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T1518.001 Security Software Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors that are installed on a system or in a cloud environment. This may include things such as firewall rules and anti-virus. Adversaries may use the information from Security Software Discovery during automated discovery to shape follow-on behaviors, including whether or not the adversary fully infects the target and/or attempts specific actions.

Example commands that can be used to obtain security software information are netsh, reg query with Reg, dir with cmd, and Tasklist, but other indicators of discovery behavior may be more specific to the type of software or security system the adversary is looking for. It is becoming more common to see macOS malware perform checks for LittleSnitch and KnockKnock software.

Adversaries may also utilize cloud APIs to discover the configurations of firewall rules within an environment.1 For example, the permitted IP ranges, ports or user accounts for the inbound/outbound rules of security groups, virtual firewalls established within AWS for EC2 and/or VPC instances, can be revealed by the DescribeSecurityGroups action with various request parameters. 2

Item Value
ID T1518.001
Sub-techniques T1518.001
Tactics TA0007
Platforms Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Linux, Office 365, SaaS, Windows, macOS
Version 1.3
Created 21 February 2020
Last Modified 11 April 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0469 ABK ABK has the ability to identify the installed anti-virus product on the compromised host.8
G0082 APT38 APT38 has identified security software, configurations, defensive tools, and sensors installed on a compromised system.102
G0143 Aquatic Panda Aquatic Panda has attempted to discover third party endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools on compromised systems.89
S0373 Astaroth Astaroth checks for the presence of Avast antivirus in the C:\Program\Files\ folder. 78
S0473 Avenger Avenger has the ability to identify installed anti-virus products on a compromised host.8
S0337 BadPatch BadPatch uses WMI to enumerate installed security products in the victim’s environment.66
S0534 Bazar Bazar can identify the installed antivirus engine.26
S0657 BLUELIGHT BLUELIGHT can collect a list of anti-virus products installed on a machine.88
S0471 build_downer build_downer has the ability to detect if the infected host is running an anti-virus process.8
S0484 Carberp Carberp has queried the infected system’s registry searching for specific registry keys associated with antivirus products.54
S0023 CHOPSTICK CHOPSTICK checks for antivirus and forensics software.31
S0611 Clop Clop can search for processes with antivirus and antimalware product names.2425
G0080 Cobalt Group Cobalt Group used a JavaScript backdoor that is capable of collecting a list of the security solutions installed on the victim’s machine.106
S0244 Comnie Comnie attempts to detect several anti-virus products.33
S0492 CookieMiner CookieMiner has checked for the presence of “Little Snitch”, macOS network monitoring and application firewall software, stopping and exiting if it is found.70
S0046 CozyCar The main CozyCar dropper checks whether the victim has an anti-virus product installed. If the installed product is on a predetermined list, the dropper will exit.10
S0115 Crimson Crimson contains a command to collect information about anti-virus software on the victim.5758
G0012 Darkhotel Darkhotel has searched for anti-malware strings and anti-virus processes running on the system.108109
S0673 DarkWatchman DarkWatchman can search for anti-virus products on the system.32
S0472 down_new down_new has the ability to detect anti-virus products and processes on a compromised host.8
S0062 DustySky DustySky checks for the existence of anti-virus.37
S0363 Empire Empire can enumerate antivirus software on the target.3
S0091 Epic Epic searches for anti-malware services running on the victim’s machine and terminates itself if it finds them.69
S0396 EvilBunny EvilBunny has been observed querying installed antivirus software.9
S0568 EVILNUM EVILNUM can search for anti-virus products on the system.43
S0171 Felismus Felismus checks for processes associated with anti-virus vendors.59
S0267 FELIXROOT FELIXROOT checks for installed security software like antivirus and firewall.71
S0679 Ferocious Ferocious has checked for AV software as part of its persistence process.38
G0061 FIN8 FIN8 has used Registry keys to detect and avoid executing in potential sandboxes.97
S0182 FinFisher FinFisher probes the system to check for antimalware processes.4142
S0143 Flame Flame identifies security software such as antivirus through the Security module.1819
S0381 FlawedAmmyy FlawedAmmyy will attempt to detect anti-virus products during the initial infection.82
G0101 Frankenstein Frankenstein has used WMI queries to detect if virtualization environments or analysis tools were running on the system.95
S0666 Gelsemium Gelsemium can check for the presence of specific security products.87
S0249 Gold Dragon Gold Dragon checks for anti-malware products and processes.73
S0531 Grandoreiro Grandoreiro can list installed security products including the Trusteer and Diebold Warsaw GAS Tecnologia online banking protections.3636
S0260 InvisiMole InvisiMole can check for the presence of network sniffers, AV, and BitDefender firewall.12
S0201 JPIN JPIN checks for the presence of certain security-related processes and deletes its installer/uninstaller component if it identifies any of them.72
S0283 jRAT jRAT can list security software, such as by using WMIC to identify anti-virus products installed on the victim’s machine and to obtain firewall details.8081
S0088 Kasidet Kasidet has the ability to identify any anti-virus installed on the infected system.49
G0094 Kimsuky Kimsuky has checked for the presence of antivirus software with powershell Get-CimInstance -Namespace root/securityCenter2 – classname antivirusproduct.93
S0513 LiteDuke LiteDuke has the ability to check for the presence of Kaspersky security software.50
S0680 LitePower LitePower can identify installed AV software.38
S0681 Lizar Lizar can search for processes associated with an anti-virus product from list.46
S0652 MarkiRAT MarkiRAT can check for running processes on the victim’s machine to look for Kaspersky and Bitdefender antivirus products.48
S0455 Metamorfo Metamorfo collects a list of installed antivirus software from the victim’s system.6162
S0688 Meteor Meteor has the ability to search for Kaspersky Antivirus on a victim’s machine.30
S0339 Micropsia Micropsia searches for anti-virus software and firewall products installed on the victim’s machine using WMI.4445
S0553 MoleNet MoleNet can use WMI commands to check the system for firewall and antivirus software.53
S0284 More_eggs More_eggs can obtain information on installed anti-malware programs.29
S0256 Mosquito Mosquito‘s installer searches the Registry and system to see if specific antivirus tools are installed on the system.35
G0069 MuddyWater MuddyWater has used malware to check running processes against a hard-coded list of security tools often used by malware researchers.100
G0019 Naikon Naikon uses commands such as netsh advfirewall firewall to discover local firewall settings.105
S0108 netsh netsh can be used to discover system firewall settings.67
S0457 Netwalker Netwalker can detect and terminate active security software-related processes on infected systems.56
S0368 NotPetya NotPetya determines if specific antivirus programs are running on an infected host machine.22
G0116 Operation Wocao Operation Wocao has used scripts to detect security software.90
G0040 Patchwork Patchwork scanned the “Program Files” directories for a directory with the string “Total Security” (the installation path of the “360 Total Security” antivirus tool).96
S0501 PipeMon PipeMon can check for the presence of ESET and Kaspersky security software.15
S0223 POWERSTATS POWERSTATS has detected security tools.28
S0184 POWRUNER POWRUNER may collect information on the victim’s anti-virus software.20
S0113 Prikormka A module in Prikormka collects information from the victim about installed anti-virus software.27
S0196 PUNCHBUGGY PUNCHBUGGY can gather AVs registered in the system.14
S0650 QakBot QakBot can identify the installed antivirus product on a targeted system.63646465
S0125 Remsec Remsec has a plugin to detect active drivers of some security products.86
G0106 Rocke Rocke used scripts which detected and uninstalled antivirus software.9192
S0270 RogueRobin RogueRobin enumerates running processes to search for Wireshark and Windows Sysinternals suite.8485
S0148 RTM RTM can obtain information about security software on the victim.13
G0121 Sidewinder Sidewinder has used the Windows service winmgmts:\.\root\SecurityCenter2 to check installed antivirus products.103
S0692 SILENTTRINITY SILENTTRINITY can determine if an anti-virus product is installed through the resolution of the service’s virtual SID.5
S0468 Skidmap Skidmap has the ability to check if /usr/sbin/setenforce exists. This file controls what mode SELinux is in.23
S0646 SpicyOmelette SpicyOmelette can check for the presence of 29 different antivirus tools.39
S0380 StoneDrill StoneDrill can check for antivirus and antimalware programs.47
S0142 StreamEx StreamEx has the ability to scan for security tools such as firewalls and antivirus tools.40
S0491 StrongPity StrongPity can identify if ESET or BitDefender antivirus are installed before dropping its payload.21
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet enumerates the currently running processes related to a variety of security products.68
S0559 SUNBURST SUNBURST checked for a variety of antivirus/endpoint detection agents prior to execution.1617
S0098 T9000 T9000 performs checks for various antivirus and security products during installation.74
S0467 TajMahal TajMahal has the ability to identify which anti-virus products, firewalls, and anti-spyware products are in use.34
S0057 Tasklist Tasklist can be used to enumerate security software currently running on a system by process name of known products.4
G0139 TeamTNT TeamTNT has searched for security products on infected machines.98
G0089 The White Company The White Company has checked for specific antivirus products on the target’s computer, including Kaspersky, Quick Heal, AVG, BitDefender, Avira, Sophos, Avast!, and ESET.107
S0595 ThiefQuest ThiefQuest uses the kill_unwanted function to get a list of running processes, compares each process with an encrypted list of “unwanted” security related programs, and kills the processes for security related programs.83
G0081 Tropic Trooper Tropic Trooper can search for anti-virus software running on the system.94
G0010 Turla Turla has obtained information on security software, including security logging information that may indicate whether their malware has been detected.101
S0476 Valak Valak can determine if a compromised host has security products installed.67
S0257 VERMIN VERMIN uses WMI to check for anti-virus software installed on the system.55
S0579 Waterbear Waterbear can find the presence of a specific security software.75
S0689 WhisperGate WhisperGate can recognize the presence of monitoring tools on a target system.79
G0112 Windshift Windshift has used malware to identify installed AV and commonly used forensic and malware analysis tools.99
S0176 Wingbird Wingbird checks for the presence of Bitdefender security software.60
G0102 Wizard Spider Wizard Spider has used WMI to identify anti-virus products installed on a victim’s machine.104
S0653 xCaon xCaon has checked for the existence of Kaspersky antivirus software on the system.51
S0658 XCSSET XCSSET searches firewall configuration files located in /Library/Preferences/ and uses csrutil status to determine if System Integrity Protection is enabled.52
S0388 YAHOYAH YAHOYAH checks for antimalware solution processes on the system.11
S0330 Zeus Panda Zeus Panda checks to see if anti-virus, anti-spyware, or firewall products are installed in the victim’s environment.7677


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0018 Firewall Firewall Enumeration
DS0009 Process OS API Execution


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