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Starting Over with Sub-Techniques

From MITRE ATT&CKcon Power Hour - October

By Brian Donohue, Security Evangelist, Red Canary, @thebriandonohue

In early 2018, Red Canary adopted MITRE ATT&CK as the common language that they would use to categorize threats, measure detection coverage, and communicate about malicious behaviors. In the intervening years, they’ve relied on the framework to develop open source tools like Atomic Red Team and help security teams prioritize their defensive efforts with blogs and our annual Threat Detection Report.

In early 2020, MITRE announced that ATT&CK would be expanding its original taxonomy of tactics and techniques to include sub-techniques. In the months that followed MITRE's announcement, Red Canary’s research, intelligence, and detection engineering teams painstakingly remapped their library of thousands of behavioral analytics to sub-techniques. In doing so, they improved their correlational logic, experimented with the idea of conditional technique mapping, and, unfortunately, rendered the 2020 Threat Detection Report out-of-date.

In this talk from the MITRE ATT&CKcon Power Hour session on October 9, 2020, Brian discusses how refactoring for sub-techniques offered us the opportunity to apply all the lessons learned in more than two years of operationalizing ATT&CK. He also explores how Red Canary has remodeled its ATT&CK mapping to allow for added flexibility and human input and shows what happens when the Red Canary applied their new sub-technique mappings to the 2020 Threat Detection Report.

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