Mapping To MuddyWater

MuddyWater is an Iranian threat group that has primarily targeted Middle Eastern nations, and has also targeted European and North American nations. The group's victims are mainly in the telecommunications, government (IT services), and oil sectors. Activity from this group was previously linked to FIN7, but the group is believed to be a distinct group possibly motivated by espionage.


Disclaimer: We present this mapping to stimulate thinking about active defense options to combat this adversary, not to present all possibilities. We invite you to use this as a guide and add your own use cases for applying Shield techniques to counter each adversary action.

Note: All ATT&CK Group sub-technique mappings have been remapped to their parent technique and were derived from Group Technique mappings in ATT&CK v8.

Details
ATT&CK ID: G0069
Associated Groups:  MuddyWater, Seedworm, TEMP.Zagros
Note:  This page uses Adversary Group data from MITRE ATT&CK.
ATT&CK Technique Opportunity Space AD Technique Use Case
T1003 - OS Credential Dumping There is an opportunity to deploy a tripwire that triggers an alert when an adversary touches a network resource or uses a specific technique. DTE0012 - Decoy Credentials A defender can seed systems with decoy credentials in a variety of locations and establish alerting that will trigger if an adversary harvests the credentials and attempts to use them.
T1016 - System Network Configuration Discovery There is an opportunity to influence an adversary to move toward systems you want them to engage with. DTE0011 - Decoy Content A defender can create breadcrumbs or honeytokens to lure the attackers toward the decoy systems or network services.
T1027 - Obfuscated Files or Information In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity to introduce decoy systems that can influence an adversary's behavior or allow you to observe how they perform a specific task. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender could implement a decoy system to study how and when an adversary obfuscate files and hides information.
T1033 - System Owner/User Discovery There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can impact an adversary's activity by manipulating or replacing the commands commonly used to display users on a system.
T1036 - Masquerading There is an opportunity to detect the presence of an adversary by identifying and alerting on anomalous behaviors. DTE0007 - Behavioral Analytics A defender can look for known files in non-standard locations or files that are creating anomalous processes or connections.
T1041 - Exfiltration Over C2 Channel There is an opportunity to disrupt or enable and adversary's exfiltration activities by blocking/unblocking the traffic to their Command and Control (C2) location. DTE0026 - Network Manipulation A defender can prevent or enable use of alternate protocols for exfiltration by blocking/unblocking unnecessary ports and protocols.
T1041 - Exfiltration Over C2 Channel There is an opportunity to disrupt or enable and adversary's exfiltration activities by blocking/unblocking the traffic to their Command and Control (C2) location. DTE0026 - Network Manipulation A defender can restrict network traffic making adversary exfiltration slow or unreliable.
T1047 - Windows Management Instrumentation In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity to allow or restrict admin access to support your defensive objectives. DTE0001 - Admin Access A defender can remove admin access from the local user to prevent an adversary from being able to utilize WMI.
T1047 - Windows Management Instrumentation There is an opportunity to implement security controls which will prevent an adversary from using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), in order to entice them to reveal new TTPs. DTE0032 - Security Controls A defender can harden accounts which have admin access and also restrict any users from being able to connect remotely using WMI.
T1053 - Scheduled Task/Job There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0001 - Admin Access A defender can enable Admin Access on a system to see if the adversary utilizes that access to create scheduled tasks to launch their malware or tools.
T1053 - Scheduled Task/Job There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can configure a decoy system with limited restrictions to see if the adversary creates or alters scheduled tasks to launch their malware.
T1053 - Scheduled Task/Job There is an opportunity to create a detection with a moderately high probability of success. DTE0034 - System Activity Monitoring A defender can capture system activity logs and generate alerts if the adversary creates new scheduled tasks or alters existing tasks.
T1057 - Process Discovery There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can modify commands such that the true list of running processes is not revealed, hiding necessary active defense processes from the adversary.
T1057 - Process Discovery There is an opportunity to present decoy processes to an adversary to influence their behaviors, test their interest, or add legitimacy to a system or environment. DTE0016 - Decoy Process A defender can run decoy processes on a system to entice an adversary.
T1059 - Command and Scripting Interpreter There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can manipulate the output of system commands issued to alter information the adversary might use during their activity.
T1059 - Command and Scripting Interpreter There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can modify the functionality of commands used to delete files so that the files are copied to a safe location before they are deleted.
T1059 - Command and Scripting Interpreter There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0034 - System Activity Monitoring A defender can detect the presence of an adversary by monitoring for processes that are created by commands and/or scripts they execute on a system.
T1071 - Application Layer Protocol There is an opportunity to monitor network traffic for different protocols, anomalous traffic patterns, transfer of data, etc. to determine the presence of an adversary. DTE0027 - Network Monitoring The defender can implement network monitoring for and alert on anomalous traffic patterns, large or unexpected data transfers, and other activity that may reveal the presence of an adversary.
T1082 - System Information Discovery There is an opportunity to feed content to an adversary to influence their behaviors, test their interest in specific topics, or add legitimacy to a system or environment. DTE0011 - Decoy Content A defender can use decoy content to give the false impression about the system when an adversary performs system information discovery.
T1083 - File and Directory Discovery There is an opportunity to feed content to an adversary to influence their behaviors, test their interest in specific topics, or add legitimacy to a system or environment. DTE0011 - Decoy Content A defender can utilize decoy files and directories to provide content that could be used by the adversary.
T1090 - Proxy There is an opportunity to block an adversary that is seeking to use a proxied connection. DTE0026 - Network Manipulation A defender could block traffic to known anonymity networks and C2 infrastructure through the use of network allow and block lists.
T1104 - Multi-Stage Channels There is an opportunity to detect an unknown process that is being used for command and control and disrupt it. DTE0022 - Isolation A defender can isolate unknown processes that are being used for command and control and prevent them from being able to access the internet.
T1104 - Multi-Stage Channels There is an opportunity to manipulate the network to allow/deny certain types of traffic, to degrade network traffic, or otherwise impact an adversary's activity. DTE0026 - Network Manipulation A defender could implement a protocol aware IPS to limit systems communicating to unknown locations on the internet.
T1105 - Ingress Tool Transfer There is an opportunity to collect network data and analyze the adversary activity it contains. DTE0028 - PCAP Collection Collecting full packet capture of all network traffic allows you to review what happened over the connection and identify command and control traffic and/or exfiltration activity.
T1113 - Screen Capture There is an opportunity to feed content to an adversary to influence their behaviors, test their interest in specific topics, or add legitimacy to a system or environment. DTE0011 - Decoy Content A defender can display decoy content on the screen which may be of interest to an adversary in an attempt to elicit further engagement.
T1132 - Data Encoding There is an opportunity to reveal data that the adversary has tried to protect from defenders DTE0031 - Protocol Decoder Defenders can develop protocol decoders that can decrypt network capture data and expose an adversary's command and control traffic as well as their exfiltration activity.
T1137 - Office Application Startup There is an opportunity to create a detection with a moderately high probability of success. DTE0034 - System Activity Monitoring A defender can collect system process information and look for abnormal activity tied to Office processes.
T1140 - Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0003 - API Monitoring A defender can monitor and analyze operating system functions calls for detection and alerting.
T1203 - Exploitation for Client Execution There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can use a decoy system to see if an adversary exploits vulnerable software in order to compromise the system.
T1203 - Exploitation for Client Execution There is an opportunity to discover who or what is being targeting by an adversary. DTE0004 - Application Diversity A defender can install one or more applications on a decoy system with a variety of patch levels to see how an adversary might exploit those applications.
T1204 - User Execution There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0018 - Detonate Malware A defender can execute adversary malware on a decoy system and examine its behaviors or potentially engage with the adversary to obtain further intelligence.
T1218 - Signed Binary Proxy Execution There is an opportunity to block an adversary's intended action and force them to reveal additional TTPs. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can monitor operating system functions calls to look for adversary use and/or abuse.
T1218 - Signed Binary Proxy Execution There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0018 - Detonate Malware A defender can detonate malicious code leveraging a signed binary on a decoy system or within a decoy network to see how it behaves or for adversary engagement purposes.
T1218 - Signed Binary Proxy Execution There is an opportunity to create a detection with a moderately high probability of success. DTE0003 - API Monitoring A defender can monitor and analyze operating system functions calls for detection and alerting.
T1518 - Software Discovery There is an opportunity to provide a variety of applications to an adversary to see what things an adversary prefers or to influence their operations. DTE0004 - Application Diversity A defender can install an array of various software packages on a system to make it look used and populated. This will give an adversary a collection of software to interact with and possibly expose additional techniques.
T1547 - Boot or Logon Autostart Execution There is an opportunity to use tools and controls to stop an adversary's activity. DTE0006 - Baseline A defender can store good copies of registry startup keys and restore them on a frequent basis. This can prevent an adversary from using them to launch malware on system startup.
T1548 - Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism There is an opportunity to use security controls on systems in order to affect the success of an adversary. DTE0032 - Security Controls A defender could use a host-based tool in order to have an effect on the success of an adversary abusing elevation control mechanisms.
T1552 - Unsecured Credentials In order to prolong an adversary engagement operation or enable detections, there is an opportunity to introduce credentials to an adversary that you want them to collect and use. DTE0012 - Decoy Credentials A defender can plant decoy credentials across an array of locations to increase the chances of an adversary finding and using them.
T1555 - Credentials from Password Stores In order to prolong an adversary engagement operation or enable detections, there is an opportunity to introduce credentials to an adversary that you want them to collect and use. DTE0012 - Decoy Credentials A defender can plant decoy credentials across an array of locations to increase the chances of an adversary finding and using them.
T1559 - Inter-Process Communication There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender can modify system calls to break communications, route things to decoy systems, prevent full execution, etc.
T1560 - Archive Collected Data There is an opportunity for the defender to observe the adversary and control what they can see, what effects they can have, and/or what data they can access. DTE0036 - Software Manipulation A defender might alter APIs to expose data that is being archived, encoded, and/or encrypted. This can also be used to corrupt the action so the data isn't usable.
T1566 - Phishing A phishing email can be detected and blocked from arriving at the intended recipient. DTE0019 - Email Manipulation A defender can intercept emails that are detected as suspicious or malicious by email detection tools and prevent deliver to the intended target.
T1566 - Phishing A phishing email can be detected and moved from the intended recipient to a decoy account for reading and execution. DTE0023 - Migrate Attack Vector A defender can move suspicious emails to a decoy system prior to opening and examining the email.
T1566 - Phishing Users trained and encouraged to report phishing can detect attacks that other defenses do not. DTE0035 - User Training A program to train and exercise the anti-phishing skills of users can create "Human Sensors" that help detect phishing attacks.
T1566 - Phishing There is an opportunity to discover who or what is being targeting by an adversary. DTE0015 - Decoy Persona A defender can seed information about the decoy persona's personal accounts on systems to see if the adversary collects and uses that information in future activity.