Hide Artifacts: Process Argument Spoofing

Created the Tuesday 31 January 2023. Updated 6 months, 1 week ago.

Adversaries may attempt to hide process command-line arguments by overwriting process memory. Process command-line arguments are stored in the process environment block (PEB), a data structure used by Windows to store various information about/used by a process. The PEB includes the process command-line arguments that are referenced when executing the process. When a process is created, defensive tools/sensors that monitor process creations may retrieve the process arguments from the PEB.

Adversaries may manipulate a process PEB to evade defenses. For example, Process Hollowing can be abused to spawn a process in a suspended state with benign arguments. After the process is spawned and the PEB is initialized (and process information is potentially logged by tools/sensors), adversaries may override the PEB to modify the command-line arguments (ex: using the Native API WriteProcessMemory() function) then resume process execution with malicious arguments.

Adversaries may also execute a process with malicious command-line arguments then patch the memory with benign arguments that may bypass subsequent process memory analysis.

This behavior may also be combined with other tricks (such as Parent PID Spoofing) to manipulate or further evade process-based detections.

Additional Resources

External Links

The resources provided below are associated links that will give you even more detailed information and research on current evasion technique. It is important to note that, while these resources may be helpful, it is important to exercise caution when following external links. As always, be careful when clicking on links from unknown sources, as they may lead to malicious content.

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