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T1080 Taint Shared Content

Adversaries may deliver payloads to remote systems by adding content to shared storage locations, such as network drives or internal code repositories. Content stored on network drives or in other shared locations may be tainted by adding malicious programs, scripts, or exploit code to otherwise valid files. Once a user opens the shared tainted content, the malicious portion can be executed to run the adversary’s code on a remote system. Adversaries may use tainted shared content to move laterally.

A directory share pivot is a variation on this technique that uses several other techniques to propagate malware when users access a shared network directory. It uses Shortcut Modification of directory .LNK files that use Masquerading to look like the real directories, which are hidden through Hidden Files and Directories. The malicious .LNK-based directories have an embedded command that executes the hidden malware file in the directory and then opens the real intended directory so that the user’s expected action still occurs. When used with frequently used network directories, the technique may result in frequent reinfections and broad access to systems and potentially to new and higher privileged accounts. 1

Adversaries may also compromise shared network directories through binary infections by appending or prepending its code to the healthy binary on the shared network directory. The malware may modify the original entry point (OEP) of the healthy binary to ensure that it is executed before the legitimate code. The infection could continue to spread via the newly infected file when it is executed by a remote system. These infections may target both binary and non-binary formats that end with extensions including, but not limited to, .EXE, .DLL, .SCR, .BAT, and/or .VBS.

Item Value
ID T1080
Tactics TA0008
Platforms Linux, Office 365, SaaS, Windows, macOS
Permissions required User
Version 1.3
Created 31 May 2017
Last Modified 30 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0060 BRONZE BUTLER BRONZE BUTLER has placed malware on file shares and given it the same name as legitimate documents on the share.17
S0575 Conti Conti can spread itself by infecting other remote machines via network shared drives.1112
G0012 Darkhotel Darkhotel used a virus that propagates by infecting executables stored on shared drives.16
G0047 Gamaredon Group Gamaredon Group has injected malicious macros into all Word and Excel documents on mapped network drives.18
S0132 H1N1 H1N1 has functionality to copy itself to network shares.7
S0260 InvisiMole InvisiMole can replace legitimate software or documents in the compromised network with their trojanized versions, in an attempt to propagate itself within the network.13
S0133 Miner-C Miner-C copies itself into the public folder of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and infects new victims who open the file.15
S0458 Ramsay Ramsay can spread itself by infecting other portable executable files on networks shared drives.8
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet infects remote servers via network shares and by infecting WinCC database views with malicious code.14
S0386 Ursnif Ursnif has copied itself to and infected files in network drives for propagation.910


ID Mitigation Description
M1038 Execution Prevention Identify potentially malicious software that may be used to taint content or may result from it and audit and/or block the unknown programs by using application control 2 tools, like AppLocker, 3 4 or Software Restriction Policies 5 where appropriate. 6
M1050 Exploit Protection Use utilities that detect or mitigate common features used in exploitation, such as the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).
M1022 Restrict File and Directory Permissions Protect shared folders by minimizing users who have write access.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0022 File File Creation
DS0033 Network Share Network Share Access
DS0009 Process Process Creation


  1. Routin, D. (2017, November 13). Abusing network shares for efficient lateral movements and privesc (DirSharePivot). Retrieved April 12, 2018. 

  2. Beechey, J. (2010, December). Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda?. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 

  3. Tomonaga, S. (2016, January 26). Windows Commands Abused by Attackers. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 

  4. NSA Information Assurance Directorate. (2014, August). Application Whitelisting Using Microsoft AppLocker. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 

  5. Corio, C., & Sayana, D. P. (2008, June). Application Lockdown with Software Restriction Policies. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 

  6. Microsoft. (2012, June 27). Using Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker Policies. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 

  7. Reynolds, J.. (2016, September 14). H1N1: Technical analysis reveals new capabilities – part 2. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 

  8. Sanmillan, I.. (2020, May 13). Ramsay: A cyber‑espionage toolkit tailored for air‑gapped networks. Retrieved May 27, 2020. 

  9. Caragay, R. (2015, March 26). URSNIF: The Multifaceted Malware. Retrieved June 5, 2019. 

  10. Caragay, R. (2014, December 11). Info-Stealing File Infector Hits US, UK. Retrieved June 5, 2019. 

  11. Rochberger, L. (2021, January 12). Cybereason vs. Conti Ransomware. Retrieved February 17, 2021. 

  12. Baskin, B. (2020, July 8). TAU Threat Discovery: Conti Ransomware. Retrieved February 17, 2021. 

  13. Hromcova, Z. and Cherpanov, A. (2020, June). INVISIMOLE: THE HIDDEN PART OF THE STORY. Retrieved July 16, 2020. 

  14. Nicolas Falliere, Liam O Murchu, Eric Chien 2011, February W32.Stuxnet Dossier (Version 1.4) Retrieved. 2017/09/22  

  15. Cimpanu, C.. (2016, September 9). Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Discovered Targeting Seagate NAS Hard Drives. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 

  16. Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team. (2014, November). The Darkhotel APT A Story of Unusual Hospitality. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 

  17. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, October 12). BRONZE BUTLER Targets Japanese Enterprises. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 

  18. Boutin, J. (2020, June 11). Gamaredon group grows its game. Retrieved June 16, 2020.