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T1211 Exploitation for Defense Evasion

Adversaries may exploit a system or application vulnerability to bypass security features. Exploitation of a software vulnerability occurs when an adversary takes advantage of a programming error in a program, service, or within the operating system software or kernel itself to execute adversary-controlled code. Vulnerabilities may exist in defensive security software that can be used to disable or circumvent them.

Adversaries may have prior knowledge through reconnaissance that security software exists within an environment or they may perform checks during or shortly after the system is compromised for Security Software Discovery. The security software will likely be targeted directly for exploitation. There are examples of antivirus software being targeted by persistent threat groups to avoid detection.

Item Value
ID T1211
Tactics TA0005
Platforms Linux, Windows, macOS
Version 1.3
Created 18 April 2018
Last Modified 28 April 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0007 APT28 APT28 has used CVE-2015-4902 to bypass security features.45


ID Mitigation Description
M1048 Application Isolation and Sandboxing Make it difficult for adversaries to advance their operation through exploitation of undiscovered or unpatched vulnerabilities by using sandboxing. Other types of virtualization and application microsegmentation may also mitigate the impact of some types of exploitation. Risks of additional exploits and weaknesses in these systems may still exist. 1
M1050 Exploit Protection Security applications that look for behavior used during exploitation such as Windows Defender Exploit Guard (WDEG) and the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to mitigate some exploitation behavior. 2 Control flow integrity checking is another way to potentially identify and stop a software exploit from occurring. 3 Many of these protections depend on the architecture and target application binary for compatibility and may not work for software targeted for defense evasion.
M1019 Threat Intelligence Program Develop a robust cyber threat intelligence capability to determine what types and levels of threat may use software exploits and 0-days against a particular organization.
M1051 Update Software Update software regularly by employing patch management for internal enterprise endpoints and servers.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0015 Application Log Application Log Content
DS0009 Process Process Creation