Threat Intelligence

8/6/2018
09:50 AM

Mastering MITRE's ATT&CK Matrix

This breakdown of Mitre's model for cyberattacks and defense can help organizations understand the stages of attack events and, ultimately, build better security.
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Initial Access
Initial access is exactly what it sounds like, with an attacker first asking contact with your organization. If your security mechanisms recognize and properly respond to the attack at this stage, then the rest of the matrix is simply interesting reading. If not ...
The initial access stage can take many forms, from a spear-phishing link, to a malicious thumb drive found in a parking lot, to a trusted, authorized user who turns evil. In every form, though, a failure of human behavior, IT process, or security mechanism enables the attack to proceed.
While most attacks commonly at this stage, it is not necessarily the only way. As we walk across the horizontal axis of the ATT&CK matrix, we'll see classes of attack that begin further across the process in an attempt to slide beneath the radar of most security products.
(Image: Africa Studio VIA SHUTTERSTOCK)

Initial Access

Initial access is exactly what it sounds like, with an attacker first asking contact with your organization. If your security mechanisms recognize and properly respond to the attack at this stage, then the rest of the matrix is simply interesting reading. If not ...

The initial access stage can take many forms, from a spear-phishing link, to a malicious thumb drive found in a parking lot, to a trusted, authorized user who turns evil. In every form, though, a failure of human behavior, IT process, or security mechanism enables the attack to proceed.

While most attacks commonly at this stage, it is not necessarily the only way. As we walk across the horizontal axis of the ATT&CK matrix, we'll see classes of attack that begin further across the process in an attempt to slide beneath the radar of most security products.

(Image: Africa Studio VIA SHUTTERSTOCK)

2 of 12
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Kunchen
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Kunchen,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2018 | 2:20:02 PM
Good post
This is indeed a very good post.  I enjoyed reading and I see a sequel in the future? "What happens after C&C?" At least from a an IR, CIRT, or from a security team's perspective.  Lessons learned? Controls review? Mitigation of damages? Investigation? Handling with LEO? 
Sbdr204
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Sbdr204,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2018 | 10:46:11 AM
Red Team Integration
Great article! We've integrated the MITRE framework in our red team engagements to drive more value to our customers. Traditional red team penetration testing is dead, or it should be. Just going after privileged access like DA is a waste of time, as it's almost always easily accomplished through SE, MiTM, or trivial payload obfuscation. A much more valuable pentest involves evaluating the effectiveness of your controls against a number of probable attack vectors. That's where MITRE comes in. MITRE does a great job of identifying a wide range of attacks, and allows you to understand how effective your controls are in detecting and preventing it. Not to mention providing interpretable metrics that better establish what your organizations risk really is.
fredheen
50%
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fredheen,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2018 | 5:57:47 AM
My opinion
In my opinion, it's quite interesting to read 
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