What is the MITRE ATT&CK Framework and how did it come to be?
The MITRE ATT&CK (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge) framework is a comprehensive knowledge base of adversarial tactics and techniques based on real-world observations. It is designed to help organizations understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by adversaries and inform the development of effective security strategies.
The MITRE ATT&CK framework organizes TTPs into distinct categories, such as initial access, execution, persistence, privilege escalation, and exfiltration. This allows organizations to understand the various stages of an attack and develop countermeasures for each stage.
The framework can be used by security professionals to identify and assess the potential risks posed by different types of adversaries. It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization's security measures by comparing them to the TTPs used by known adversaries. By understanding the TTPs used by adversaries, organizations can develop targeted defenses and mitigate the potential impact of an attack.
Origins of MITRE and the ATT&CK Framework
The MITRE ATT&CK framework was initially thought of by the MITRE organization. MITRE is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers for the U.S. government. The company conducts independent research and development to provide solutions to complex problems in fields such as cybersecurity, healthcare, aviation, and defense.
MITRE was founded in 1958 as a research and development corporation for the U.S. Air Force. Since then, it has expanded its scope to include work for other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. The company's research and development centers focus on developing innovative solutions to complex problems and providing technical guidance to government organizations.
The development of the framework was informed by MITRE's extensive research and development work for the U.S. government and its expertise in understanding complex threats and developing effective solutions. The framework was designed to help organizations understand the TTPs used by adversaries and inform the development of effective security strategies.
The framework was initially released in 2015 and has been regularly updated with new information and insights based on ongoing research and analysis.
The MITRE ATT&CK framework can be used by companies to classify and analyze cybersecurity events. The framework provides a comprehensive set of categories and subcategories that can be used to organize and understand the various tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by adversaries.
To classify a cybersecurity event using the MITRE ATT&CK framework, a company would first identify the relevant TTPs used by the adversary. This may involve analyzing network logs, intrusion detection system alerts, and other data related to the event. Once the TTPs have been identified, the company can use the framework to categorize them and understand the broader context of the attack.
For example, if the event involved the use of malware to gain initial access to a system, the company could use the MITRE ATT&CK framework to classify this as an "initial access" tactic. From there, the company could use the framework to understand the other TTPs that may have been used in the attack, such as privilege escalation or exfiltration of data. This information can be used to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the attack and inform the development of effective countermeasures.
- The MITRE ATT&CK framework is a comprehensive knowledge base of adversarial tactics and techniques that is widely used in the cybersecurity industry.
- The framework has been cited in numerous research papers and is recognized as a valuable tool for understanding and addressing the tactics and techniques used by adversaries.
- MITRE is a not-for-profit organization that conducts independent research and development for the U.S. government. The company also operates the MITRE ATT&CK framework.