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How to Identify Cobalt Strike on Your Network
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SamlServicesUser
SamlServicesUser,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2020 | 6:04:46 PM
Great first steps but missing major vector
While I find this article well written, and certainly helpful to a blue team trying to understand Cobalt Strike beacons better, it neglects to mention the beacon's most useful evasion listener technique; DNS. While the article focuses on TCP and HTTP traffic, which is certainly loud on the network, beacons using DNS over UDP are far more useful to attackers. Take for example a payload ran on a domain-joined Windows server with all inbound an outbound network traffic blocked, outside of the required communication with its domain controller. In this scenario, direct TCP and HTTP shells, reverse and bind, are impossible to access, even if the attacker is on the same network. However, if that payload is a Cobalt Strike's DNS beacon, that isolated domain-joined device will find its communication with its domain controller weaponized as DNS lookups are sent to the attacker, remote on the internet, to establish the C2 channel for command execution and data exhilaration. How that works is beyond the scope of this comment, but I assure you, as someone who uses these a lot, they are highly efficient in evasion and never fail to shock the most capable of blue teams.
jamesdeluk
jamesdeluk,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2020 | 6:26:16 PM
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