The MITRE ATT&CK framework is a knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques that can be used as a penetration testing guide.


MITRE ATT&CK (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge) is a framework developed by MITRE, a non-profit organization that provides research and development services to the U.S. government. The framework provides a comprehensive understanding of the tactics, techniques, and procedures that are used by adversaries in real-world attacks in the form of a matrix, and is designed to be a common language for describing and understanding cyber threats. Penetration testers can use the MITRE CVE framework to identify known vulnerabilities in a target's systems and applications, and to prioritize their testing efforts based on the severity of the vulnerabilities.


The framework's enterprise matrix is divided into several steps, which are as follows:

  1. Reconnaissance: This involves the collection of information about the target organization or individual, including network topology, security measures, and vulnerabilities.

  2. Resource Development: This step involves the creation of tools, malware, and other resources that can be used during the attack.

  3. Initial Access: This step involves gaining initial access to the target's network, systems, or applications. This can be achieved through a variety of means, including exploiting vulnerabilities, using stolen credentials, or social engineering.

  4. Execution: This step involves executing the primary payload of the attack, which can include malware installation, data theft, or other malicious activities.

  5. Persistence: This involves establishing a foothold within the target's environment to maintain access over an extended period.

  6. Privilege Escalation: This step involves gaining elevated privileges within the target environment to gain access to sensitive data or systems.

  7. Defense Evasion: This step involves using various techniques to avoid detection and evade defenses, such as anti-virus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.

  8. Credential Access: This step involves obtaining valid credentials that can be used to gain access to additional systems and resources within the target environment.

  9. Discovery: This involves mapping out the target's environment to identify potential targets for further exploitation.

  10. Lateral Movement: This step involves moving laterally within the target environment to gain access to additional systems and resources.

  11. Collection: This involves gathering data or information of interest, such as sensitive data, credentials, or system configurations.

  12. Command and Control: This step involves establishing and maintaining communication with remote systems that are under the control of the attacker, which are used to issue commands and receive information.

  13. Exfiltration: This involves the extraction of data or information from the target environment to a location under the control of the attacker.

  14. Impact: This involves the final result or impact of the attack, which can include data theft, system compromise, or other malicious activities.


Last updated