MITRE ATT&CK Framework
The MITRE ATT&CK Framework (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge) is a resource designed as a framework in the field of cybersecurity. This framework is a database that contains tactics, techniques, and general information that can be used in combating cyberattacks. Its primary purpose is to identify the typical tactics and techniques used by adversaries and use this information to guide defense teams. The ATT&CK Framework helps organizations develop and improve their defense strategies, enabling them to more effectively counter cyber threats.
The ATT&CK Framework divides the tactics and techniques that adversaries can use into a series of stages. These stages allow us to track the evolution of an attack. Some key stages include:
- Initial Access
- Defense Evasion
- Credential Access
Each stage includes a list of tactics and techniques that attackers can use to achieve their objectives (https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1594/). Discovery, for instance, is a stage where cyber attackers gather information they can use to plan future operations. Attackers can use this information to support targeting and guide their operations. The Discovery category includes information gathered through active or passive methods and often includes details about the victim organization, its infrastructure, and its employees (https://mitre-attack.github.io/attack-navigator/).
T1594 – Search Victim-Owned Websites: How It Works: Attackers search for information on websites owned by the victim. Detection: Web server logs can be inspected for unusual or frequent access patterns from suspicious IP addresses. Prevention: Access controls and rate limiting can be implemented on web servers to restrict automated scanning.
T1593 – Search Open Websites/Domains: How It Works: Attackers search freely available websites and domains for victim information. Detection: Network traffic can be monitored for suspicious website access, and web filtering can be used to block malicious sites. Prevention: Employees can be educated about the risks of sharing sensitive information online.
T1595 – Active Scanning: How It Works: Attackers conduct active reconnaissance scans to gather information. Detection: Network monitoring and security software can detect active scans, abnormal scans, and high traffic levels. Prevention: Network access controls and firewalls can be used to prevent the detection of active scans. Security software and monitoring tools can also be used to track such activities.
T1596 – Search Technical Databases: How It Works: Attackers search freely available technical databases for victim information. Detection: DNS queries can be monitored to track unusual domain queries and use threat intelligence feeds. Prevention: Limit the public visibility of technical data and use domain privacy services.
T1597 – Search Closed Sources: How It Works: Attackers gather information about victims from closed sources. Detection: Dark web and cybercrime forums can be monitored regularly to determine if your organization is being discussed. Prevention: Strengthen security measures to reduce the risk of data leaks.
T1598 – Phishing for Information: How It Works: Attackers send phishing communications to obtain sensitive information. Detection: Use email filtering to detect phishing attempts and educate employees about email security. Prevention: Implement two-factor authentication and provide security awareness training.
T1591 – Collect Organization Information: How It Works: Attackers gather information about the victim organization. Detection: Online resources and social media can be monitored for information leaks. Prevention: Educate employees about the importance of not disclosing sensitive corporate details.
T1590 – Collect Network Information: How It Works: Attackers gather information about the victim’s networks. Detection: Network monitoring and intrusion detection systems (IDS) can be used. Prevention: Implement network segmentation and access controls.
T1589 – Collect Identity Information: How It Works: Attackers gather information about the victim’s identities. Detection: Monitor employee data access and use behavior analytics. Prevention: Encrypt sensitive identity-related data and enforce strong password policies.
T1592 – Collect Host Information: How It Works: Attackers gather information about victim host systems. Detection: Use host-based intrusion detection systems (HIDS) and monitor system logs. Prevention: Keep systems and software up to date and use firewalls.
The MITRE ATT&CK Framework is a critical tool in the field of cybersecurity, aiding in the development of defense strategies and the analysis of cyberattacks. This framework categorizes the tactics and techniques that cyber adversaries can employ into specific stages, allowing defense teams to understand and mitigate their actions.
In conclusion, the ATT&CK Framework helps organizations better prepare for cyber threats. Its use enables defense teams to gain a deeper understanding of cyberattacks and take measures to reduce information security risks. Additionally, the framework provides guidance on detecting attacks, developing defense strategies, and patching security vulnerabilities, ultimately helping organizations become more secure.”