T1053.006 Systemd Timers Mappings

Adversaries may abuse systemd timers to perform task scheduling for initial or recurring execution of malicious code. Systemd timers are unit files with file extension <code>.timer</code> that control services. Timers can be set to run on a calendar event or after a time span relative to a starting point. They can be used as an alternative to Cron in Linux environments.(Citation: archlinux Systemd Timers Aug 2020)

Each <code>.timer</code> file must have a corresponding <code>.service</code> file with the same name, e.g., <code>example.timer</code> and <code>example.service</code>. <code>.service</code> files are Systemd Service unit files that are managed by the systemd system and service manager.(Citation: Linux man-pages: systemd January 2014) Privileged timers are written to <code>/etc/systemd/system/</code> and <code>/usr/lib/systemd/system</code> while user level are written to <code>~/.config/systemd/user/</code>.

An adversary may use systemd timers to execute malicious code at system startup or on a scheduled basis for persistence.(Citation: Arch Linux Package Systemd Compromise BleepingComputer 10JUL2018)(Citation: gist Arch package compromise 10JUL2018)(Citation: acroread package compromised Arch Linux Mail 8JUL2018) Timers installed using privileged paths may be used to maintain root level persistence. Adversaries may also install user level timers to achieve user level persistence.



Capability ID Capability Description Mapping Type ATT&CK ID ATT&CK Name
AC-2 Account Management Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
AC-3 Access Enforcement Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
AC-5 Separation of Duties Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
AC-6 Least Privilege Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
CA-7 Continuous Monitoring Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
CM-5 Access Restrictions for Change Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
IA-2 Identification and Authentication (organizational Users) Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
SI-4 System Monitoring Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
SI-7 Software, Firmware, and Information Integrity Protects T1053.006 Systemd Timers
action.hacking.variety.Abuse of functionality Abuse of functionality related-to T1053.006 Scheduled Task/Job: Systemd Timers
amazon_inspector Amazon Inspector technique_scores T1053.006 Systemd Timers