Mapping To Soft Cell

Operation Soft Cell is a group that is reportedly affiliated with China and is likely state-sponsored. The group has operated since at least 2012 and has compromised high-profile telecommunications networks.


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: G0093
Associated Groups:  Soft Cell
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.
T1005 - Data from Local System In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity to add legitimacy by ensuring the local system is with fully populated with content. DTE0030 - Pocket Litter A defender can stage a variety of pocket litter files to bolster the legitimacy of the local system.
T1005 - Data from Local System In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity provide content on a variety of topics to see what types of information seems to interest the adversary. DTE0030 - Pocket Litter A defender can stage a variety of pocket litter files in order to determine if an adversary is interested in specific file types, subjects, etc.
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.
T1018 - Remote System 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 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.
T1018 - Remote System Discovery In an adversary engagement situation, there is an opportunity to add legitimacy by ensuring decoy systems are fully populated with information an adversary would expect to see during this recon process. DTE0011 - Decoy Content A defender can create entries in a decoy system's ARP cache, hosts file, etc. to add to the legitimacy of the device.
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.
T1049 - System Network Connections 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 manipulate the output of commands commonly used to enumerate a system's network connections. They could seed this output with decoy systems and/or networks or remove legitimate systems from the output in order to direct an adversary away from legitimate systems.
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.
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.
T1074 - Data Staged In an adversary engagement scenario, there is an opportunity to seed content to influence an adversary's behaviors, test their interest in specific topics, or add legitimacy to a system or environment. DTE0030 - Pocket Litter A defender can stage a variety of pocket litter files with known hashes around a system. Detections can be put in place if these hashes are seen moving around a system or out of the network.
T1078 - Valid Accounts There is an opportunity to introduce user accounts that are used to make a system look more realistic. DTE0010 - Decoy Account A defender can create decoy user accounts which are used to make a decoy system or network look more realistic.
T1078 - Valid Accounts 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.
T1078 - Valid Accounts There is an opportunity to prepare user accounts so they look used and authentic. DTE0008 - Burn-In A defender can prepare a Decoy System by logging in to the Decoy Account and using it in ways consistent with the deception story, creating artifacts in the system that make it look legitimate.
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.
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.
T1133 - External Remote Services There is an opportunity to determine if an adversary already has valid account credentials for your network and if they are trying to use them access your network via remote services. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can setup a decoy VPN server and see if an adversary attempts to use valid account to authenticate to it.
T1136 - Create Account There is an opportunity to create a detection with a moderately high probability of success. DTE0033 - Standard Operating Procedure A defender can detect user accounts created outside the acceptable process.
T1190 - Exploit Public-Facing Application There is an opportunity to deploy a tripwire that triggers an alert when an adversary touches a network resource or uses a specific technique. DTE0017 - Decoy System A defender can use decoy system running a public-facing application to see if an adversary attempts to compromise the system and learn their TTPs.
T1190 - Exploit Public-Facing Application There is an opportunity to present several public-facing application options to see what application(s) the adversary targets. DTE0013 - Decoy Diversity A defender can use a diverse set of decoy systems to study an adversary and determine which types of public-facing applications they choose to exploit.
T1505 - Server Software Component There is an opportunity to study the adversary and collect first-hand observations about them and their tools. DTE0004 - Application Diversity A defender can install decoy services that have extensible capabilities.
T1550 - Use Alternate Authentication Material There is an opportunity to detect the presence of an adversary by identifying and alerting on anomalous behaviors. DTE0007 - Behavioral Analytics Defenders can look for anomalies in where an account is authenticating and what it is authenticating to in order to detect potentially malicious intent.
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.
T1574 - Hijack Execution Flow There is an opportunity to use security controls to stop or allow an adversary's activity. DTE0032 - Security Controls A defender can block execution of untrusted software.