What is the MITRE ATT&CK Framework? Everything You Need to Know

MITRE had developed ATT&CK as a model that helps to do the document and track the various techniques where the attackers use the different stages of cyberattack so that it not only infiltrates and also exfiltrates the data.

It stands for Adversarial Tactics, shared knowledge, and techniques. These is the different cyber-attack techniques which is sorted by the other tactics. It also works with different matrices with varying tools like Linux, Mac, Windows, mobile system, etc.

The MITRE ATT&CK Framework is mainly based on the curated knowledge the cyber adversary behavior, reflecting the various phases of the adversary’s attack life cycle. To work perfectly, it has a platform which is known as the target. This framework created in 2013, and it has the appropriate level categorized for the adversary action, which has the specific way to defend against this.

Those are below:

  • Tactics mean it denotes the short-term adversary goal while attacking (this mainly happens with columns).
  • Techniques means adversaries achieve the tactical goal as the individual cells.
  • Everything is documented, which includes adversary usage and other metadata which is directly linked with the methods.

The use of MITRE ATT&CK Framework?

This can be used for many things that users can utilize for to understand and enhanced the organisation’s cyber presence. Here you can see five services that must be executed with the order number.

Those are below:

  1. Red Team: This framework has its standardized terminology that the the red teams can be use to communicate with each other for the big organisation. This also allows to the expert to execute the real-world attack scenario by using the guide and it also providing the training effectively.
  2. Blue Team: Since there are two teams, every work divided between two. If the Red team assigning the job with penetration-testing, then the Blue team has been assigned to do the task for defense. If you see the defense side, then the ATT&CK framework guide a very comprehensive way. The blue teamer needs to deeply understand which sort of mitigation is required to get placed on the network when things are in different scenarios.
  3. Vendor Battles: As a user, before you start doing this framework, you need to test the security products and organization can pull the cybersecurity products. It is fully structured and methodological, indicating that the security product will fulfill its duty.

    All new cybersecurity product is aligned with the framework principal, and it makes the job easier for the organization which makes the big difference price. Normally, it is very essential to break the problem into two simple questions, is the user needs to implement the security successfully and which one is better?
  1. Breach & Attack Simulation: BAS is always considered as a new set of tools that validated the essential requirement of this modern cybersecurity. It has a similar vendor battle, which helps the organization to determine this toolset for better implement.
  2. Filling the security gaps: This framework allows the expert to do the deep-drive mindset. It makes the process where it defends the network with an easier method. If the user has the technique then the attacker can use the execution to have the comprehensive explanation to mitigate the effect.

    Another important thing is that if you do the testing of cybersecurity for your organisation daily, you will get the guidelines that can easily help to fill the gap.

 Key Benefits of MITRE ATT&CK Framework:

 There are few benefits which are discussing below:

  1. Bridge the cybersecurity skills gaps: It provides knowledge which is based on advanced security analysis so that it can help to make an effective bridge in the cybersecurity skill gap. It does everything by involving the workforce like network team, QA team, security analysis, cloud team, etc.
  2. Finding Network Vulnerabilities: This framework predefined the real-time tactics and find out the network defense, which helps to detect the network vulnerabilities such as physical device security, hardware issues, firewall issues, etc.
  3. Provides compiled, techniques, real-time tactics aims at attackers behavior: This framework has provided all the well-known attackers who have developed the enterprise and know to the differentiate the behavior. There are few data that support the immense range with the security actions like defensive measurements, representation, and offensive measurement.
  4. Using ATT&CK with cyber threat intelligence: This is an in-depth adversarial behavior described by this framework and supports cyber threat intelligence activities. This is an environmental setup that does the real-time roadmap for security and catches the security strength and weakness.

ATT&CK Matrix

Reconnaissance Resource Development Initial Access Execution Persistence Privilege Escalation Defense Evasion Credential Access Discovery Lateral Movement Collection Command and Control Exfiltration Impact
10 techniques 7 techniques 9 techniques 12 techniques 19 techniques 13 techniques 39 techniques 15 techniques 27 techniques 9 techniques 17 techniques 16 techniques 9 techniques 13 techniques
Active Scanning (2) Acquire Infrastructure (6) Drive-by Compromise Command and Scripting Interpreter (8) Account Manipulation (4) Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism (4) Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism (4) Brute Force (4)
Gather Victim Host Information (4) Compromise Accounts (2) Exploit Public-Facing Application Container Administration Command BITS Jobs Access Token Manipulation (5) Access Token Manipulation (5) Credentials from Password Stores (5)
Gather Victim Identity Information (3) Compromise Infrastructure (6) External Remote Services Deploy Container Boot or Logon Autostart Execution (14) Boot or Logon Autostart Execution (14) BITS Jobs Exploitation for Credential Access
Gather Victim Network Information (6) Develop Capabilities (4) Hardware Additions Exploitation for Client Execution Boot or Logon Initialization Scripts (5) Boot or Logon Initialization Scripts (5) Build Image on Host Forced Authentication
Gather Victim Org Information (4) Establish Accounts (2) Phishing (3) Inter-Process Communication (2) Browser Extensions Create or Modify System Process (4) Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information Forge Web Credentials (2)
Phishing for Information (3) Obtain Capabilities (6) Replication Through Removable Media Native API Compromise Client Software Binary Domain Policy Modification (2) Deploy Container Input Capture (4)
Search Closed Sources (2) Stage Capabilities (5) Supply Chain Compromise (3) Scheduled Task/Job (7) Create Account (3) Escape to Host Direct Volume Access Man-in-the-Middle (2)
Search Open Technical Databases (5) Trusted Relationship Shared Modules Create or Modify System Process (4) Event Triggered Execution (15) Domain Policy Modification (2) Modify Authentication Process (4)
Search Open Websites/Domains (2) Valid Accounts (4) Software Deployment Tools Event Triggered Execution (15) Exploitation for Privilege Escalation Execution Guardrails (1) Network Sniffing
Search Victim-Owned Websites System Services (2) External Remote Services Hijack Execution Flow (11) Exploitation for Defense Evasion OS Credential Dumping (8)
User Execution (3) Hijack Execution Flow (11) Process Injection (11) File and Directory Permissions Modification (2) Steal Application Access Token
Windows Management Instrumentation Implant Internal Image Scheduled Task/Job (7) Hide Artifacts (7) Steal or Forge Kerberos Tickets (4)
Modify Authentication Process (4) Valid Accounts (4) Hijack Execution Flow (11) Steal Web Session Cookie
Office Application Startup (6) Impair Defenses (7) Two-Factor Authentication Interception
Pre-OS Boot (5) Indicator Removal on Host (6) Unsecured Credentials (7)
Scheduled Task/Job (7) Indirect Command Execution
Server Software Component (3) Masquerading (6)  
Traffic Signaling (1) Modify Authentication Process (4)
Valid Accounts (4) Modify Cloud Compute Infrastructure (4)
Modify Registry
Modify System Image (2)
Network Boundary Bridging (1)
Obfuscated Files or Information (5)
Pre-OS Boot (5)
Process Injection (11)
Rogue Domain Controller
Signed Binary Proxy Execution (11)
Signed Script Proxy Execution (1)
Subvert Trust Controls (6)
Template Injection
Traffic Signaling (1)
Trusted Developer Utilities Proxy Execution (1)
Unused/Unsupported Cloud Regions
Use Alternate Authentication Material (4)
Valid Accounts (4)
Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion (3)
Weaken Encryption (2)
XSL Script Processing



Mitre Attack

What all can be done through ATT&CK?

 ATT&CK is very valuable for everyday settings, and any defensive activity reference attackers will  benefit if they apply ATT&CK’s taxonomy. More than offering the cyber defenders, it does the penetration testing and red teaming. It also gives the defender and red teamer when it does the referring for the adversarial behavior.

 Here you will get a few examples for applying ATT&CK’s taxonomy; those are described below:

  1. Mapping defensive controls: Defensive controls can always carry the well-understood meaning to reference against the ATT&CK tactics they applied.
  2. Tool Integrations: It disparate the tools and services that standardize on this tool’s techniques which lend the comprehensive defense that is often lacking.
  3. Threat hunting: User can map the defences through ATT&CK yields giving the gap so that it can provide the threat hunters a perfect place to search the attacker activity.
  4. Sharing: When an ATT&CK shares the attack information, the defender ensure the common understanding with the techniques and tactics.
  5. Detecting and Investigations: Here The Security Operations Center (SOC) makes the response team to detect everything that is uncovered. It has the aid of understanding the defensive strength and weakness, and it is validating the mitigation so that it can see the control. It also uncovers the misconfiguration with other operational issues.
  6. Red Team/Penetration Test Activities: This ATT&CK user can do planning, execution, reporting to the red team and also can do the penetration test activity. To speak in a common language defender has to say the recipients.
  7. Referencing Actors: In this actor and groups has their defined behavior.

Final Thoughts

MITRA has a significant contribution to introducing the advanced ATT&CK framework. Cyber attackers are getting better day by day for implementing the technique to not make any security gap in the system without detecting the security firewall and defenders.

At the same time it implements the threat detection approach through behavioural-driven action. This will help to improve the overall security posture and make the defense system proactive  from all kinds of cyberattacks.

Cyber attackCyber securityMitre att&ck