T1055.004 Asynchronous Procedure Call
Adversaries may inject malicious code into processes via the asynchronous procedure call (APC) queue in order to evade process-based defenses as well as possibly elevate privileges. APC injection is a method of executing arbitrary code in the address space of a separate live process.
APC injection is commonly performed by attaching malicious code to the APC Queue 1 of a process’s thread. Queued APC functions are executed when the thread enters an alterable state.1 A handle to an existing victim process is first created with native Windows API calls such as
OpenThread. At this point
QueueUserAPC can be used to invoke a function (such as
LoadLibrayA pointing to a malicious DLL).
A variation of APC injection, dubbed “Early Bird injection”, involves creating a suspended process in which malicious code can be written and executed before the process’ entry point (and potentially subsequent anti-malware hooks) via an APC. 2 AtomBombing 3 is another variation that utilizes APCs to invoke malicious code previously written to the global atom table.4
Running code in the context of another process may allow access to the process’s memory, system/network resources, and possibly elevated privileges. Execution via APC injection may also evade detection from security products since the execution is masked under a legitimate process.
|Sub-techniques||T1055.001, T1055.002, T1055.003, T1055.004, T1055.005, T1055.008, T1055.009, T1055.011, T1055.012, T1055.013, T1055.014, T1055.015|
|Created||14 January 2020|
|Last Modified||18 October 2021|
|S0438||Attor||Attor performs the injection by attaching its code into the APC queue using NtQueueApcThread API.10|
|S1039||Bumblebee||Bumblebee can use asynchronous procedure call (APC) injection to execute commands received from C2.6|
|S0484||Carberp||Carberp has queued an APC routine to explorer.exe by calling ZwQueueApcThread.9|
|G0061||FIN8||FIN8 has injected malicious code into a new svchost.exe process.13|
|S0483||IcedID||IcedID has used
|S0260||InvisiMole||InvisiMole can inject its code into a trusted process via the APC queue.7|
|S0517||Pillowmint||Pillowmint has used the NtQueueApcThread syscall to inject code into svchost.exe.8|
|S1018||Saint Bot||Saint Bot has written its payload into a newly-created
|S0199||TURNEDUP||TURNEDUP is capable of injecting code into the APC queue of a created Rundll32 process as part of an “Early Bird injection.”2|
|M1040||Behavior Prevention on Endpoint||Some endpoint security solutions can be configured to block some types of process injection based on common sequences of behavior that occur during the injection process.|
|ID||Data Source||Data Component|
|DS0009||Process||OS API Execution|