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T1048.001 Exfiltration Over Symmetric Encrypted Non-C2 Protocol

Adversaries may steal data by exfiltrating it over a symmetrically encrypted network protocol other than that of the existing command and control channel. The data may also be sent to an alternate network location from the main command and control server.

Symmetric encryption algorithms are those that use shared or the same keys/secrets on each end of the channel. This requires an exchange or pre-arranged agreement/possession of the value used to encrypt and decrypt data.

Network protocols that use asymmetric encryption often utilize symmetric encryption once keys are exchanged, but adversaries may opt to manually share keys and implement symmetric cryptographic algorithms (ex: RC4, AES) vice using mechanisms that are baked into a protocol. This may result in multiple layers of encryption (in protocols that are natively encrypted such as HTTPS) or encryption in protocols that not typically encrypted (such as HTTP or FTP).

Item Value
ID T1048.001
Sub-techniques T1048.001, T1048.002, T1048.003
Tactics TA0010
Platforms Linux, Windows, macOS
Version 1.0
Created 15 March 2020
Last Modified 28 March 2020


ID Mitigation Description
M1037 Filter Network Traffic Enforce proxies and use dedicated servers for services such as DNS and only allow those systems to communicate over respective ports/protocols, instead of all systems within a network.
M1031 Network Intrusion Prevention Network intrusion detection and prevention systems that use network signatures to identify traffic for specific adversary command and control infrastructure and malware can be used to mitigate activity at the network level.
M1030 Network Segmentation Follow best practices for network firewall configurations to allow only necessary ports and traffic to enter and exit the network.2


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Access
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Connection Creation