UEBA: NetWitness UEBA Indicators

Document created by RSA Information Design and Development Employee on Sep 14, 2020
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NetWitness UEBA focuses on providing advanced detection capabilities to guard enterprises from insider threats. These could either be compromised trusted users or network entity within a network, or alternatively, an external attacker malicious taking advantage of credentials acquired by using advanced account takeover techniques.

Identity theft typically begins with the theft of credentials, which are then used to obtain unauthorized access to resources and to gain control over the network. Attackers may also exploit compromised non-admin users to obtain access to resources for which they have administrative rights, and then escalate those privileges.

NetWitness UEBA helps you separate possibly malicious activity from the otherwise abnormal, but not risky, user or network entity actions.

Use Case for Users

An attacker who uses stolen credentials may trigger suspicious network events while accessing resources. Detecting illicit credential use is possible, but requires that you separate attacker activity from the high volume of legitimate events. The following use cases define certain risk types, and the corresponding system capabilities used for their detection. You can review the use cases, represented by their alert type and description, to gain an initial understanding of the related risky behavior of each use case. Using NetWitness UEBA, you can then drill down into the indicators that reflect the possibly risky user activities to learn more. For more information about NetWitness UEBA-supported indicators, see Indicators for Users. When anomalies are detected, they are compared to the baseline and compiled into hourly alerts. For more information on types of alerts for Users, see Alert Types for a User .

Use Case for Network Entities

UEBA can detect malicious traffic masked within a legitimate HTTPS session. Based on this alert analysis, the analyst can drill down to the indicators and determine if the activity was normal or not. For more information about NetWitness UEBA-supported entity indicators, see Indicators for Network Entities. For example, the analyst can detect if there was any abnormal number of bytes sent to a port or a domain. If this type of events or a combination of such events are detected an alert is triggered. For more information on types of alerts for network entity, see Alert Types for Network Entities.

Alert Types

Alert Types for a User

                                                                                                   
Alert TypeDescription
Mass Changes to GroupsAn abnormal number of changes are made to groups. Investigate which elements are changed, and decide if the changes were legitimate or possibly the result of risky or malicious behavior. This activity is associated with the Multiple Group Membership Changes indicator.
Multiple Failed LogonsIn traditional password cracking attempts, the attacker tries to obtain a password through guesswork or by employing other low-tech methods to gain initial access. The attacker risks getting caught or being locked out by explicitly attempting to authenticate; but with some prior knowledge of the victim’s password history, may be able to successfully authenticate. Look for additional abnormal indications that the account owner is not the one attempting to access this account. This activity is usually associated with the Multiple Failed Authentications indicator.
User Login to Abnormal HostAttackers often need to reacquire credentials and perform other sensitive activities, like using remote access. Tracing the access chain backwards may lead to the discovery of other computers involved in possibly risky activity. If an attacker’s presence is limited to a single compromised host or to many compromised hosts, that activity can be associated with the Abnormal Host indicator.
Data ExfiltrationData exfiltration is the unauthorized copying, transfer, or retrieval of data from a computer or server. Data exfiltration is a malicious activity performed through various techniques, typically by cyber criminals over the Internet or other network. This activity can be associated with the Excessive Number of File Rename Events, Excessive Number of Files Moved from File System, and Excessive Number of Files Moved to File System indicators.
Mass File RenameRansomware is a type of malware that encrypts desktop and system files, making them inaccessible. Some ransom ware, for example, Locky, encrypts and renames files as part of their initial execution. Use this indication of mass-file-renaming to determine if your file system is infected with ransomware. This activity can be associated with the Multiple File Rename Events indicator.
Snooping UserSnooping is unauthorized access to another person's or company's data. Snooping can be as simple as the casual observance of an e-mail on others computer, or watching what someone else is typing. More sophisticated snooping uses software programs to remotely monitor activity on a computer or network device. This activity can be associated with the Multiple File Access Events, Multiple Failed File Access Events, Multiple File Open Events, and Multiple Folder Open Events indicators.
Multiple Logons by UserAll authentication activity, malicious or not, appears as normal logons. Therefore, administrators should monitor unexpected authorized activity. The key is that attackers use these stolen credentials for unauthorized access, which may provide an opportunity for detection. When an account is used for unusual activities, for example, authenticating an unusual amount of times, the account may have been compromised. This activity can be associated with the Multiple Successful Authentications indicator.
User Logged into Multiple HostsAttackers typically need to reacquire credentials periodically. This is because their key chain of stolen credentials naturally degrades over time, due to password changes and resets. Therefore, attackers frequently maintain a foothold in the compromised organization by installing backdoors and maintaining credentials from many computers in the environment. This activity can be associated with the Logged onto Multiple Hosts indicator.
Mass Permission ChangesSome credential theft techniques, for example, Pass-the-Hash, use an iterative, two-stage process. First, an attacker obtains elevated read-write permission to privileged areas of volatile memory and file systems, which are typically accessible only to system-level processes on at least one computer. Second, the attacker attempts to increase access to other computers on the network. Investigate if abnormal permission changes have taken place on the file systems to ensure that they were not compromised by an attacker. This activity can be associated with the Multiple File Access Permission Changes, Multiple Failed File Access Permission Changes, and Abnormal File Access Permission Change indicators.
Abnormal Active Directory (AD) ChangesIf an attacker gains highly-privileged access to an Active Directory domain or domain controller, that access can be leveraged to access, control, or even destroy the entire forest. If a single domain controller is compromised and an attacker modifies the AD database, those modifications replicate to every other domain controller in the domain, and depending on the partition in which the modifications are made, the forest as well. Investigate abnormal changes conducted by admins and non-admins in AD to determine if they represent a possible true compromise to the domain. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal Active Directory Change, Multiple Account Management Changes, Multiple User Account Management Changes, and Multiple Failed Account Management Changes indicators.
Sensitive User Status ChangesA domain or enterprise administrator account has the default ability to exercise control over all resources in a domain, regardless of whether it operates with malicious or benign intent. This control includes the ability to create and change accounts; read, write, or delete data; install or alter applications; and erase operating systems. Some of these activities trigger organically as part of the account’s natural life cycle. Investigate these security sensitive user account changes, and determine if it is compromised. This activity can be associated with the User Account Enabled, User Account Disabled, User Account Unlocked, User Account Type Changed, User Account Locked, User Password Never Expires Option Changed, User Password Changed by Non-Owner, and User Password Change indicators.
Abnormal File AccessMonitor for abnormal file access to prevent improper access to confidential files and theft of sensitive data. By selectively monitoring file views, modifications and deletions, you can detect possibly unauthorized changes to sensitive files, whether caused by an attack or a change management error. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal File Access Event and Multiple File Delete Events indicators.
Non-Standard HoursAll authentication activity, malicious or not, appears as normal logons. Therefore, administrators should monitor unexpected authorized activity. The key is that attackers use these stolen credentials for unauthorized access, which may provide an opportunity for detection. When an account is being used for unusual activities, for example, authenticating an unusual number of times, the account may have been compromised. Use the indication of an abnormal activity time to determine if the account is taken over by an external actor. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal File Access Time, Abnormal VPN Logon Time Abnormal Azure AD Logon Time, Abnormal Active Directory Change Time, and Abnormal Logon Time indicators.

Credential Dumping

Credential dumping is the process of obtaining account login and password information, in the form of a hash or a clear text password, from the operating system and software. Credentials can then be used to perform lateral movement and access restricted information. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal Process Created a Remote Thread in LSASS indicator.

Discovery & ReconnaissanceDiscovery consists of techniques that allow the adversary to gain knowledge about the system and internal network. When attackers gain access to a new system, they must orient themselves to what they now have control of and what benefits operating from that system give to their current objective or overall goals during the intrusion. The operating system provides many native tools that aid in this post-compromise information-gathering phase. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal Reconnaissance Tool Execute , Multiple Distinct Reconnaissance Tools Executed, Multiple Reconnaissance Tool Activities Executed and User Executed a Reconnaissance Tool Multiple Times indicators.
PowerShell & Scripting PowerShell is a powerful interactive command-line interface and scripting environment included in the Windows operating system. Attackers can use PowerShell to perform a number of actions, including discovery of information and execution of code. Examples include the Start-Process cmdlet which can be used to run an executable and the Invoke-Command cmdlet which runs a command locally or on a remote computer. This activity can be associated with the User Ran an Abnormal Process to Execute a Scripting Tool, Abnormal Process Executed a Scripting Tool, Scripting Tool Triggered an Abnormal Application, User Ran a Scripting Tool that Triggered an Abnormal Application, User Ran a Scripting Tool to Open an Abnormal Process and Scripting Tool Opened an Abnormal Process indicators.
Registry Run Keys & Start FolderAdding an entry to the "run keys" in the Registry or startup folder will cause the program referenced to be executed when a user logs in. The program will be executed under the context of the user and will have the account's associated permissions level. Attackers can use these configuration locations to execute malware, such as remote access tools, to maintain persistence through system reboots. Attackers may also use Masquerading to make the Registry entries look as if they are associated with legitimate programs.
Adding an entry to the "run keys" in the Registry or startup folder will cause the program referenced to be executed when a user logs in. These programs will be executed under the context of the user and will have the account's associated permissions level. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal Process Modified a Registry Key Group indicator.
Multiple Failed Authentications - External AccessAs organizations increase their reliance on external authentication infrastructures, attackers may attempt to leverage these infrastructures to their advantage. Brute force techniques as well as more traditional password cracking methods like guesswork can be utilized to gain initial access. These activities can be associated with the Multiple Failed Azure AD Authentications and Multiple Failed VPN Authentications indicators.

Abnormal Country

As organizations increase their reliance on external authentication infrastructures, attackers may attempt to leverage these infrastructures to their advantage. When devices or accounts are compromised as well as when credentials are wrongly shared, attackers may utilize them to gain initial access from an abnormal location. These activities can be associated with the Abnormal Azure AD Logon Country and Abnormal VPN Logon Country indicators.

Snooping User - Cloud Service AccountSnooping is unauthorized access to company data or data belonging to another person. Snooping can be as simple as the casual observance of an email on another person's computer. More sophisticated snooping uses software programs to remotely monitor activity on a computer or a cloud service account. This activity can be associated with the Azure AD - Logon Attempts to Multiple Applications indicator.

Abnormal Remote Application

Attackers may leverage compromised account details or devices to access remote applications that genuine end users do not frequently access to collect and even exfiltrate sensitive information. This activity can be associated with the Azure AD - Abnormal Application indicator.

Process InjectionProcess injection is a method of executing arbitrary code in the address space of a separate live process. Running code in the context of another process may allow access to the process's memory, system/network resources, and possibly elevated privileges. Execution via process injection may also evade detection from security products since the execution is masked under a legitimate process. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal Process Created a Remote Thread in a Windows Process indicator.

Alert Types for Network Entities

                       
Alert TypeDescription
PhishingPhishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This activity can be associated with Abnormal Country for SSL Subject, and Abnormal SSL Subject for JA3. indicators.
Data ExfiltrationData exfiltration is the unauthorized copying, transfer, or retrieval of data from a computer or server. Data Exfiltration is a malicious activity performed through various techniques, typically by cyber criminals over the Internet or other network. This activity can be associated with Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to Domain and Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from JA3 indicators.

Command & Control (C&C)

Command and control infrastructure can be leveraged by attackers as a communication channel between a compromised asset within the impacted network and an attacker-controlled server. Attackers may attempt to mask this malicious communication within regular network traffic; consequently, this activity can be associated with numerous network indicators such as Abnormal Destination Port for JA3 and High Number of IPs Contact a New SSL Subject.

NetWitness UEBA Indicators

Indicators for Users

The following tables list indicators that display when a potentially malicious activity is detected for users.

Windows File Servers

                                                                           
IndicatorAlert TypeDescription 
Abnormal File Access Time Non-Standard Hours A user has accessed a file at an abnormal time.

 

Abnormal File Access Permission Change Mass Permission Changes A user changed multiple share permissions. 
Abnormal File Access Event Abnormal File AccessA user has accessed a file abnormally.

 

Multiple File Access Permission Changes Mass Permission Changes A user changed multiple file share permissions. 
Multiple File Access Events Snooping User A user accessed multiple file events.

 

Multiple Failed File Access Events Snooping User A user failed multiple times to access a file. 
Multiple File Open Events Snooping User A user opened multiple files.

 

Multiple Folder Open Events Snooping User A user opened multiple folders. 
Multiple File Delete Events Abnormal File Access A user deleted multiple files.

 

Multiple Failed File Access Permission ChangesMass Permission ChangesA user failed multiple attempts to change file access permissions 

Active Directory

                                                                                   
IndicatorAlert TypeDescription
Abnormal Active Directory Change Time Non-Standard Hours A user made Active Directory changes at an abnormal time.
Abnormal Active Directory Object ChangeAbnormal AD Changes A user made Active Directory attribute changes abnormally.
Multiple Group Membership Changes Mass Changes to Groups A user made multiple changes to groups successfully.
Multiple Active Directory Object ChangesAbnormal AD Changes A user made multiple Active Directory changes successfully.
Multiple User Account Changes Abnormal AD Changes A user made multiple sensitive Active Directory changes successfully.
Multiple Failed Account Changes Abnormal AD Changes A user failed to make multiple Active Directory changes.
Admin Password Changed Admin Password Change The password of an admin was changed.
User Account Enabled Sensitive User Status Changes An account of a user was enabled.
User Account Disabled Sensitive User Status Changes An account of a user was disabled.
User Account Unlocked Sensitive User Status Changes An account of a user was unlocked.
User Account Type Changed Sensitive User Status Changes The type of user was changed.
User Account Locked Sensitive User Status Changes An account of a user was locked.
User Password Reset Sensitive User Status Changes The password of a user was reset.

User Password Never Expires Option Changed

Sensitive User Status Changes

The password policy of a user was changed.

Logon Activity

                                           
IndicatorAlert TypeDescription
Abnormal Remote ComputerAbnormal Computer Access A user accessed a remote computer abnormally.
Abnormal Logon TimeNon-Standard HoursA user logged on at an abnormal time.

Abnormal Computer

User Login to Abnormal Host

A user attempted to access a computer abnormally.

Multiple Successful AuthenticationsMultiple Logons by UserA user logged on multiple times.

Multiple Failed Authentications

Multiple Failed Logons

A user failed multiple authentication attempts.

Logon Attempts to Multiple Source ComputersUser Logged into Multiple HostsA user attempted to log on from multiple computers.

Process

                                                                    
IndicatorAlert TypeDescription
Abnormal Process Created a Remote Thread in LSASSCredential Dumping An abnormal process was created into the LSASS process.
Abnormal Reconnaissance Tool Executed Discovery and Reconnaissance An abnormal process was executed.
Abnormal Process Executed a Scripting Tool PowerShell and Scripting An abnormal process executed a scripting tool.

Abnormal Process Executed a Scripting Tool

PowerShell and Scripting An abnormal process was triggered by a scripting tool.
Scripting Tool Triggered an Abnormal ApplicationPowerShell and Scripting An abnormal process was opened by a scripting tool.
Abnormal Process Created a Remote Thread in a Windows PowerShell and Scripting An abnormal process was injected into a known windows process .
Multiple Distinct Reconnaissance Tools Executed Discovery and Reconnaissance Multiple reconnaissance tools were executed in an hour.

Multiple Reconnaissance Tool Activities Executed

Discovery and Reconnaissance

Multiple reconnaissance tool activities were executed in an hour.

User Ran an Abnormal Process to Execute a Scripting Tool

PowerShell / Scripting

An abnormal process executed a scripting tool.

User Ran a Scripting Tool that Triggered an Abnormal ApplicationPowerShell / ScriptingA scripting tool was executed that triggered an abnormal application.

User Ran a Scripting Tool to Open an Abnormal Process

PowerShell / Scripting

A scripting tool was executed to open an abnormal process.

Registry

                  
IndicatorAlert TypeDescription
Abnormal Process Modified a Registry Key GroupRegistry Run Keys An abnormal process modified a service key registry.

Indicators for Network Entities

The following tables list indicators that display when a potentially malicious activity is detected for JA3 and SSL Subject entities.

Note: Indicators are for JA3, and in some instances the JA3 hash can be mapped to more than one client application.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
IndicatorEntity TypeAlert TypeDescription
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from IP to SSL Subject SSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn IP address in the organization sent an unexpectedly high amount of data to an SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from IP to DomainSSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn IP address in the organization sent an unexpectedly high amount of data to a domain and SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from IP to Organization SSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn IP address in the organization sent an unexpectedly high amount of data to an organization and SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from IP to Port SSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn IP address in the organization sent an unexpectedly high amount of data to a port and SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to SSL Subject SSL SubjectData exfiltration An unexpectedly high amount of data was sent to an SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to Domain SSL SubjectData exfiltration An unexpectedly high amount of data was sent to a domain and SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to Port SSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn unexpectedly high amount of data was sent to a port and SSL Subject.
Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to Organization SSL SubjectData exfiltrationAn unexpectedly high amount of data was sent to an organization and SSL Subject.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from JA3

JA3

Data exfiltration

Abnormal number of bytes sent from JA3 .

High Number of IPs Use JA3 JA3C&CAn abnormally high number of IPs use JA3.

Abnormal SSL Subject for Source Netname

SSL Subject and JA3

Phishing

A source netname contacted an abnormal SSL Subject.

Abnormal Domain for Source Netname SSL Subject and JA3PhishingA source netname contacted an abnormal domain

Abnormal Destination Port for Source Netname

SSL Subject and JA3

C&C

A source netname contacted an abnormal destination port.

Abnormal Organization for Source Netname SSL Subject and JA3PhishingA source netname contacted an abnormal organization.

Abnormal Country for SSL Subject

SSL Subject and JA3

Phishing

An SSL Subject was contacted with an abnormal destination country.

Abnormal Destination Port for SSL Subject SSL Subject and JA3C&C An SSL Subject was contacted through an abnormal destination port.

Abnormal Time for SSL Subject

SSL Subject and JA3

Non-Standard Hours

An SSL Subject was contacted at an abnormal time.

Abnormal Destination Port for Domain SSL Subject and JA3C&CA domain was accessed through an abnormal destination port.

Abnormal Destination Port for Organization

SSL Subject and JA3

C&C

An organization was accessed through an abnormal destination port.

Abnormal Time for JA3SSL Subject and JA3Non-Standard Hours JA3 was used at an abnormal time.

Abnormal JA3 for Source Netname

SSL Subject and JA3

C&C

A source netname utilized an abnormal client application.

Abnormal SSL Subject for JA3 SSL Subject and JA3PhishingJA3 contacted an abnormal SSL Subject.

Abnormal Domain for JA3

SSL Subject and JA3

Phishing

JA3 contacted an abnormal domain.

Abnormal Destination Port for JA3 SSL Subject and JA3C&CJA3 contacted an abnormal destination port.

High Number of IPs Contact a New SSL Subject

SSL Subject

C&C

High number of IPs contacted SSL Subject.

High Number of IPs Contact a New DomainSSL SubjectC&CHigh number of IPs contacted a new domain.

High Number of IPs Contact a New Organization

SSL Subject

C&C

High number of IPs contacted a new organization.

High Number of IPs Contact a New PortSSL SubjectC&CHigh number of IPs contacted a new port.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from an IP to a New SSL Subject

SSL Subject

Data Exfiltration

Abnormal number of bytes sent from an IPs to an SSL Subject.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from an IP to a New DomainSSL SubjectData ExfiltrationAbnormal number of bytes were sent an IP to a domain.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from an IP to a New Port

 

SSL Subject

Data Exfiltration

Abnormal number of bytes were sent from an IP to a port.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from an IP to a New OrganizationSSL SubjectData ExfiltrationAbnormal number of bytes were sent from an IP to an organization.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to a New SSL Subject

SSL Subject

Data Exfiltration

Abnormal number of bytes were sent to a SSL Subject.

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Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to a New DomainSSL SubjectData ExfiltrationAbnormal number of bytes were sent to a new domain.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to a New Port

SSL Subject

Data Exfiltration

Abnormal number of bytes were sent to a new port.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent to a New OrganizationSSL SubjectData ExfiltrationAbnormal number of bytes were sent to an organization for an SSL Subject.

Abnormal Traffic Volume Sent from a New JA3

JA3

Data Exfiltration

Abnormal number for bytes were sent to JA3.

Access NetWitness UEBA

Note: To access the NetWitness UEBA service and Users tab, you must be assigned to either the UEBA_Analyst role or Administrators role. For information about how to assign these roles, see the "How Role-Based Access Control Works" topic in the System Security and User Maintenance Guide

To access NetWitness UEBA, log in to NetWitness Platform and do one of the following:

  1. Go to Users > Overview to view the NetWitness UEBA feature displayed.
    Users view, Overview tab
  1. Click in the Top Risky Users panel displayed on the Springboard to view the Users tab.

You can choose a dark or a light theme for the view. For more information, see the "Choose the Appearance of NetWitness Platform" topic in the RSA NetWitness Getting Started Guide.

UEBA Licensing

You must alo ensure that you have NetWitness UEBA licensing configured. For information about NetWitness UEBA licensing, see the "User and Entity Behavior Analytics License" topic in the Licensing Management Guide.

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