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T0871 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.

Item Value
ID T0871
Tactics TA0104
Platforms Field Controller/RTU/PLC/IED
Version 1.1
Created 21 May 2020
Last Modified 09 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S1009 Triton Triton leverages a reconstructed TriStation protocol within its framework to trigger APIs related to program download, program allocation, and program changes. 3


ID Mitigation Description
M0801 Access Management Access Management technologies can be used to enforce authorization policies and decisions, especially when existing field devices do not provide capabilities to support user identification and authentication. 1 These technologies typically utilize an in-line network device or gateway system to prevent access to unauthenticated users, while also integrating with an authentication service to first verify user credentials.
M0800 Authorization Enforcement All APIs used to perform execution, especially those hosted on embedded controllers (e.g., PLCs), should provide adequate authorization enforcement of user access. Minimize user’s access to only required API calls. 2
M0938 Execution Prevention Minimize the exposure of API calls that allow the execution of code.
M0804 Human User Authentication All APIs on remote systems or local processes should require the authentication of users before executing any code or system changes.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0009 Process OS API Execution