What are the alert types for users

An Alert is an analyst notification created from a high-scoring batch of anomalies, which contains validated indicators of compromise. It is important that you review the following use cases, represented by their alert type and description, to gain an initial understanding of the related risky behavior of each use case.

Alert Type Description
Mass Changes to Groups An abnormal number of changes have been made to groups. Investigate which elements have been changed and decide if the changes were legitimate or possibly the result of risky or malicious behavior. This activity is usually associated with the Multiple Group Membership Changes indicator.
Multiple Failed Logons In 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 Logon to Abnormal Host Attackers 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 too many compromised hosts, that activity can be associated with the Abnormal Computer indicator.
Snooping User Snooping 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 another’s 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 User All 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 amount of times the account may have been compromised. This activity can be associated with the Multiple Successful Authentications indicator.
User Logon to Multiple Hosts Attackers typically need to reacquire credentials periodically. This is because their keychain 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 Computers indicator.
Mass Permission Changes Some 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) Changes If 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 Changes A 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 are triggered organically as part of the account’s natural life cycle. Investigate these security sensitive user account changes, and determine if it has been 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 Access Monitor 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 Hours All 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. For example, unusual activity such as multiple authentication events in an account may indicate that the account has been compromised. You can check if the account has been taken by an external actor be determining the abnormal activity time. This activity can be associated with the Abnormal File Access Time, Abnormal Active Directory Change Time, and Abnormal Logon Time indicators.
Multiple Failed Authentications - External Access As 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 or 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 Account Snooping 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.
Admin Password Change Shared long-term secrets, for example, privileged account passwords, are frequently used to access anything from print servers to domain controllers. To contain attackers that seek to leverage these accounts, pay close attention to password changes by admins, and ensure they have been made by trusted parties and have no additional abnormal behavior associated with them. This activity can be associated with the Admin Password Change indicator.
User Logins to Multiple AD Sites Domain controllers store credential password hashes for all accounts on the domain, so they are high-value targets for attackers. Domain controllers that are not stringently updated and secured are susceptible to attack and compromise, which could leave the domain vulnerable. User privileges on multiple domains could indicate that a parent domain has been compromised. Determine if user access to and from multiple sites is legitimate or is an indication of a potential compromise. This activity is usually associated with the Logged into Multiple Domains indicator.
Elevated Privileges Granted Elevated account privileges have been delegated to a user. Attackers often use regular user accounts, granting them elevated privileges, to exploit the network. Investigate the user that received the elevated privileges, and decide if these changes were legitimate or possibly the result of risky or malicious behavior. This activity is usually associated with the Nested Member Added to Critical Enterprise Group and Member Added to Critical Enterprise Group indicators.
Data Exfiltration Data 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.
Credential Dumping Credential dumping is the process of obtaining account login and password information, normally 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.
Discovery & Reconnaissance Discovery 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.
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.
Registry Run Keys & Start Folder 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. 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.
Process Injection Process 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.

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