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T1053.005 Scheduled Task

Adversaries may abuse the Windows Task Scheduler to perform task scheduling for initial or recurring execution of malicious code. There are multiple ways to access the Task Scheduler in Windows. The schtasks utility can be run directly on the command line, or the Task Scheduler can be opened through the GUI within the Administrator Tools section of the Control Panel. In some cases, adversaries have used a .NET wrapper for the Windows Task Scheduler, and alternatively, adversaries have used the Windows netapi32 library to create a scheduled task.

The deprecated at utility could also be abused by adversaries (ex: At), though at.exe can not access tasks created with schtasks or the Control Panel.

An adversary may use Windows Task Scheduler to execute programs at system startup or on a scheduled basis for persistence. The Windows Task Scheduler can also be abused to conduct remote Execution as part of Lateral Movement and/or to run a process under the context of a specified account (such as SYSTEM). Similar to System Binary Proxy Execution, adversaries have also abused the Windows Task Scheduler to potentially mask one-time execution under signed/trusted system processes.2

Adversaries may also create “hidden” scheduled tasks (i.e. Hide Artifacts) that may not be visible to defender tools and manual queries used to enumerate tasks. Specifically, an adversary may hide a task from schtasks /query and the Task Scheduler by deleting the associated Security Descriptor (SD) registry value (where deletion of this value must be completed using SYSTEM permissions).15 Adversaries may also employ alternate methods to hide tasks, such as altering the metadata (e.g., Index value) within associated registry keys.3

Item Value
ID T1053.005
Sub-techniques T1053.002, T1053.003, T1053.005, T1053.006, T1053.007
Tactics TA0002, TA0003, TA0004
Platforms Windows
Permissions required Administrator
Version 1.3
Created 27 November 2019
Last Modified 07 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0331 Agent Tesla Agent Tesla has achieved persistence via scheduled tasks.69
S0504 Anchor Anchor can create a scheduled task for persistence.88
S0584 AppleJeus AppleJeus has created a scheduled SYSTEM task that runs when a user logs in.51
G0099 APT-C-36 APT-C-36 has used a macro function to set scheduled tasks, disguised as those used by Google.126
G0016 APT29 APT29 has used named and hijacked scheduled tasks to establish persistence.167
G0022 APT3 An APT3 downloader creates persistence by creating the following scheduled task: schtasks /create /tn “mysc” /tr C:\Users\Public\test.exe /sc ONLOGON /ru “System”.153
G0050 APT32 APT32 has used scheduled tasks to persist on victim systems.13413587136
G0064 APT33 APT33 has created a scheduled task to execute a .vbe file multiple times a day.152
G0067 APT37 APT37 has created scheduled tasks to run malicious scripts on a compromised host.165
G0082 APT38 APT38 has used Task Scheduler to run programs at system startup or on a scheduled basis for persistence.177
G0087 APT39 APT39 has created scheduled tasks for persistence.140141142
G0096 APT41 APT41 used a compromised account to create a scheduled task on a system.12579
S0438 Attor Attor‘s installer plugin can schedule a new task that loads the dispatcher on boot/logon.31
S0414 BabyShark BabyShark has used scheduled tasks to maintain persistence.79
S0475 BackConfig BackConfig has the ability to use scheduled tasks to repeatedly execute malicious payloads on a compromised host.103
S0606 Bad Rabbit Bad Rabbit’s infpub.dat file creates a scheduled task to launch a malicious executable.90
S0128 BADNEWS BADNEWS creates a scheduled task to establish by executing a malicious payload every subsequent minute.113
S0534 Bazar Bazar can create a scheduled task for persistence.8586
G1002 BITTER BITTER has used scheduled tasks for persistence and execution.97
G0108 Blue Mockingbird Blue Mockingbird has used Windows Scheduled Tasks to establish persistence on local and remote hosts.168
S0360 BONDUPDATER BONDUPDATER persists using a scheduled task that executes every minute.32
G0060 BRONZE BUTLER BRONZE BUTLER has used schtasks to register a scheduled task to execute malware during lateral movement.137
S1039 Bumblebee Bumblebee can achieve persistence by copying its DLL to a subdirectory of %APPDATA% and creating a Visual Basic Script that will load the DLL via a scheduled task.118117
C0017 C0017 During C0017, APT41 used the following Windows scheduled tasks for DEADEYE dropper persistence on US state government networks: \Microsoft\Windows\PLA\Server Manager Performance Monitor, \Microsoft\Windows\Ras\ManagerMobility, \Microsoft\Windows\WDI\SrvSetupResults, and \Microsoft\Windows\WDI\USOShared.185
S0335 Carbon Carbon creates several tasks for later execution to continue persistence on the victim’s machine.64
S1043 ccf32 ccf32 can run on a daily basis using a scheduled task.94
G0114 Chimera Chimera has used scheduled tasks to invoke Cobalt Strike including through batch script schtasks /create /ru “SYSTEM” /tn “update” /tr “cmd /c c:\windows\temp\update.bat” /sc once /f /st and to maintain persistence.173174
G0080 Cobalt Group Cobalt Group has created Windows tasks to establish persistence.129
S0126 ComRAT ComRAT has used a scheduled task to launch its PowerShell loader.5859
G0142 Confucius Confucius has created scheduled tasks to maintain persistence on a compromised host.128
S0050 CosmicDuke CosmicDuke uses scheduled tasks typically named “Watchmon Service” for persistence.114
C0004 CostaRicto During CostaRicto, the threat actors used scheduled tasks to download backdoor tools.192
S0046 CozyCar One persistence mechanism used by CozyCar is to register itself as a scheduled task.91
S0538 Crutch Crutch has the ability to persist using scheduled tasks.78
S0527 CSPY Downloader CSPY Downloader can use the schtasks utility to bypass UAC.15
S1014 DanBot DanBot can use a scheduled task for installation.41
S0673 DarkWatchman DarkWatchman has created a scheduled task for persistence.98
G0035 Dragonfly Dragonfly has used scheduled tasks to automatically log out of created accounts every 8 hours as well as to execute malicious files.183
S0038 Duqu Adversaries can instruct Duqu to spread laterally by copying itself to shares it has enumerated and for which it has obtained legitimate credentials (via keylogging or other means). The remote host is then infected by using the compromised credentials to schedule a task on remote machines that executes the malware.110
S0024 Dyre Dyre has the ability to achieve persistence by adding a new task in the task scheduler to run every minute.66
S0367 Emotet Emotet has maintained persistence through a scheduled task. 120
S0363 Empire Empire has modules to interact with the Windows task scheduler.22
S0396 EvilBunny EvilBunny has executed commands via scheduled tasks.80
G0051 FIN10 FIN10 has established persistence by using S4U tasks as well as the Scheduled Task option in PowerShell Empire.13922
G0037 FIN6 FIN6 has used scheduled tasks to establish persistence for various malware it uses, including downloaders known as HARDTACK and SHIPBREAD and FrameworkPOS.130
G0046 FIN7 FIN7 malware has created scheduled tasks to establish persistence.13113213392
G0061 FIN8 FIN8 has used scheduled tasks to maintain RDP backdoors.138
G0117 Fox Kitten Fox Kitten has used Scheduled Tasks for persistence and to load and execute a reverse proxy binary.145146
C0001 Frankenstein During Frankenstein, the threat actors established persistence through a scheduled task using the command: /Create /F /SC DAILY /ST 09:00 /TN WinUpdate /TR, named “WinUpdate” 187
G0093 GALLIUM GALLIUM established persistence for PoisonIvy by created a scheduled task.154
G0047 Gamaredon Group Gamaredon Group has created scheduled tasks to launch executables after a designated number of minutes have passed.178179180
S0168 Gazer Gazer can establish persistence by creating a scheduled task.115116
S0588 GoldMax GoldMax has used scheduled tasks to maintain persistence.39
S0477 Goopy Goopy has the ability to maintain persistence by creating scheduled tasks set to run every hour.87
S0237 GravityRAT GravityRAT creates a scheduled task to ensure it is re-executed everyday.40
S0417 GRIFFON GRIFFON has used sctasks for persistence. 123
S0632 GrimAgent GrimAgent has the ability to set persistence using the Task Scheduler.95
S0170 Helminth Helminth has used a scheduled task for persistence.102
S0697 HermeticWiper HermeticWiper has the ability to use scheduled tasks for execution.109
G1001 HEXANE HEXANE has used a scheduled task to establish persistence for a keylogger.175
G0126 Higaisa Higaisa dropped and added officeupdate.exe to scheduled tasks.161162
S0431 HotCroissant HotCroissant has attempted to install a scheduled task named “Java Maintenance64” on startup to establish persistence.104
S0483 IcedID IcedID has created a scheduled task that executes every hour to establish persistence.36
S0260 InvisiMole InvisiMole has used scheduled tasks named MSST and \Microsoft\Windows\Autochk\Scheduled to establish persistence.71
S0581 IronNetInjector IronNetInjector has used a task XML file named mssch.xml to run an IronPython script when a user logs in or when specific system events are created.18
S0189 ISMInjector ISMInjector creates scheduled tasks to establish persistence.48
S0044 JHUHUGIT JHUHUGIT has registered itself as a scheduled task to run each time the current user logs in.4647
S0648 JSS Loader JSS Loader has the ability to launch scheduled tasks to establish persistence.107
G0094 Kimsuky Kimsuky has downloaded additional malware with scheduled tasks.176
S0250 Koadic Koadic has used scheduled tasks to add persistence.21
G0032 Lazarus Group Lazarus Group has used schtasks for persistence including through the periodic execution of a remote XSL script or a dropped VBS payload.144143
S0680 LitePower LitePower can create a scheduled task to enable persistence mechanisms.70
S0447 Lokibot Lokibot embedded the commands schtasks /Run /TN \Microsoft\Windows\DiskCleanup\SilentCleanup /I inside a batch script.122
S0532 Lucifer Lucifer has established persistence by creating the following scheduled task schtasks /create /sc minute /mo 1 /tn QQMusic ^ /tr C:Users\%USERPROFILE%\Downloads\spread.exe /F.74
G1014 LuminousMoth LuminousMoth has created scheduled tasks to establish persistence for their tools.127
S0409 Machete The different components of Machete are executed by Windows Task Scheduler.4243
G0095 Machete Machete has created scheduled tasks to maintain Machete‘s persistence.164
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound has used scheduled tasks to establish persistence and execution.170169
S0167 Matryoshka Matryoshka can establish persistence by adding a Scheduled Task named “Microsoft Boost Kernel Optimization”.5556
S0449 Maze Maze has created scheduled tasks using name variants such as “Windows Update Security”, “Windows Update Security Patches”, and “Google Chrome Security Update”, to launch Maze at a specific time.67
S0500 MCMD MCMD can use scheduled tasks for persistence.20
G0045 menuPass menuPass has used a script ( to execute a command on a target machine via Task Scheduler.181
S0688 Meteor Meteor execution begins from a scheduled task named Microsoft\Windows\Power Efficiency Diagnostics\AnalyzeAll and it creates a separate scheduled task called mstask to run the wiper only once at 23:55:00.84
S1015 Milan Milan can establish persistence on a targeted host with scheduled tasks.7675
G0021 Molerats Molerats has created scheduled tasks to persistently run VBScripts.155
G0069 MuddyWater MuddyWater has used scheduled tasks to establish persistence.160
G0129 Mustang Panda Mustang Panda has created a scheduled task to execute additional malicious software, as well as maintain persistence.147148149
G0019 Naikon Naikon has used schtasks.exe for lateral movement in compromised networks.105
S0198 NETWIRE NETWIRE can create a scheduled task to establish persistence.83
S0368 NotPetya NotPetya creates a task to reboot the system one hour after infection.37
G0049 OilRig OilRig has created scheduled tasks that run a VBScript to execute a payload on victim machines.10082150151
S0439 Okrum Okrum‘s installer can attempt to achieve persistence by creating a scheduled task.121
S0264 OopsIE OopsIE creates a scheduled task to run itself every three minutes.100101
C0012 Operation CuckooBees During Operation CuckooBees, the threat actors used scheduled tasks to execute batch scripts for lateral movement with the following command: SCHTASKS /Create /S <IP Address> /U <Username> /p <Password> /SC ONCE /TN test /TR <Path to a Batch File> /ST <Time> /RU SYSTEM.188
C0022 Operation Dream Job During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group created scheduled tasks to set a periodic execution of a remote XSL script.184
C0014 Operation Wocao During Operation Wocao, threat actors used scheduled tasks to execute malicious PowerShell code on remote systems.186
G0040 Patchwork A Patchwork file stealer can run a TaskScheduler DLL to add persistence.172
S0194 PowerSploit PowerSploit‘s New-UserPersistenceOption Persistence argument can be used to establish via a Scheduled Task/Job.1617
S0223 POWERSTATS POWERSTATS has established persistence through a scheduled task using the command ”C:\Windows\system32\schtasks.exe” /Create /F /SC DAILY /ST 12:00 /TN MicrosoftEdge /TR “c:\Windows\system32\wscript.exe C:\Windows\temp\Windows.vbe”.38
S0184 POWRUNER POWRUNER persists through a scheduled task that executes it every minute.77
S1058 Prestige Prestige has been executed on a target system through a scheduled task created by Sandworm Team using Impacket.111
S0147 Pteranodon Pteranodon schedules tasks to invoke its components in order to establish persistence.4950
S0650 QakBot QakBot has the ability to create scheduled tasks for persistence.2324252627282930
S0269 QUADAGENT QUADAGENT creates a scheduled task to maintain persistence on the victim’s machine.82
S0262 QuasarRAT QuasarRAT contains a .NET wrapper DLL for creating and managing scheduled tasks for maintaining persistence upon reboot.1413
S0629 RainyDay RainyDay can use scheduled tasks to achieve persistence.105
S0458 Ramsay Ramsay can schedule tasks via the Windows COM API to maintain persistence.72
G0075 Rancor Rancor launched a scheduled task to gain persistence using the schtasks /create /sc command.182
S0375 Remexi Remexi utilizes scheduled tasks as a persistence mechanism.65
S0166 RemoteCMD RemoteCMD can execute commands remotely by creating a new schedule task on the remote system35
S0379 Revenge RAT Revenge RAT schedules tasks to run malicious scripts at different intervals.96
S0148 RTM RTM tries to add a scheduled task to establish persistence.4445
S0446 Ryuk Ryuk can remotely create a scheduled task to execute itself on a system.63
S1018 Saint Bot Saint Bot has created a scheduled task named “Maintenance” to establish persistence.68
S0111 schtasks schtasks is used to schedule tasks on a Windows system to run at a specific date and time.19
S0382 ServHelper ServHelper contains modules that will use schtasks to carry out malicious operations.89
S0140 Shamoon Shamoon copies an executable payload to the target system by using SMB/Windows Admin Shares and then scheduling an unnamed task to execute the malware.3334
S0546 SharpStage SharpStage has a persistence component to write a scheduled task for the payload.124
S0589 Sibot Sibot has been executed via a scheduled task.39
G0091 Silence Silence has used scheduled tasks to stage its operation.163
S0226 Smoke Loader Smoke Loader launches a scheduled task.99
C0024 SolarWinds Compromise During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 used scheduler and schtasks to create new tasks on remote host as part of their lateral movement. They manipulated scheduled tasks by updating an existing legitimate task to execute their tools and then returned the scheduled task to its original configuration. APT29 also created a scheduled task to maintain SUNSPOT persistence when the host booted.189191190
S0516 SoreFang SoreFang can gain persistence through use of scheduled tasks.73
S0390 SQLRat SQLRat has created scheduled tasks in %appdata%\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\.92
G0038 Stealth Falcon Stealth Falcon malware creates a scheduled task entitled “IE Web Cache” to execute a malicious file hourly.166
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet schedules a network job to execute two minutes after host infection.106
S1042 SUGARDUMP SUGARDUMP has created scheduled tasks called MicrosoftInternetExplorerCrashRepoeterTaskMachineUA and MicrosoftEdgeCrashRepoeterTaskMachineUA, which were configured to execute CrashReporter.exe during user logon.93
S1064 SVCReady SVCReady can create a scheduled task named RecoveryExTask to gain persistence.119
S1011 Tarrask Tarrask is able to create “hidden” scheduled tasks for persistence.5
G0088 TEMP.Veles TEMP.Veles has used scheduled task XML triggers.171
S0671 Tomiris Tomiris has used SCHTASKS /CREATE /SC DAILY /TN StartDVL /TR "[path to self]" /ST 10:00 to establish persistence.57
S0266 TrickBot TrickBot creates a scheduled task on the system that provides persistence.606162
S0476 Valak Valak has used scheduled tasks to execute additional payloads and to gain persistence on a compromised host.545253
G0102 Wizard Spider Wizard Spider has used scheduled tasks establish persistence for TrickBot and other malware.156157158159
S0248 yty yty establishes persistence by creating a scheduled task with the command SchTasks /Create /SC DAILY /TN BigData /TR “ + path_file + “/ST 09:30“.108
S0251 Zebrocy Zebrocy has a command to create a scheduled task for persistence.81
S0350 zwShell zwShell has used SchTasks for execution.112
S1013 ZxxZ ZxxZ has used scheduled tasks for persistence and execution.97


ID Mitigation Description
M1047 Audit Toolkits like the PowerSploit framework contain PowerUp modules that can be used to explore systems for permission weaknesses in scheduled tasks that could be used to escalate privileges. 10
M1028 Operating System Configuration Configure settings for scheduled tasks to force tasks to run under the context of the authenticated account instead of allowing them to run as SYSTEM. The associated Registry key is located at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\SubmitControl. The setting can be configured through GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options: Domain Controller: Allow server operators to schedule tasks, set to disabled. 11
M1026 Privileged Account Management Configure the Increase Scheduling Priority option to only allow the Administrators group the rights to schedule a priority process. This can be configured through GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment: Increase scheduling priority. 12
M1018 User Account Management Limit privileges of user accounts and remediate Privilege Escalation vectors so only authorized administrators can create scheduled tasks on remote systems.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Modification
DS0009 Process Process Creation
DS0003 Scheduled Job Scheduled Job Creation
DS0024 Windows Registry Windows Registry Key Creation


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