Service Stop

Adversaries may stop or disable services on a system to render those services unavailable to legitimate users. Stopping critical services can inhibit or stop response to an incident or aid in the adversary's overall objectives to cause damage to the environment.[1][2]

Adversaries may accomplish this by disabling individual services of high importance to an organization, such as MSExchangeIS, which will make Exchange content inaccessible [2]. In some cases, adversaries may stop or disable many or all services to render systems unusable.[1] Services may not allow for modification of their data stores while running. Adversaries may stop services in order to conduct Data Destruction or Data Encrypted for Impact on the data stores of services like Exchange and SQL Server.[3][4]

Mitigations

This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.

Detection

Monitor processes and command-line arguments to see if critical processes are terminated or stop running.

Monitor for edits for modifications to services and startup programs that correspond to services of high importance. Look for changes to services that do not correlate with known software, patch cycles, etc. Windows service information is stored in the Registry at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services. Systemd service unit files are stored within the /etc/systemd/system, /usr/lib/systemd/system/, and /home/.config/systemd/user/ directories, as well as associated symbolic links.

Alterations to the service binary path or the service startup type changed to disabled may be suspicious.

Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to perform these functions outside of typical system utilities. For example, ChangeServiceConfigW may be used by an adversary to prevent services from starting.[1]

References

Attachments

ID
VT0032
MITRE ID
Sub-techniques
No sub-techniques
Tactic
Impact
Platforms
Linux
Windows
macOS
Permissions Required
Administrator
SYSTEM
User
Data Sources
API monitoring
File monitoring
Process command-line parameters
Process monitoring
Windows Registry
Impact Type
Availability
Version
1.1

Created: 06 January 2021

Last Modified: 06 January 2021