Attackers’ trends tend to come and go. But one popular technique we’re seeing at this time is the use of living-off-the-land binaries — or “LoLBins”. LoLBins are used by different actors combined with fileless malware and legitimate cloud services to improve chances of staying undetected within an organisation, usually during post-exploitation attack phases.

Living-off-the-land tactics mean that attackers are using pre-installed tools to carry out their work. This makes it more difficult for defenders to detect attacks and researchers to identify the attackers behind the campaign. In the attacks we’re seeing, there are binaries supplied by the victim’s operating system that are normally used for legitimate purposes, but in these cases, are being abused by the attackers.

In this post, we will take a look at the use of LOLBins through the lense of Cisco’s product telemetry.We’ll also walk through the most frequently abused Windows system binaries and measure their usage by analyzing data from Cisco AMP for Endpoints.

You’ll also find an overview of a few recent campaigns we’ve seen using LoLBins, along with recommendations for how to detect malicious LoLBins’ activities.

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Talos Group

Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group