T1574.007 Path Interception by PATH Environment Variable Mappings

Adversaries may execute their own malicious payloads by hijacking environment variables used to load libraries. Adversaries may place a program in an earlier entry in the list of directories stored in the PATH environment variable, which Windows will then execute when it searches sequentially through that PATH listing in search of the binary that was called from a script or the command line.

The PATH environment variable contains a list of directories. Certain methods of executing a program (namely using cmd.exe or the command-line) rely solely on the PATH environment variable to determine the locations that are searched for a program when the path for the program is not given. If any directories are listed in the PATH environment variable before the Windows directory, <code>%SystemRoot%\system32</code> (e.g., <code>C:\Windows\system32</code>), a program may be placed in the preceding directory that is named the same as a Windows program (such as cmd, PowerShell, or Python), which will be executed when that command is executed from a script or command-line.

For example, if <code>C:\example path</code> precedes </code>C:\Windows\system32</code> is in the PATH environment variable, a program that is named net.exe and placed in <code>C:\example path</code> will be called instead of the Windows system "net" when "net" is executed from the command-line.



Capability ID Capability Description Mapping Type ATT&CK ID ATT&CK Name
chronicle Chronicle technique_scores T1574.007 Path Interception by PATH Environment Variable