T1037.004 RC Scripts Mappings

Adversaries may establish persistence by modifying RC scripts which are executed during a Unix-like system’s startup. These files allow system administrators to map and start custom services at startup for different run levels. RC scripts require root privileges to modify.

Adversaries can establish persistence by adding a malicious binary path or shell commands to <code>rc.local</code>, <code>rc.common</code>, and other RC scripts specific to the Unix-like distribution.(Citation: IranThreats Kittens Dec 2017)(Citation: Intezer HiddenWasp Map 2019) Upon reboot, the system executes the script's contents as root, resulting in persistence.

Adversary abuse of RC scripts is especially effective for lightweight Unix-like distributions using the root user as default, such as IoT or embedded systems.(Citation: intezer-kaiji-malware)

Several Unix-like systems have moved to Systemd and deprecated the use of RC scripts. This is now a deprecated mechanism in macOS in favor of Launchd. (Citation: Apple Developer Doco Archive Launchd)(Citation: Startup Items) This technique can be used on Mac OS X Panther v10.3 and earlier versions which still execute the RC scripts.(Citation: Methods of Mac Malware Persistence) To maintain backwards compatibility some systems, such as Ubuntu, will execute the RC scripts if they exist with the correct file permissions.(Citation: Ubuntu Manpage systemd rc)



Capability ID Capability Description Mapping Type ATT&CK ID ATT&CK Name
AC-3 Access Enforcement Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
CA-7 Continuous Monitoring Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
CM-2 Baseline Configuration Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
CM-6 Configuration Settings Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
SI-3 Malicious Code Protection Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
SI-4 System Monitoring Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
SI-7 Software, Firmware, and Information Integrity Protects T1037.004 RC Scripts
attribute.integrity.variety.Modify configuration Modified configuration or services related-to T1037.004 Boot or Logon Initialization Scripts: RC Scripts
amazon_inspector Amazon Inspector technique_scores T1037.004 RC Scripts