Mapping To Cobalt Group

Cobalt Group is a financially motivated threat group that has primarily targeted financial institutions. The group has conducted intrusions to steal money via targeting ATM systems, card processing, payment systems and SWIFT systems. Cobalt Group has mainly targeted banks in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. One of the alleged leaders was arrested in Spain in early 2018, but the group still appears to be active. The group has been known to target organizations in order to use their access to then compromise additional victims. Reporting indicates there may be links between Cobalt Group and both the malware Carbanak and the group Carbanak.


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: G0080
Associated Groups:  Cobalt Group, Cobalt Gang, Cobalt Spider
Note:  This page uses Adversary Group data from MITRE ATT&CK.
ATT&CK Technique Opportunity Space AD Technique Use Case
T1021 - Remote Services 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.
T1021 - Remote Services 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 running a remote service (such as telnet, SSH, and VNC) and see if the adversary attempts to login to the service.
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.
T1037 - Boot or Logon Initialization Scripts There is an opportunity to utilize confirmed good copies of login scripts and restoring on a frequent basis to prevent an adversary from using them to launch malware on a recurring basis. DTE0006 - Baseline A defender can revert a system to a verified baseline a frequent, recurring basis in order to remove adversary persistence mechanisms.
T1046 - Network Service Scanning 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 change the output of a recon commands to hide simulation elements you don’t want attacked and present simulation elements you want the adversary to engage with.
T1046 - Network Service Scanning There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can add decoy systems to the network so an adversary can have a variety of network services available to them. The defender can observe which network services the adversary attempts to use.
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.
T1055 - Process Injection In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity to implement security controls to support your defensive objectives over a prolonged engagement. DTE0032 - Security Controls A defender could implement security controls to have an effect on process injection techniques such as AppLocker or an Antivirus/EDR tool designed to watch for CreateRemoteThread events.
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.
T1068 - Exploitation for Privilege Escalation There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0001 - Admin Access A defender can configure system users to not have admin access in order to ensure privilege escalation requires exploitation.
T1070 - Indicator Removal on Host 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 restrict admin access to force an adversary to escalate privileges in order to delete logs and captured artifacts from a system.
T1070 - Indicator Removal on Host 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 anomalies in how commands are being executed on a system. This can expose potentially malicious activity.
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.
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.
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.
T1219 - Remote Access Software There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can install remote access tools on decoy systems across the network to see if the adversary uses these tools for command and control.
T1220 - XSL Script Processing There is an opportunity to detect the presence of an adversary by identifying and alerting on anomalous behaviors. DTE0007 - Behavioral Analytics The defender can use behavioral analytics detect an XSL process doing something abnormal.
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.
T1543 - Create or Modify System Process There is an opportunity to use security controls to stop or allow an adversary's activity. DTE0032 - Security Controls A defender can choose to harden or weaken security controls on a system to affect an adversaries ability to modify or create system processes.
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.
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.
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.
T1572 - Protocol Tunneling 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 A defender can monitor for systems establishing connections using encapsulated protocols not commonly used together such as RDP tunneled over TCP.
T1573 - Encrypted Channel There is an opportunity to reveal data that the adversary has tried to protect from defenders DTE0031 - Protocol Decoder Defenders can reverse engineer malware and develop protocol decoders that can decrypt and expose adversary communications