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T1197 BITS Jobs

Adversaries may abuse BITS jobs to persistently execute code and perform various background tasks. Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a low-bandwidth, asynchronous file transfer mechanism exposed through Component Object Model (COM).86 BITS is commonly used by updaters, messengers, and other applications preferred to operate in the background (using available idle bandwidth) without interrupting other networked applications. File transfer tasks are implemented as BITS jobs, which contain a queue of one or more file operations.

The interface to create and manage BITS jobs is accessible through PowerShell and the BITSAdmin tool.67

Adversaries may abuse BITS to download (e.g. Ingress Tool Transfer), execute, and even clean up after running malicious code (e.g. Indicator Removal). BITS tasks are self-contained in the BITS job database, without new files or registry modifications, and often permitted by host firewalls.192 BITS enabled execution may also enable persistence by creating long-standing jobs (the default maximum lifetime is 90 days and extendable) or invoking an arbitrary program when a job completes or errors (including after system reboots).41

BITS upload functionalities can also be used to perform Exfiltration Over Alternative Protocol.1

Item Value
ID T1197
Tactics TA0005, TA0003
Platforms Windows
Version 1.4
Created 18 April 2018
Last Modified 21 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0087 APT39 APT39 has used the BITS protocol to exfiltrate stolen data from a compromised host.20
G0096 APT41 APT41 used BITSAdmin to download and install payloads.2122
S0534 Bazar Bazar has been downloaded via Windows BITS functionality.11
S0190 BITSAdmin BITSAdmin can be used to create BITS Jobs to launch a malicious process.10
S0154 Cobalt Strike Cobalt Strike can download a hosted “beacon” payload using BITSAdmin.161415
S0554 Egregor Egregor has used BITSadmin to download and execute malicious DLLs.17
S0201 JPIN A JPIN variant downloads the backdoor payload via the BITS service.13
G0065 Leviathan Leviathan has used BITSAdmin to download additional tools.19
S0652 MarkiRAT MarkiRAT can use BITS Utility to connect with the C2 server.18
G0040 Patchwork Patchwork has used BITS jobs to download malicious payloads.23
S0654 ProLock ProLock can use BITS jobs to download its malicious payload.12
S0333 UBoatRAT UBoatRAT takes advantage of the /SetNotifyCmdLine option in BITSAdmin to ensure it stays running on a system to maintain persistence.4


ID Mitigation Description
M1037 Filter Network Traffic Modify network and/or host firewall rules, as well as other network controls, to only allow legitimate BITS traffic.
M1028 Operating System Configuration
Consider reducing the default BITS job lifetime in Group Policy or by editing the JobInactivityTimeout and MaxDownloadTime Registry values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\BITS.6
M1018 User Account Management
Consider limiting access to the BITS interface to specific users or groups.2


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Connection Creation
DS0009 Process Process Creation
DS0019 Service Service Metadata


  1. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2016, June 6). Malware Lingers with BITS. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  2. Florio, E. (2007, May 9). Malware Update with Windows Update. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  3. French, D., Murphy, B. (2020, March 24). Adversary tradecraft 101: Hunting for persistence using Elastic Security (Part 1). Retrieved December 21, 2020. 

  4. Hayashi, K. (2017, November 28). UBoatRAT Navigates East Asia. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  5. Microsoft. (2011, July 19). Issues with BITS. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  6. Microsoft. (n.d.). Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  7. Microsoft. (n.d.). BITSAdmin Tool. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  8. Microsoft. (n.d.). Component Object Model (COM). Retrieved November 22, 2017. 

  9. Mondok, M. (2007, May 11). Malware piggybacks on Windows’ Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

  10. Horejsi, J., et al. (2018, March 14). Tropic Trooper’s New Strategy. Retrieved November 9, 2018. 

  11. Pantazopoulos, N. (2020, June 2). In-depth analysis of the new Team9 malware family. Retrieved December 1, 2020. 

  12. Group IB. (2020, September). LOCK LIKE A PRO. Retrieved September 27, 2021. 

  13. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting Team. (2016, April 29). PLATINUM: Targeted attacks in South and Southeast Asia. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 

  14. Mavis, N. (2020, September 21). The Art and Science of Detecting Cobalt Strike. Retrieved April 6, 2021. 

  15. Strategic Cyber LLC. (2020, November 5). Cobalt Strike: Advanced Threat Tactics for Penetration Testers. Retrieved April 13, 2021. 

  16. Strategic Cyber, LLC. (n.d.). Scripted Web Delivery. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 

  17. Bichet, J. (2020, November 12). Egregor – Prolock: Fraternal Twins ?. Retrieved January 6, 2021. 

  18. GReAT. (2021, June 16). Ferocious Kitten: 6 Years of Covert Surveillance in Iran. Retrieved September 22, 2021. 

  19. FireEye. (2018, March 16). Suspected Chinese Cyber Espionage Group (TEMP.Periscope) Targeting U.S. Engineering and Maritime Industries. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 

  20. FBI. (2020, September 17). Indicators of Compromise Associated with Rana Intelligence Computing, also known as Advanced Persistent Threat 39, Chafer, Cadelspy, Remexi, and ITG07. Retrieved December 10, 2020. 

  21. Glyer, C, et al. (2020, March). This Is Not a Test: APT41 Initiates Global Intrusion Campaign Using Multiple Exploits. Retrieved April 28, 2020. 

  22. Crowdstrike. (2020, March 2). 2020 Global Threat Report. Retrieved December 11, 2020. 

  23. Hinchliffe, A. and Falcone, R. (2020, May 11). Updated BackConfig Malware Targeting Government and Military Organizations in South Asia. Retrieved June 17, 2020.