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T1070.004 File Deletion

Adversaries may delete files left behind by the actions of their intrusion activity. Malware, tools, or other non-native files dropped or created on a system by an adversary (ex: Ingress Tool Transfer) may leave traces to indicate to what was done within a network and how. Removal of these files can occur during an intrusion, or as part of a post-intrusion process to minimize the adversary’s footprint.

There are tools available from the host operating system to perform cleanup, but adversaries may use other tools as well.1 Examples of built-in Command and Scripting Interpreter functions include del on Windows and rm or unlink on Linux and macOS.

Item Value
ID T1070.004
Sub-techniques T1070.001, T1070.002, T1070.003, T1070.004, T1070.005, T1070.006, T1070.007, T1070.008, T1070.009
Tactics TA0005
Platforms Linux, Windows, macOS
Version 1.1
Created 31 January 2020
Last Modified 16 April 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0045 ADVSTORESHELL ADVSTORESHELL can delete files and directories.118
S0504 Anchor Anchor can self delete its dropper after the malware is successfully deployed.146
S0584 AppleJeus AppleJeus has deleted the MSI file after installation.199
S0622 AppleSeed AppleSeed can delete files from a compromised host after they are exfiltrated.155
G0026 APT18 APT18 actors deleted tools and batch files from victim systems.247
G0007 APT28 APT28 has intentionally deleted computer files to cover their tracks, including with use of the program CCleaner.224
G0016 APT29 APT29 has used SDelete to remove artifacts from victim networks.222
G0022 APT3 APT3 has a tool that can delete files.230
G0050 APT32 APT32‘s macOS backdoor can receive a “delete” command.248
G0082 APT38 APT38 has used a utility called CLOSESHAVE that can securely delete a file from the system. They have also removed malware, tools, or other non-native files used during the intrusion to reduce their footprint or as part of the post-intrusion cleanup process.254255
G0087 APT39 APT39 has used malware to delete files after they are deployed on a compromised host.216
G0096 APT41 APT41 deleted files from the system.136
G0143 Aquatic Panda Aquatic Panda has deleted malicious executables from compromised machines.221
S0456 Aria-body Aria-body has the ability to delete files and directories on compromised hosts.126
S0438 Attor Attor’s plugin deletes the collected files and log files after exfiltration.65
S0347 AuditCred AuditCred can delete files from the system.134
S0344 Azorult Azorult can delete files from victim machines.179
S0414 BabyShark BabyShark has cleaned up all files associated with the secondary payload execution.214
S0475 BackConfig BackConfig has the ability to remove files and folders related to previous infections.207
S0093 Backdoor.Oldrea Backdoor.Oldrea contains a cleanup module that removes traces of itself from the victim.211
S0234 Bandook Bandook has a command to delete a file.196
S0239 Bankshot Bankshot marks files to be deleted upon the next system reboot and uninstalls and removes itself from the system.26
S0534 Bazar Bazar can delete its loader using a batch file in the Windows temporary folder.15
S0127 BBSRAT BBSRAT can delete files and directories.139
S0268 Bisonal Bisonal will delete its dropper and VBS scripts from the victim’s machine.131132133
S0069 BLACKCOFFEE BLACKCOFFEE has the capability to delete files.84
S0520 BLINDINGCAN BLINDINGCAN has deleted itself and associated artifacts from victim machines.66
S0657 BLUELIGHT BLUELIGHT can uninstall itself.156
G0060 BRONZE BUTLER The BRONZE BUTLER uploader or malware the uploader uses command to delete the RAR archives after they have been exfiltrated.246
S1039 Bumblebee Bumblebee can uninstall its loader through the use of a Sdl command.137
S0274 Calisto Calisto has the capability to use rm -rf to remove folders and files from the victim’s machine.161
S0030 Carbanak Carbanak has a command to delete files.122
S0348 Cardinal RAT Cardinal RAT can uninstall itself, including deleting its executable.94
S0462 CARROTBAT CARROTBAT has the ability to delete downloaded files from a compromised host.18
S1043 ccf32 ccf32 can delete files and folders from compromised machines.2
S0674 CharmPower CharmPower can delete created files from a compromised system.194
S0107 Cherry Picker Recent versions of Cherry Picker delete files and registry keys created by the malware.60
G0114 Chimera Chimera has performed file deletion to evade detection.253
S0106 cmd cmd can be used to delete files from the file system.4
G0080 Cobalt Group Cobalt Group deleted the DLL dropper from the victim’s machine to cover their tracks.197
S0115 Crimson Crimson has the ability to delete files from a compromised host.686769
S0498 Cryptoistic Cryptoistic has the ability delete files from a compromised host.17
S0527 CSPY Downloader CSPY Downloader has the ability to self delete.5
S0625 Cuba Cuba can use the command cmd.exe /c del to delete its artifacts from the system.204
S1014 DanBot DanBot can delete its configuration file after installation.10
S0673 DarkWatchman DarkWatchman has been observed deleting its original launcher after installation.27
S0354 Denis Denis has a command to delete files from the victim’s machine.8081
S0021 Derusbi Derusbi is capable of deleting files. It has been observed loading a Linux Kernel Module (LKM) and then deleting it from the hard disk as well as overwriting the data with null bytes.4034
G0035 Dragonfly Dragonfly has deleted many of its files used during operations as part of cleanup, including removing applications and deleting screenshots.249
S0502 Drovorub Drovorub can delete specific files from a compromised host.91
S0567 Dtrack Dtrack can remove its persistence and delete itself.52
S0062 DustySky DustySky can delete files it creates from the infected system.115
S0593 ECCENTRICBANDWAGON ECCENTRICBANDWAGON can delete log files generated from the malware stored at C:\windows\temp\tmp0207.157
S0081 Elise Elise is capable of launching a remote shell on the host to delete itself.35
S0091 Epic Epic has a command to delete a file from the machine.11
S0396 EvilBunny EvilBunny has deleted the initial dropper after running through the environment checks.59
G0120 Evilnum Evilnum has deleted files used during infection.252
S0401 Exaramel for Linux Exaramel for Linux can uninstall its persistence mechanism and delete its configuration file.130
S0181 FALLCHILL FALLCHILL can delete malware and associated artifacts from the victim.174
S0512 FatDuke FatDuke can secure delete its DLL.107
S0267 FELIXROOT FELIXROOT deletes the .LNK file from the startup directory as well as the dropper components.8
S0679 Ferocious Ferocious can delete files from a compromised host.160
G0051 FIN10 FIN10 has used batch scripts and scheduled tasks to delete critical system files.223
G0053 FIN5 FIN5 uses SDelete to clean up the environment and attempt to prevent detection.240
G0037 FIN6 FIN6 has removed files from victim machines.256
G0061 FIN8 FIN8 has deleted tmp and prefetch files during post compromise cleanup activities.63
S0381 FlawedAmmyy FlawedAmmyy can execute batch scripts to delete files.144
S0277 FruitFly FruitFly will delete files on the system.145
S1044 FunnyDream FunnyDream can delete files including its dropper component.2
S0410 Fysbis Fysbis has the ability to delete files.147
G0047 Gamaredon Group Gamaredon Group tools can delete files used during an operation.233234232
S0168 Gazer Gazer has commands to delete files and persistence mechanisms from the victim.112113
S0666 Gelsemium Gelsemium can delete its dropper component from the targeted system.56
S0032 gh0st RAT gh0st RAT has the capability to to delete files.142143
S0249 Gold Dragon Gold Dragon deletes one of its files, 2.hwp, from the endpoint after establishing persistence.74
S0493 GoldenSpy GoldenSpy‘s uninstaller can delete registry entries, files and folders, and finally itself once these tasks have been completed.184
S0531 Grandoreiro Grandoreiro can delete .LNK files created in the Startup folder.13
S0690 Green Lambert Green Lambert can delete the original executable after initial installation in addition to unused functions.108109
S0342 GreyEnergy GreyEnergy can securely delete a file by hooking into the DeleteFileA and DeleteFileW functions in the Windows API.79
S0632 GrimAgent GrimAgent can delete old binaries on a compromised host.30
G0043 Group5 Malware used by Group5 is capable of remotely deleting files from victims.245
S0561 GuLoader GuLoader can delete its executable from the AppData\Local\Temp directory on the compromised host.25
S0151 HALFBAKED HALFBAKED can delete a specified file.70
S0499 Hancitor Hancitor has deleted files using the VBA kill function.22
S0391 HAWKBALL HAWKBALL has the ability to delete files.61
S0697 HermeticWiper HermeticWiper has the ability to overwrite its own file with random bites.153152
S1027 Heyoka Backdoor Heyoka Backdoor has the ability to delete folders and files from a targeted system.213
S0087 Hi-Zor Hi-Zor deletes its RAT installer file as it executes its DLL payload file.192
S0601 Hildegard Hildegard has deleted scripts after execution.48
S0431 HotCroissant HotCroissant has the ability to clean up installed files, delete files, and delete itself from the victim’s machine.205
S0070 HTTPBrowser HTTPBrowser deletes its original installer file once installation is complete.73
S0203 Hydraq Hydraq creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can delete files.190191
S0398 HyperBro HyperBro has the ability to delete a specified file.151
S1022 IceApple IceApple can delete files and directories from targeted systems.181
S0434 Imminent Monitor Imminent Monitor has deleted files related to its dynamic debugger feature.6
S0259 InnaputRAT InnaputRAT has a command to delete files.124
S0260 InvisiMole InvisiMole has deleted files and directories including XML and files successfully uploaded to C2 servers.149150
S0015 Ixeshe Ixeshe has a command to delete a file from the machine.23
S0044 JHUHUGIT The JHUHUGIT dropper can delete itself from the victim. Another JHUHUGIT variant has the capability to delete specified files.4647
S0201 JPIN JPIN‘s installer/uninstaller component deletes itself if it encounters a version of Windows earlier than Windows XP or identifies security-related processes running.21
S0283 jRAT jRAT has a function to delete files from the victim’s machine.103
S0265 Kazuar Kazuar can delete files.138
S1020 Kevin Kevin can delete files created on the victim’s machine.36
S0271 KEYMARBLE KEYMARBLE has the capability to delete files off the victim’s machine.7
S0607 KillDisk KillDisk has the ability to quit and delete itself.31
G0094 Kimsuky Kimsuky has deleted the exfiltrated data on disk after transmission. Kimsuky has also used an instrumentor script to terminate browser processes running on an infected system and then delete the cookie files on disk.237235236
S0437 Kivars Kivars has the ability to uninstall malware from the infected host.93
S0162 Komplex The Komplex trojan supports file deletion.173
S0356 KONNI KONNI can delete files.29
G0032 Lazarus Group Lazarus Group malware has deleted files in various ways, including “suicide scripts” to delete malware binaries from the victim. Lazarus Group also uses secure file deletion to delete files from the victim.220106
S0395 LightNeuron LightNeuron has a function to delete files.117
S0211 Linfo Linfo creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can delete files.33
S0513 LiteDuke LiteDuke can securely delete files by first writing random data to the file.107
S0372 LockerGoga LockerGoga has been observed deleting its original launcher after execution.28
S0447 Lokibot Lokibot will delete its dropped files after bypassing UAC.177
S0582 LookBack LookBack removes itself after execution and can delete files on the system.171
S0451 LoudMiner LoudMiner deleted installation files after completion.24
S0409 Machete Once a file is uploaded, Machete will delete it from the machine.78
S1016 MacMa MacMa can delete itself from the compromised computer.120
S0282 MacSpy MacSpy deletes any temporary files it creates187
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound has deleted and overwrote files to cover tracks.226227225
G0045 menuPass A menuPass macro deletes files after it has decoded and decompressed them.250251
S0443 MESSAGETAP Once loaded into memory, MESSAGETAP deletes the keyword_parm.txt and parm.txt configuration files from disk. 168
G1013 Metador Metador has quickly deleted cbd.exe from a compromised host following the successful deployment of their malware.158
S1059 metaMain metaMain has deleted collected items after uploading the content to its C2 server.158159
S0455 Metamorfo Metamorfo has deleted itself from the system after execution.163164
S0688 Meteor Meteor will delete the folder containing malicious scripts if it detects the hostname as PIS-APP, PIS-MOB, WSUSPROXY, or PIS-DB.85
S1015 Milan Milan can delete files via C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c ping -n 1 -w 3000 > Nul & rmdir /s /q.10
S0083 Misdat Misdat is capable of deleting the backdoor file.14
S0149 MoonWind MoonWind can delete itself or specified files.165
S0284 More_eggs More_eggs can remove itself from a system.197198
S1047 Mori Mori can delete its DLL file and related files by Registry value.62
S0256 Mosquito Mosquito deletes files using DeleteFileW API call.206
S0233 MURKYTOP MURKYTOP has the capability to delete local files.34
G0129 Mustang Panda Mustang Panda will delete their tools and files, and kill processes after their objectives are reached.242
S0228 NanHaiShu NanHaiShu launches a script to delete their original decoy file to cover tracks.19
S0630 Nebulae Nebulae has the ability to delete files and directories.72
S0385 njRAT njRAT is capable of deleting files.169170
S0353 NOKKI NOKKI can delete files to cover tracks.176
S0346 OceanSalt OceanSalt can delete files from the system.188
G0049 OilRig OilRig has deleted files associated with their payload after execution.259260
S0439 Okrum Okrum‘s backdoor deletes files after they have been successfully uploaded to C2 servers.57
S0264 OopsIE OopsIE has the capability to delete files and scripts from the victim’s machine.212
C0022 Operation Dream Job During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group removed all previously delivered files from a compromised computer.262
C0006 Operation Honeybee During Operation Honeybee, the threat actors used batch files that reduced their fingerprint on a compromised system by deleting malware-related files.261
C0014 Operation Wocao During Operation Wocao, the threat actors consistently removed traces of their activity by first overwriting a file using /c cd /d c:\windows\temp\ & copy \\<IP ADDRESS>\c$\windows\system32\devmgr.dll \\<IP ADDRESS>\c$\windows\temp\LMAKSW.ps1 /y and then deleting the overwritten file using /c cd /d c:\windows\temp\ & del \\<IP ADDRESS>\c$\windows\temp\LMAKSW.ps1.263
S0352 OSX_OCEANLOTUS.D OSX_OCEANLOTUS.D has a command to delete a file from the system. OSX_OCEANLOTUS.D deletes the app bundle and dropper after execution.166167
S1017 OutSteel OutSteel can delete itself following the successful execution of a follow-on payload.183
S0598 P.A.S. Webshell P.A.S. Webshell can delete scripts from a subdirectory of /tmp after they are run.130
S0208 Pasam Pasam creates a backdoor through which remote attackers can delete files.20
G0040 Patchwork Patchwork removed certain files and replaced them so they could not be retrieved.229
S0556 Pay2Key Pay2Key can remove its log file from disk.162
S1050 PcShare PcShare has deleted its files and components from a compromised host.2
S0587 Penquin Penquin can delete downloaded executables after running them.89
S0517 Pillowmint Pillowmint has deleted the filepath %APPDATA%\Intel\devmonsrv.exe.193
S0435 PLEAD PLEAD has the ability to delete files on the compromised host.93
S0067 pngdowner pngdowner deletes content from C2 communications that was saved to the user’s temporary directory.86
S0428 PoetRAT PoetRAT has the ability to overwrite scripts and delete itself if a sandbox environment is detected.76
S0453 Pony Pony has used scripts to delete itself after execution.154
S0139 PowerDuke PowerDuke has a command to write random data across a file and delete it.88
S0441 PowerShower PowerShower has the ability to remove all files created during the dropper process.186
S0223 POWERSTATS POWERSTATS can delete all files on the C:\, D:\, E:\ and, F:\ drives using PowerShell Remove-Item commands.203
S0113 Prikormka After encrypting its own log files, the log encryption module in Prikormka deletes the original, unencrypted files from the host.185
S0654 ProLock ProLock can remove files containing its payload after they are executed.45
S0279 Proton Proton removes all files in the /tmp directory.145
S0238 Proxysvc Proxysvc can delete files indicated by the attacker and remove itself from disk using a batch file.106
S0147 Pteranodon Pteranodon can delete files that may interfere with it executing. It also can delete temporary files and itself after the initial script executes.189
S0196 PUNCHBUGGY PUNCHBUGGY can delete files written to disk.6364
S1032 PyDCrypt PyDCrypt will remove all created artifacts such as dropped executables.121
S0583 Pysa Pysa has deleted batch files after execution. 175
S0650 QakBot QakBot can delete folders and files including overwriting its executable with legitimate programs.42434445
S0269 QUADAGENT QUADAGENT has a command to delete its Registry key and scheduled task.148
S0629 RainyDay RainyDay has the ability to uninstall itself by deleting its service and files.72
S0662 RCSession RCSession can remove files from a targeted system.123
S0495 RDAT RDAT can issue SOAP requests to delete already processed C2 emails. RDAT can also delete itself from the infected system.12
S0416 RDFSNIFFER RDFSNIFFER has the capability of deleting local files.77
S0172 Reaver Reaver deletes the original dropped file from the victim.208
S0153 RedLeaves RedLeaves can delete specified files.50
S0125 Remsec Remsec is capable of deleting files on the victim. It also securely removes itself after collecting and exfiltrating data.200201202
S0496 REvil REvil can mark its binary code for deletion after reboot.71
S0448 Rising Sun Rising Sun can delete files and artifacts it creates.51
G0106 Rocke Rocke has deleted files on infected machines.241
S0240 ROKRAT ROKRAT can request to delete files.95
S0148 RTM RTM can delete all files created during its execution.3839
S0253 RunningRAT RunningRAT contains code to delete files from the victim’s machine.74
S0085 S-Type S-Type has deleted files it has created on a compromised host.14
S1018 Saint Bot Saint Bot can run a batch script named del.bat to remove any Saint Bot payload-linked files from a compromise system if anti-analysis or locale checks fail.183
S0074 Sakula Some Sakula samples use cmd.exe to delete temporary files.195
S0370 SamSam SamSam has been seen deleting its own files and payloads to make analysis of the attack more difficult.75
G0034 Sandworm Team Sandworm Team has used backdoors that can delete files used in an attack from an infected system.31231
S0461 SDBbot SDBbot has the ability to delete files from a compromised host.82
S0195 SDelete SDelete deletes data in a way that makes it unrecoverable.1
S0053 SeaDuke SeaDuke can securely delete files, including deleting itself from the victim.119
S0345 Seasalt Seasalt has a command to delete a specified file.140
S0382 ServHelper ServHelper has a module to delete itself from the infected machine.99100
S1019 Shark Shark can delete files downloaded to the compromised host.10
S0444 ShimRat ShimRat can uninstall itself from compromised hosts, as well create and modify directories, delete, move, copy, and rename files.98
S0589 Sibot Sibot will delete itself if a certain server response is received.128
G0091 Silence Silence has deleted artifacts, including scheduled tasks, communicates files from the C2 and other logs.217218
S0692 SILENTTRINITY SILENTTRINITY can remove files from the compromised host.3
S0533 SLOTHFULMEDIA SLOTHFULMEDIA has deleted itself and the ‘index.dat’ file on a compromised machine to remove recent Internet history from the system.101
C0024 SolarWinds Compromise During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 routinely removed their tools, including custom backdoors, once remote access was achieved.96
S0615 SombRAT SombRAT has the ability to run cancel or closeanddeletestorage to remove all files from storage and delete the storage temp file on a compromised host.215
S0374 SpeakUp SpeakUp deletes files to remove evidence on the machine. 114
S0390 SQLRat SQLRat has used been observed deleting scripts once used.16
S0380 StoneDrill StoneDrill has been observed deleting the temporary files once they fulfill their task.141
S1034 StrifeWater StrifeWater can self delete to cover its tracks.49
S0491 StrongPity StrongPity can delete previously exfiltrated files from the compromised host.209210
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet uses an RPC server that contains a routine for file deletion and also removes itself from the system through a DLL export by deleting specific files.182
S0559 SUNBURST SUNBURST had a command to delete files.9697
S0562 SUNSPOT Following the successful injection of SUNBURST, SUNSPOT deleted a temporary file it created named InventoryManager.bk after restoring the original SolarWinds Orion source code to the software library.110
S0663 SysUpdate SysUpdate can delete its configuration file from the targeted system.111
S0011 Taidoor Taidoor can use DeleteFileA to remove files from infected hosts.180
S0586 TAINTEDSCRIBE TAINTEDSCRIBE can delete files from a compromised host.87
S0164 TDTESS TDTESS creates then deletes log files during installation of itself as a service.104
G0139 TeamTNT TeamTNT has used a payload that removes itself after running. TeamTNT also has deleted locally staged files for collecting credentials or scan results for local IP addresses after exfiltrating them.257258
G0088 TEMP.Veles TEMP.Veles routinely deleted tools, logs, and other files after they were finished with them.228
G0089 The White Company The White Company has the ability to delete its malware entirely from the target system.219
G0027 Threat Group-3390 Threat Group-3390 has deleted existing logs and exfiltrated file archives from a victim.243244
S0094 Trojan.Karagany Trojan.Karagany has used plugins with a self-delete capability.90
G0081 Tropic Trooper Tropic Trooper has deleted dropper files on an infected system using command scripts.239
S0263 TYPEFRAME TYPEFRAME can delete files off the system.105
S0386 Ursnif Ursnif has deleted data staged in tmp files after exfiltration.102
S0136 USBStealer USBStealer has several commands to delete files associated with the malware from the victim.172
S0442 VBShower VBShower has attempted to complicate forensic analysis by deleting all the files contained in %APPDATA%..\Local\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word and %APPDATA%..\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\.83
S0257 VERMIN VERMIN can delete files on the victim’s machine.178
S0180 Volgmer Volgmer can delete files and itself after infection to avoid analysis.125
S0689 WhisperGate WhisperGate can delete tools from a compromised host after execution.41
S0155 WINDSHIELD WINDSHIELD is capable of file deletion along with other file system interaction.127
S0466 WindTail WindTail has the ability to receive and execute a self-delete command.37
S0176 Wingbird Wingbird deletes its payload along with the payload’s parent process after it finishes copying files.9
S0141 Winnti for Windows Winnti for Windows can delete the DLLs for its various components from a compromised host.32
G0102 Wizard Spider Wizard Spider has used file deletion to remove some modules and configurations from an infected host after use.238
S1065 Woody RAT Woody RAT has the ability to delete itself from disk by creating a suspended notepad process and writing shellcode to delete a file into the suspended process using NtWriteVirtualMemory.116
S0161 XAgentOSX XAgentOSX contains the deletFileFromPath function to delete a specified file using the NSFileManager:removeFileAtPath method.129
S0251 Zebrocy Zebrocy has a command to delete files and directories.535455
S0330 Zeus Panda Zeus Panda has a command to delete a file. It also can uninstall scripts and delete files to cover its track.58
S0350 zwShell zwShell has deleted itself after creating a service as well as deleted a temporary file when the system reboots.92
S0412 ZxShell ZxShell can delete files from the system.136135


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Deletion


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