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T0834 Native API

Adversaries may directly interact with the native OS application programming interface (API) to access system functions. Native APIs provide a controlled means of calling low-level OS services within the kernel, such as those involving hardware/devices, memory, and processes. 1 These native APIs are leveraged by the OS during system boot (when other system components are not yet initialized) as well as carrying out tasks and requests during routine operations.

Functionality provided by native APIs are often also exposed to user-mode applications via interfaces and libraries. For example, functions such as memcpy and direct operations on memory registers can be used to modify user and system memory space.

Item Value
ID T0834
Tactics TA0104
Platforms Control Server, Data Historian, Field Controller/RTU/PLC/IED, Human-Machine Interface, Input/Output Server, Safety Instrumented System/Protection Relay
Version 1.0
Created 13 April 2021
Last Modified 09 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S1006 PLC-Blaster PLC-Blaster uses the system function blocks TCON and TDISCON to initiate and destroy TCP connections to arbitrary systems. Buffers may be sent and received on these connections with TRCV und TSEND system function blocks. 3
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet calls system function blocks which are part of the operating system running on the PLC. Theyre used to execute system tasks, such as reading the system clock (SFC1) and generating data blocks on the fly. 2
S1009 Triton Triton‘s imain.bin payload takes commands from the TsHi.ExplReadRam(Ex), TsHi.ExplWriteRam(Ex) and TsHi.ExplExec functions to perform operations on controller memory and registers using syscalls written in PowerPC shellcode. 4


ID Mitigation Description
M0938 Execution Prevention Minimize the exposure of API calls that allow the execution of code.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0009 Process OS API Execution