement with remote Execution using inherent file sharing protocols such as file sharing over SMB to connected network shares.

In control systems environments, malware may use SMB and other file sharing protocols to move laterally through industrial networks.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0867

I/O Image

Adversaries may seek to capture process image values related to the inputs and outputs of a PLC. Within a PLC all input and output states are stored into an I/O image. This image is used by the user program instead of directly interacting with physical I/O.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0877

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Block Serial COM

Adversaries may block access to serial COM to prevent instructions or configurations from reaching target devices. Serial Communication ports (COM) allow communication with control system devices. Devices can receive command and configuration messages over such serial COM. Devices also use serial COM to send command and reporting messages. Blocking device serial COM may also block command messages and block reporting messages.

A serial to Ethernet converter is often connected to a serial COM to facilitate communication between serial and Ethernet devices. One approach to blocking a serial COM would be to create and hold open a TCP session with the Ethernet side of the converter. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0805

Modify Parameter

Adversaries may modify parameters used to instruct industrial control system devices. These devices operate via programs that dictate how and when to perform actions based on such parameters. Such parameters can determine the extent to which an action is performed and may specify additional options. For example, a program on a control system device dictating motor processes may take a parameter defining the total number of seconds to run that motor.

An adversary can potentially modify these parameters to produce an outcome outside of what was intended by the operators. By modifying system and process critical parameters, the adversary may cause Impact to equipment and/or control processes. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0836

Loss of Control

Adversaries may seek to achieve a sustained loss of control or a runaway condition in which operators cannot issue any commands even if the malicious interference has subsided.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0827

Internet Accessible Device

Adversaries may gain access into industrial environments directly through systems exposed to the internet for remote access rather than through External Remote Services. Minimal protections provided by these devices such as password authentication may be targeted and compromised.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0883

Program Organization Units

Program Organizational Units (POUs) are block structures used within PLC programming to create programs and projects. POUs can be used to hold user programs written in IEC 61131-3 languages: Structured text, Instruction list, Function block, and Ladder logic. They can also provide additional functionality, such as establishing connections between the PLC and other devices using TCON. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0844

Valid Accounts

Adversaries may steal the credentials of a specific user or service account using credential access techniques. In some cases, default credentials for control system devices may be publicly available. Compromised credentials may be used to bypass access controls placed on various resources on hosts and within the network, and may even be used for persistent access to remote systems. Compromised and default credentials may also grant an adversary increased privilege to specific systems and devices or access to restricted areas of the network. Adversaries may choose not to use malware or tools, in conjunction with the legitimate access those credentials provide, to make it harder to detect their presence … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0859

Spoof Reporting Message

Adversaries may spoof reporting messages in control system environments for evasion and to impair process control. In control systems, reporting messages contain telemetry data (e.g., I/O values) pertaining to the current state of equipment and the industrial process. Reporting messages are important for monitoring the normal operation of a system or identifying important events such as deviations from expected values.

If an adversary has the ability to Spoof Reporting Messages, they can impact the control system in many ways. The adversary can Spoof Reporting Messages that state that the process is operating normally, as a form of evasion. The adversary could also Spoof Reporting Messages to make the defenders … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0856

Remote System Discovery

Remote System Discovery is the process of identifying the presence of hosts on a network, and details about them. This process is common to network administrators validating the presence of machines and services, as well as adversaries mapping out a network for future-attack targets. An adversary may attempt to gain information about the target network via network enumeration techniques such as port scanning. One of the most popular tools for enumeration is Nmap. Remote System Discovery allows adversaries to map out hosts on the network as well as the TCP/IP ports that are open, closed, or filtered. Remote System Discovery tools also aid in by attempting to connect … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0846

Valid Accounts

Adversaries may steal the credentials of a specific user or service account using credential access techniques. In some cases, default credentials for control system devices may be publicly available. Compromised credentials may be used to bypass access controls placed on various resources on hosts and within the network, and may even be used for persistent access to remote systems.

Compromised and default credentials may also grant an adversary increased privilege to specific systems and devices or access to restricted areas of the network. Adversaries may choose not to use malware or tools, in conjunction with the legitimate access those credentials provide, to make it harder to detect … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0859

Location Identification

Adversaries may perform location identification using device data to inform operations and targeted impact for attacks. Location identification data can come in a number of forms, including geographic location, location relative to other control system devices, time zone, and current time. An adversary may use an embedded global positioning system (GPS) module in a device to figure out the physical coordinates of a device. NIST SP800-82 recommends that devices utilize GPS or another location determining mechanism to attach appropriate timestamps to log entries. While this assists in logging and event tracking, an adversary could use the underlying positioning mechanism to determine the general location of a device. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0825

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Data Destruction

Adversaries may perform data destruction over the course of an operation. The adversary may drop or create malware, tools, or other non-native files on a target system to accomplish this, potentially leaving behind traces of malicious activities. Such non-native files and other data may be removed over the course of an intrusion to maintain a small footprint or as a standard part of the post-intrusion cleanup process.

Data destruction may also be used to render operator interfaces unable to respond and to disrupt response functions from occurring as expected. An adversary may also destroy data backups that are vital to recovery after an incident. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0809

Module Firmware

Adversaries may install malicious or vulnerable firmware onto modular hardware devices. Control system devices often contain modular hardware devices. These devices may have their own set of firmware that is separate from the firmware of the main control system equipment.

This technique is similar to System Firmware, but is conducted on other system components that may not have the same capabilities or level of integrity checking. Although it results in a device re-image, malicious device firmware may provide persistent access to remaining devices.

An easy point of access for an adversary is the Ethernet card, which may have its own CPU, RAM, and operating system. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0839

Loss of Productivity and Revenue

Adversaries may cause loss of productivity and revenue through disruption and even damage to the availability and integrity of control system operations, devices, and related processes. This technique may manifest as a direct effect of an ICS-targeting attack or tangentially, due to an IT-targeting attack against non-segregated environments. In some cases, this may result from the postponement and disruption of ICS operations and production as part of a remediation effort. Operations may be brought to a halt and effectively stopped in an effort to contain and properly remove malware or due to the Loss of Safety.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0828

Replication Through Removable Media

Adversaries may move onto systems, such as those separated from the enterprise network, by copying malware to removable media which is inserted into the control systems environment. The adversary may rely on unknowing trusted third parties, such as suppliers or contractors with access privileges, to introduce the removable media. This technique enables initial access to target devices that never connect to untrusted networks, but are physically accessible.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0847

Project File

Adversaries may attempt to infect project files with malicious code. These project files may consist of objects, program organization units, variables such as tags, documentation, and other configurations needed for PLC programs to function. Using built in functions of the engineering software, adversaries may be able to download an infected program to a PLC in the operating environment enabling further execution and persistence techniques.

Adversaries may export their own code into project files with conditions to execute at specific intervals. Malicious programs allow adversaries control of all aspects of the process enabled by the PLC. Once the project file is downloaded to a PLC the workstation device … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0873

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Utilize/Change Operating Mode

Adversaries may place controllers into an alternate mode of operation to enable configuration setting changes for evasive code execution or to inhibit device functionality. Programmable controllers typically have several modes of operation. These modes can be broken down into three main categories: program run, program edit, and program write. Each of these modes puts the device in a state in which certain functions are available. For instance, the program edit mode allows alterations to be made to the user program while the device is still online. By driving a device into an alternate mode of operation, an adversary has the ability to change configuration settings in such a way … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0858

Serial Connection Enumeration

Adversaries may perform serial connection enumeration to gather situational awareness after gaining access to devices in the OT network. Control systems devices often communicate to each other via various types of serial communication mediums. These serial communications are used to facilitate informational communication, as well as commands. Serial Connection Enumeration differs from I/O Module Discovery, as I/O modules are auxiliary systems to the main system, and devices that are connected via serial connection are normally discrete systems. While IT and OT networks may work in tandem, the exact structure of the OT network may not be discernible from the IT network alone. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0854

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Monitor Process State

Adversaries may gather information about the physical process state. This information may be used to gain more information about the process itself or used as a trigger for malicious actions. The sources of process state information may vary such as, OPC tags, historian data, specific PLC block information, or network traffic.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0801

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Denial of Service

Adversaries may perform Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks to disrupt expected device functionality. Examples of DoS attacks include overwhelming the target device with a high volume of requests in a short time period and sending the target device a request it does not know how to handle. Disrupting device state may temporarily render it unresponsive, possibly lasting until a reboot can occur. When placed in this state, devices may be unable to send and receive requests, and may not perform expected response functions in reaction to other events in the environment.

Some ICS devices are particularly sensitive to DoS events, and may become unresponsive in reaction to even a simple ping sweep. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0814

Program Download

Adversaries may perform a program download to load malicious or unintended program logic on a device as a method of persistence or to disrupt response functions or process control. Program download onto devices, such as PLCs, allows adversaries to implement custom logic. Malicious PLC programs may be used to disrupt physical processes or enable adversary persistence. The act of a program download will cause the PLC to enter a STOP operation state, which may prevent response functions from operating correctly.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0843

Loss of Safety

Adversaries may cause loss of safety whether on purpose or as a consequence of actions taken to accomplish an operation. The loss of safety can describe a physical impact and threat, or the potential for unsafe conditions and activity in terms of control systems environments, devices, or processes. For instance, an adversary may issue commands or influence and possibly inhibit safety mechanisms that allow the injury of and possible loss of life. This can also encompass scenarios resulting in the failure of a safety mechanism or control, that may lead to unsafe and dangerous execution and outcomes of physical processes and related systems. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0880

Spearphishing Attachment

Adversaries may use a spearphishing attachment, a variant of spearphishing, as a form of a social engineering attack against specific targets. Spearphishing attachments are different from other forms of spearphishing in that they employ malware attached to an email. All forms of spearphishing are electronically delivered and target a specific individual, company, or industry. In this scenario, adversaries attach a file to the spearphishing email and usually rely upon User Execution to gain execution and access.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0865

Scripting

Adversaries may use scripting languages to execute arbitrary code in the form of a pre-written script or in the form of user-supplied code to an interpreter. Scripting languages are programming languages that differ from compiled languages, in that scripting languages use an interpreter, instead of a compiler. These interpreters read and compile part of the source code just before it is executed, as opposed to compilers, which compile each and every line of code to an executable file. Scripting allows software developers to run their code on any system where the interpreter exists. This way, they can distribute one package, instead of precompiling executables for many different systems. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0853

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Point & Tag Identification

Adversaries may collect point and tag values to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the process environment. Points may be values such as inputs, memory locations, outputs or other process specific variables. Tags are the identifiers given to points for operator convenience.

Collecting such tags provides valuable context to environmental points and enables an adversary to map inputs, outputs, and other values to their control processes. Understanding the points being collected may inform an adversary on which processes and values to keep track of over the course of an operation.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0861

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Device Restart/Shutdown

Adversaries may forcibly restart or shutdown a device in the ICS environment to disrupt and potentially cause adverse effects on the physical processes it helps to control. Methods of device restart and shutdown exist as built-in, standard functionalities. This can include interactive device web interfaces, CLIs, and network protocol commands, among others. Device restart or shutdown may also occur as a consequence of changing a device into an alternative mode of operation for testing or firmware loading.

Unexpected restart or shutdown of control system devices may contribute to impact, by preventing expected response functions from activating and being received in critical states. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0816

Rogue Master Device

Adversaries may setup a rogue master to leverage control server functions to communicate with slave devices. A rogue master device can be used to send legitimate control messages to other control system devices, affecting processes in unintended ways. It may also be used to disrupt network communications by capturing and receiving the network traffic meant for the actual master device. Impersonating a master device may also allow an adversary to avoid detection. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0848

Loss of View

Adversaries may cause a sustained or permanent loss of view where the ICS equipment will require local, hands-on operator intervention; for instance, a restart or manual operation. By causing a sustained reporting or visibility loss, the adversary can effectively hide the present state of operations. This loss of view can occur without affecting the physical processes themselves.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0829

Supply Chain Compromise

Adversaries may perform supply chain compromise to gain control systems environment access by means of infected products, software, and workflows. Supply chain compromise is the manipulation of products, such as devices or software, or their delivery mechanisms before receipt by the end consumer. Adversary compromise of these products and mechanisms is done for the goal of data or system compromise, once infected products are introduced to the target environment.

Supply chain compromise can occur at all stages of the supply chain, from manipulation of development tools and environments to manipulation of developed products and tools distribution mechanisms. This may involve the compromise and replacement of legitimate software and patches, such as … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0862

User Execution

Adversaries may rely on a targeted organizations’ user interaction for the execution of malicious code. User interaction may consist of installing applications, opening email attachments, or granting higher permissions to documents.

Adversaries may embed malicious code or visual basic code into files such as Microsoft Word and Excel documents or software installers. Execution of this code requires that the user enable scripting or write access within the document. Embedded code may not always be noticeable to the user especially in cases of trojanized software.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0863

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Program Upload

Adversaries may attempt to upload a program from a PLC to gather information about an industrial process. Uploading a program may allow them to acquire and study the underlying logic. Methods of program upload include vendor software, which enables the user to upload and read a program running on a PLC. This software can be used to upload the target program to a workstation, jump box, or an interfacing device.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0845

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Manipulate I/O Image

Adversaries may manipulate the I/O image of PLCs through various means to prevent them from functioning as expected. Methods of I/O image manipulation may include overriding the I/O table via direct memory manipulation or using the override function used for testing PLC programs.

During the PLC scan cycle, the state of the actual physical inputs is copied to a portion of the PLC memory, commonly called the input image table. When the program is scanned, it examines the input image table to read the state of a physical input.

When the logic determines the state of a physical output, it writes to a portion of the PLC memory commonly called … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0835

Service Stop

Adversaries may stop or disable services on a system to render those services unavailable to legitimate users. Stopping critical services can inhibit or stop response to an incident or aid in the adversary’s overall objectives to cause damage to the environment.

Services may not allow for modification of their data stores while running. Adversaries may stop services in order to conduct Data Destruction.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0881

Manipulation of Control

Adversaries may manipulate physical process control within the industrial environment. Methods of manipulating control can include changes to set point values, tags, or other parameters. Adversaries may manipulate control systems devices or possibly leverage their own, to communicate with and command physical control processes. The duration of manipulation may be temporary or longer sustained, depending on operator detection.

Methods of Manipulation of Control include:

  • Man-in-the-middle
  • Spoof command message
  • Changing setpoints

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0831

Wireless Compromise

Adversaries may perform wireless compromise as a method of gaining communications and unauthorized access to a wireless network. Access to a wireless network may be gained through the compromise of a wireless device. Adversaries may also utilize radios and other wireless communication devices on the same frequency as the wireless network. Wireless compromise can be done as an initial access vector from a remote distance.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0860

 

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Role Identification

Adversaries may perform role identification of devices involved with physical processes of interest in a target control system. Control systems devices often work in concert to control a physical process. Each device can have one or more roles that it performs within that control process. By collecting this role-based data, an adversary can construct a more targeted attack.

For example, a power generation plant may have unique devices such as one that monitors power output of a generator and another that controls the speed of a turbine. Examining devices roles allows the adversary to observe how the two devices work together to monitor and control a physical process. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0850

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Modify Alarm Settings

Adversaries may modify alarm settings to prevent alerts that may inform operators of their presence or to prevent responses to dangerous and unintended scenarios. Reporting messages are a standard part of data acquisition in control systems. Reporting messages are used as a way to transmit system state information and acknowledgments that specific actions have occurred. These messages provide vital information for the management of a physical process, and keep operators, engineers, and administrators aware of the state of system devices and physical processes.

If an adversary is able to change the reporting settings, certain events could be prevented from being reported. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0838

Spoof Reporting Message

Adversaries may spoof reporting messages in control system environments for evasion and to impair process control. In control systems, reporting messages contain telemetry data (e.g., I/O values) pertaining to the current state of equipment and the industrial process. Reporting messages are important for monitoring the normal operation of a system or identifying important events such as deviations from expected values.

If an adversary has the ability to Spoof Reporting Messages, they can impact the control system in many ways. The adversary can Spoof Reporting Messages that state that the process is operating normally, as a form of evasion. The adversary could also Spoof Reporting Messages to make the defenders … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0856

Manipulation of View

Adversaries may attempt to manipulate the information reported back to operators or controllers. This manipulation may be short term or sustained. During this time the process itself could be in a much different state than what is reported.

Operators may be fooled into doing something that is harmful to the system in a loss of view situation. With a manipulated view into the systems, operators may issue inappropriate control sequences that introduce faults or catastrophic failures into the system. Business analysis systems can also be provided with inaccurate data leading to bad management decisions.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0832

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Screen Capture

Adversaries may attempt to perform screen capture of devices in the control system environment. Screenshots may be taken of workstations, HMIs, or other devices that display environment-relevant process, device, reporting, alarm, or related data. These device displays may reveal information regarding the ICS process, layout, control, and related schematics. In particular, an HMI can provide a lot of important industrial process information. Analysis of screen captures may provide the adversary with an understanding of intended operations and interactions between critical devices.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0852

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Modify Control Logic

Adversaries may place malicious code in a system, which can cause the system to malfunction by modifying its control logic. Control system devices use programming languages (e.g. relay ladder logic) to control physical processes by affecting actuators, which cause machines to operate, based on environment sensor readings. These devices often include the ability to perform remote control logic updates.

Program code is normally edited in a vendor-specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that relies on proprietary tools and features. These IDEs allow an engineer to perform host target development and may have the ability to run the code on the machine it is programmed for. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0833

Unauthorized Command Message

Adversaries may send unauthorized command messages to instruct control systems devices to perform actions outside their expected functionality for process control. Command messages are used in ICS networks to give direct instructions to control systems devices. If an adversary can send an unauthorized command message to a control system, then it can instruct the control systems device to perform an action outside the normal bounds of the device’s actions. An adversary could potentially instruct a control systems device to perform an action that will cause an Impact.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0858

Theft of Operational Information

Adversaries may steal operational information on a production environment as a direct mission outcome for personal gain or to inform future operations. This information may include design documents, schedules, rotational data, or similar artifacts that provide insight on operations. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0882

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Program Download

Adversaries may perform a program download to load malicious or unintended program logic on a device as a method of persistence or to disrupt response functions or process control. Program download onto devices, such as PLCs, allows adversaries to implement custom logic. Malicious PLC programs may be used to disrupt physical processes or enable adversary persistence. The act of a program download will cause the PLC to enter a STOP operation state, which may prevent response functions from operating correctly.

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0843

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Rootkit

Adversaries may deploy rootkits to hide the presence of programs, files, network connections, services, drivers, and other system components. Rootkits are programs that hide the existence of malware by intercepting and modifying operating-system API calls that supply system information. Rootkits or rootkit-enabling functionality may reside at the user or kernel level in the operating system, or lower.

Firmware rootkits that affect the operating system yield nearly full control of the system. While firmware rootkits are normally developed for the main processing board, they can also be developed for I/O that can be attached to the asset. Compromise of this firmware allows the modification of all of the process variables … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0851

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System Firmware

System firmware on modern assets is often designed with an update feature. Older device firmware may be factory installed and require special reprogramming equipment. When available, the firmware update feature enables vendors to remotely patch bugs and perform upgrades. Device firmware updates are often delegated to the user and may be done using a software update package. It may also be possible to perform this task over the network.

An adversary may exploit the firmware update feature on accessible devices to upload malicious or out-of-date firmware. Malicious modification of device firmware may provide an adversary with root access to a device, given firmware is one of the lowest programming abstraction layers. … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0857

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Utilize/Change Operating Mode

Adversaries may place controllers into an alternate mode of operation to enable configuration setting changes for evasive code execution or to inhibit device functionality. Programmable controllers typically have several modes of operation. These modes can be broken down into three main categories: program run, program edit, and program write. Each of these modes puts the device in a state in which certain functions are available. For instance, the program edit mode allows alterations to be made to the user program while the device is still online.

By driving a device into an alternate mode of operation, an adversary has the ability to change configuration settings in such a way … <abridged>

ATT&CK for ICS ID: T0858

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Using MITRE ATT&CK for ICS is as easy as 1-2-3

Step 1

The Dragos Platform gives you full visibility of the assets and communications on your network. The ICS deep packet inspection capabilities provide a broader and deeper ability to identify ATT&CK for ICS techniques.

Step 2

The Dragos Platform analyzes your ICS network communications for malicious threat behaviors, correlating to techniques documented in ATT&CK for ICS ensuring coverage of the framework for your team with rich context.

Step 3

Playbooks in the Dragos Platform correlate to each threat behavior and its corresponding ATT&CK for ICS tactics so that you can investigate and respond to incidents effectively and efficiently.

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