Today, CISA joined the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and international partners in releasing a joint cybersecurity advisory highlighting recently discovered activities conducted by a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber threat actor.
This advisory highlights how PRC cyber actors use techniques called “living off the land” to evade detection by using built-in networking administration tools to compromise networks and conduct malicious activity. This enables the cyber actor to blend in with routine Windows system and network activities, limit activity and data captured in default logging configurations, and avoid endpoint detection and response (EDR) products that could alert to the introduction of third-party applications on the host or network. Private sector partners have identified that this activity affects networks across U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, and the authoring agencies believe the actor could apply the same techniques against these and other sectors worldwide.
The authoring agencies have identified potential indicators associated with these techniques. To hunt for this activity, CISA and partners encourage network defenders to use the actor’s commands and detection signatures provided in this advisory. CISA and partners further encourage network defenders to view the indicators of compromise (IOCs) and mitigations summaries to detect this activity.