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T1001 Data Obfuscation

Adversaries may obfuscate command and control traffic to make it more difficult to detect. Command and control (C2) communications are hidden (but not necessarily encrypted) in an attempt to make the content more difficult to discover or decipher and to make the communication less conspicuous and hide commands from being seen. This encompasses many methods, such as adding junk data to protocol traffic, using steganography, or impersonating legitimate protocols.

Item Value
ID T1001
Sub-techniques T1001.001, T1001.002, T1001.003
Tactics TA0011
Platforms Linux, Windows, macOS
Version 1.1
Created 31 May 2017
Last Modified 15 March 2020

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0381 FlawedAmmyy FlawedAmmyy may obfuscate portions of the initial C2 handshake.6
S1044 FunnyDream FunnyDream can send compressed and obfuscated packets to C2.7
C0014 Operation Wocao During Operation Wocao, threat actors encrypted IP addresses used for “Agent” proxy hops with RC4.8
S0495 RDAT RDAT has used encoded data within subdomains as AES ciphertext to communicate from the host to the C2.2
S0610 SideTwist SideTwist can embed C2 responses in the source code of a fake Flickr webpage.3
S0533 SLOTHFULMEDIA SLOTHFULMEDIA has hashed a string containing system information prior to exfiltration via POST requests.4
S0682 TrailBlazer TrailBlazer can masquerade its C2 traffic as legitimate Google Notifications HTTP requests.5


ID Mitigation Description
M1031 Network Intrusion Prevention Network intrusion detection and prevention systems that use network signatures to identify traffic for specific adversary malware can be used to mitigate some obfuscation activity at the network level.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content