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T1548 Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism

Adversaries may circumvent mechanisms designed to control elevate privileges to gain higher-level permissions. Most modern systems contain native elevation control mechanisms that are intended to limit privileges that a user can perform on a machine. Authorization has to be granted to specific users in order to perform tasks that can be considered of higher risk. An adversary can perform several methods to take advantage of built-in control mechanisms in order to escalate privileges on a system.

Item Value
ID T1548
Sub-techniques T1548.001, T1548.002, T1548.003, T1548.004
Tactics TA0004, TA0005
Platforms Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions required Administrator, User
Version 1.1
Created 30 January 2020
Last Modified 21 April 2023


ID Mitigation Description
M1047 Audit Check for common UAC bypass weaknesses on Windows systems to be aware of the risk posture and address issues where appropriate.1
M1038 Execution Prevention System settings can prevent applications from running that haven’t been downloaded from legitimate repositories which may help mitigate some of these issues. Not allowing unsigned applications from being run may also mitigate some risk.
M1028 Operating System Configuration Applications with known vulnerabilities or known shell escapes should not have the setuid or setgid bits set to reduce potential damage if an application is compromised. Additionally, the number of programs with setuid or setgid bits set should be minimized across a system. Ensuring that the sudo tty_tickets setting is enabled will prevent this leakage across tty sessions.
M1026 Privileged Account Management Remove users from the local administrator group on systems.
M1022 Restrict File and Directory Permissions The sudoers file should be strictly edited such that passwords are always required and that users can’t spawn risky processes as users with higher privilege.
M1052 User Account Control Although UAC bypass techniques exist, it is still prudent to use the highest enforcement level for UAC when possible and mitigate bypass opportunities that exist with techniques such as DLL Search Order Hijacking.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Metadata
DS0009 Process OS API Execution
DS0024 Windows Registry Windows Registry Key Modification