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T1553.002 Code Signing

Adversaries may create, acquire, or steal code signing materials to sign their malware or tools. Code signing provides a level of authenticity on a binary from the developer and a guarantee that the binary has not been tampered with. 4 The certificates used during an operation may be created, acquired, or stolen by the adversary. 2 3 Unlike Invalid Code Signature, this activity will result in a valid signature.

Code signing to verify software on first run can be used on modern Windows and macOS systems. It is not used on Linux due to the decentralized nature of the platform. 41

Code signing certificates may be used to bypass security policies that require signed code to execute on a system.

Item Value
ID T1553.002
Sub-techniques T1553.001, T1553.002, T1553.003, T1553.004, T1553.005, T1553.006
Tactics TA0005
Platforms Windows, macOS
Version 1.1
Created 05 February 2020
Last Modified 22 September 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0504 Anchor Anchor has been signed with valid certificates to evade detection by security tools.7
S0584 AppleJeus AppleJeus has used a valid digital signature from Sectigo to appear legitimate.11
G0096 APT41 APT41 leveraged code-signing certificates to sign malware when targeting both gaming and non-gaming organizations.6465
S0475 BackConfig BackConfig has been signed with self signed digital certificates mimicking a legitimate software company.10
S0234 Bandook Bandook was signed with valid Certum certificates.35
S0534 Bazar Bazar has been signed with fake certificates including those appearing to be from VB CORPORATE PTY. LTD.16
S1070 Black Basta The Black Basta dropper has been digitally signed with a certificate issued by Akeo Consulting for legitimate executables used for creating bootable USB drives.18
S0520 BLINDINGCAN BLINDINGCAN has been signed with code-signing certificates such as CodeRipper.9
S0415 BOOSTWRITE BOOSTWRITE has been signed by a valid CA.46
C0015 C0015 For C0015, the threat actors used DLL files that had invalid certificates.71
S0144 ChChes ChChes samples were digitally signed with a certificate originally used by Hacking Team that was later leaked and subsequently revoked.282930
S0611 Clop Clop can use code signing to evade detection.36
S0154 Cobalt Strike Cobalt Strike can use self signed Java applets to execute signed applet attacks.3334
G0052 CopyKittens CopyKittens digitally signed an executable with a stolen certificate from legitimate company AI Squared.67
S0527 CSPY Downloader CSPY Downloader has come signed with revoked certificates.5
G0012 Darkhotel Darkhotel has used code-signing certificates on its malware that are either forged due to weak keys or stolen. Darkhotel has also stolen certificates and signed backdoors and downloaders with them.5556
S0187 Daserf Some Daserf samples were signed with a stolen digital certificate.25
S0377 Ebury Ebury has installed a self-signed RPM package mimicking the original system package on RPM based systems.14
S0624 Ecipekac Ecipekac has used a valid, legitimate digital signature to evade detection.42
G1003 Ember Bear Ember Bear has used stolen certificates from Electrum Technologies GmbH to sign payloads.70
S0091 Epic Turla has used valid digital certificates from Sysprint AG to sign its Epic dropper.38
G0037 FIN6 FIN6 has used Comodo code-signing certificates.24
G0046 FIN7 FIN7 has signed Carbanak payloads with legally purchased code signing certificates. FIN7 has also digitally signed their phishing documents, backdoors and other staging tools to bypass security controls.4849
G0093 GALLIUM GALLIUM has used stolen certificates to sign its tools including those from Whizzimo LLC.63
S0168 Gazer Gazer versions are signed with various valid certificates; one was likely faked and issued by Comodo for “Solid Loop Ltd,” and another was issued for “Ultimate Computer Support Ltd.”4041
S0342 GreyEnergy GreyEnergy digitally signs the malware with a code-signing certificate.15
S0170 Helminth Helminth samples have been signed with legitimate, compromised code signing certificates owned by software company AI Squared.26
S0697 HermeticWiper The HermeticWiper executable has been signed with a legitimate certificate issued to Hermetica Digital Ltd.19202122
S0698 HermeticWizard HermeticWizard has been signed by valid certificates assigned to Hermetica Digital.47
S0163 Janicab Janicab used a valid AppleDeveloperID to sign the code to get past security restrictions.32
G0094 Kimsuky Kimsuky has signed files with the name EGIS CO,. Ltd..69
G0032 Lazarus Group Lazarus Group has digitally signed malware and utilities to evade detection.61
G0065 Leviathan Leviathan has used stolen code signing certificates to sign malware.5859
S0372 LockerGoga LockerGoga has been signed with stolen certificates in order to make it look more legitimate.43
G1014 LuminousMoth LuminousMoth has signed their malware with a valid digital signature.66
G0045 menuPass menuPass has resized and added data to the certificate table to enable the signing of modified files with legitimate signatures.42
S0455 Metamorfo Metamorfo has digitally signed executables using AVAST Software certificates.45
G0021 Molerats Molerats has used forged Microsoft code-signing certificates on malware.60
S0284 More_eggs More_eggs has used a signed binary shellcode loader and a signed Dynamic Link Library (DLL) to create a reverse shell.24
G1009 Moses Staff Moses Staff has used signed drivers from an open source tool called DiskCryptor to evade detection.68
S0210 Nerex Nerex drops a signed Microsoft DLL to disk.27
C0022 Operation Dream Job During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group digitally signed their own malware to evade detection.72
C0006 Operation Honeybee During Operation Honeybee, the threat actors deployed the MaoCheng dropper with a stolen Adobe Systems digital signature.73
G0040 Patchwork Patchwork has signed malware with self-signed certificates from fictitious and spoofed legitimate software companies.10
S0501 PipeMon PipeMon, its installer, and tools are signed with stolen code-signing certificates.23
G0056 PROMETHIUM PROMETHIUM has signed code with self-signed certificates.37
S0650 QakBot QakBot can use signed loaders to evade detection.1213
S0262 QuasarRAT A QuasarRAT .dll file is digitally signed by a certificate from AirVPN.6
S0148 RTM RTM samples have been signed with a code-signing certificates.31
G0091 Silence Silence has used a valid certificate to sign their primary loader Silence.Downloader (aka TrueBot).50
C0024 SolarWinds Compromise During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 was able to get SUNBURST signed by SolarWinds code signing certificates by injecting the malware into the SolarWinds Orion software lifecycle.44
S0646 SpicyOmelette SpicyOmelette has been signed with valid digital certificates.39
S0491 StrongPity StrongPity has been signed with self-signed certificates.37
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet used a digitally signed driver with a compromised Realtek certificate.17
G0039 Suckfly Suckfly has used stolen certificates to sign its malware.62
S0559 SUNBURST SUNBURST was digitally signed by SolarWinds from March - May 2020.44
S0663 SysUpdate SysUpdate has been signed with stolen digital certificates.8
G0092 TA505 TA505 has signed payloads with code signing certificates from Thawte and Sectigo.525354
S0266 TrickBot TrickBot has come with a signed downloader component.7
G0044 Winnti Group Winnti Group used stolen certificates to sign its malware.57
G0102 Wizard Spider Wizard Spider has used Digicert code-signing certificates for some of its malware.51


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0022 File File Metadata


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