Stage Capabilities: Upload Malware

Adversaries may upload malware to third-party or adversary controlled infrastructure to make it accessible during targeting. Malicious software can include payloads, droppers, post-compromise tools, backdoors, and a variety of other malicious content. Adversaries may upload malware to support their operations, such as making a payload available to a victim network to enable Ingress Tool Transfer by placing it on an Internet accessible web server.

Malware may be placed on infrastructure that was previously purchased/rented by the adversary (Acquire Infrastructure) or was otherwise compromised by them (Compromise Infrastructure). Malware can also be staged on web services, such as GitHub or Pastebin.[1]

Adversaries may upload backdoored files, such as application binaries, virtual machine images, or container images, to third-party software stores or repositories (ex: GitHub, CNET, AWS Community AMIs, Docker Hub). By chance encounter, victims may directly download/install these backdoored files via User Execution. Masquerading may increase the chance of users mistakenly executing these files.

ID: T1608.001
Sub-technique of:  T1608
Platforms: PRE
Contributors: Kobi Haimovich, CardinalOps
Version: 1.1
Created: 17 March 2021
Last Modified: 17 October 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0050 APT32

APT32 has hosted malicious payloads in Dropbox, Amazon S3, and Google Drive for use during targeting.[1]

G0047 Gamaredon Group

Gamaredon Group has registered domains to stage payloads.[2][3]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has used Blogspot to host malicious content such as beacons, file exfiltrators, and implants.[4]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has hosted malicious files on compromised as well as Lazarus Group-controlled servers.[5][6][7]

G0140 LazyScripter

LazyScripter has hosted open-source remote access Trojans used in its operations in GitHub.[8]

G0129 Mustang Panda

Mustang Panda has hosted malicious payloads on DropBox including PlugX.[9]

G0139 TeamTNT

TeamTNT has uploaded backdoored Docker images to Docker Hub.[10]

G0027 Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has hosted malicious payloads on Dropbox.[11]


ID Mitigation Description
M1056 Pre-compromise

This technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on behaviors performed outside of the scope of enterprise defenses and controls.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0035 Internet Scan Response Content

If infrastructure or patterns in malware have been previously identified, internet scanning may uncover when an adversary has staged malware to make it accessible for targeting.

Much of this activity will take place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection of this behavior difficult. Detection efforts may be focused on post-compromise phases of the adversary lifecycle, such as User Execution or Ingress Tool Transfer.