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T1595.002 Vulnerability Scanning

Adversaries may scan victims for vulnerabilities that can be used during targeting. Vulnerability scans typically check if the configuration of a target host/application (ex: software and version) potentially aligns with the target of a specific exploit the adversary may seek to use.

These scans may also include more broad attempts to Gather Victim Host Information that can be used to identify more commonly known, exploitable vulnerabilities. Vulnerability scans typically harvest running software and version numbers via server banners, listening ports, or other network artifacts.1 Information from these scans may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Search Open Technical Databases), establishing operational resources (ex: Develop Capabilities or Obtain Capabilities), and/or initial access (ex: Exploit Public-Facing Application).

Item Value
ID T1595.002
Sub-techniques T1595.001, T1595.002, T1595.003
Tactics TA0043
Platforms PRE
Version 1.0
Created 02 October 2020
Last Modified 13 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0007 APT28 APT28 has performed large-scale scans in an attempt to find vulnerable servers.11
G0016 APT29 APT29 has conducted widespread scanning of target environments to identify vulnerabilities for exploit.10
G0143 Aquatic Panda Aquatic Panda has used publicly accessible DNS logging services to identify servers vulnerable to Log4j (CVE 2021-44228).7
G0035 Dragonfly Dragonfly has scanned targeted systems for vulnerable Citrix and Microsoft Exchange services.12
G1006 Earth Lusca Earth Lusca has scanned for vulnerabilities in the public-facing servers of their targets.8
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound has conducted widespread scanning to identify public-facing systems vulnerable to CVE-2021-44228 in Log4j and ProxyShell vulnerabilities; CVE-2021-26855, CVE-2021-26857, CVE-2021-26858, and CVE-2021-27065 in on-premises MS Exchange Servers; and CVE-2018-13379 in Fortinet FortiOS SSL VPNs.56
G0034 Sandworm Team Sandworm Team has scanned network infrastructure for vulnerabilities as part of its operational planning.4
G0139 TeamTNT TeamTNT has scanned for vulnerabilities in IoT devices and other related resources such as the Docker API.9
G0123 Volatile Cedar Volatile Cedar has performed vulnerability scans of the target server.23


ID Mitigation Description
M1056 Pre-compromise This technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on behaviors performed outside of the scope of enterprise defenses and controls. Efforts should focus on minimizing the amount and sensitivity of data available to external parties.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content


  1. OWASP. (n.d.). OAT-014 Vulnerability Scanning. Retrieved October 20, 2020. 

  2. Threat Intelligence and Research. (2015, March 30). VOLATILE CEDAR. Retrieved February 8, 2021. 

  3. ClearSky Cyber Security. (2021, January). “Lebanese Cedar” APT Global Lebanese Espionage Campaign Leveraging Web Servers. Retrieved February 10, 2021. 

  4. Scott W. Brady. (2020, October 15). United States vs. Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko et al.. Retrieved November 25, 2020. 

  5. Check Point. (2022, January 11). APT35 exploits Log4j vulnerability to distribute new modular PowerShell toolkit. Retrieved January 24, 2022. 

  6. Wiley, B. et al. (2021, December 29). OverWatch Exposes AQUATIC PANDA in Possession of Log4Shell Exploit Tools During Hands-on Intrusion Attempt. Retrieved January 18, 2022. 

  7. Chen, J., et al. (2022). Delving Deep: An Analysis of Earth Lusca’s Operations. Retrieved July 1, 2022. 

  8. Fiser, D. Oliveira, A. (n.d.). Tracking the Activities of TeamTNT A Closer Look at a Cloud-Focused Malicious Actor Group. Retrieved September 22, 2021. 

  9. NCSC, CISA, FBI, NSA. (2021, May 7). Further TTPs associated with SVR cyber actors. Retrieved July 29, 2021. 

  10. Hacquebord, F. (n.d.). Pawn Storm in 2019 A Year of Scanning and Credential Phishing on High-Profile Targets. Retrieved December 29, 2020. 

  11. CISA. (2020, December 1). Russian State-Sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Compromises U.S. Government Targets. Retrieved December 9, 2021.