Search Evasion Techniques
Names, Techniques, Definitions, Keywords
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In many sandboxes, due to virtualization constraints, the number of CPUs may be limited to one. However, in the real world, all x86 CPUs have been sold with multiple cores or at least hyperthreading for over a decade.
As a result, it is sometimes possible to detect virtualization or sandboxing by examining the number of CPUs on the system. This …
Adversaries may inject malicious code into process via Extra Window Memory (EWM) in order to evade process-based defenses as well as possibly elevate privileges. EWM injection is a method of executing arbitrary code in the address space of a separate live process.
Before creating a window, graphical Windows-based processes must prescribe to or register a windows class, which stipulate appearance …
Before creating a window, graphical Windows-based processes must prescribe to or register a windows class, which stipulate appearance and behavior (via windows procedures, which are functions that handle input/output of data).
Registration of new windows classes can include a request for up to 40 bytes of Extra Window Memory (EWM) to be appended to the allocated memory of each instance …
Attackers can leverage native Windows API calls to install malicious services without generating correlating entries in the event log. Using native APIs to install services instead of the standard API calls allow attackers to bypass security controls and event logging. This technique was utilised by Stuxnet.
Services are typically created through a standard Windows API call
Adversaries may disable Windows event logging to limit data that can be leveraged for detections and audits. Windows event logs record user and system activity such as login attempts, process creation, and much more. This data is used by security tools and analysts to generate detections.
The EventLog service maintains event logs from various system components and applications. By default, …
Adversaries may modify file or directory permissions/attributes to evade access control lists (ACLs) and access protected files. File and directory permissions are commonly managed by ACLs configured by the file or directory owner, or users with the appropriate permissions. File and directory ACL implementations vary by platform, but generally explicitly designate which users or groups can perform which actions (read, …
Some files are created by Virtualbox and VMware on the system.
Malware can check the different folders to find Virtualbox artifacts like VBoxMouse.sys.
Malware can check the different folders to find VMware artifacts like vmmouse.sys, vmhgfs.sys.
Some Files Example
Below is a list of files that can be detected on virtual machines:
- "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp\agent.pyw",
- "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\VBoxVideo.sys", …
Some Known Debuggers
- x64dbg / x32dbg
Many EDR solutions leverage Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) extensively. ETW allows for extensive instrumentation and tracing of a process functionality and WINAPI calls. It has components in the kernel, to register callbacks for system calls and other kernel operations, but also consists of a userland component that is part of ntdll.dll.
Since ntdll.dll is a DLL loaded into the …
Adversaries may execute their own malicious payloads by hijacking environment variables used to load libraries. Adversaries may place a program in an earlier entry in the list of directories stored in the PATH environment variable, which Windows will then execute when it searches sequentially through that PATH listing in search of the binary that was called from a script or …