Cyber Kill Chain methodology

The “Cyber Kill Chain” methodology is a framework developed by Lockheed Martin to describe the stages of a cyberattack, from initial reconnaissance to data exfiltration. It helps organizations understand and detect malicious activities at various stages to improve their defensive measures. Here are the seven stages of the Cyber Kill Chain:

  1. Reconnaissance:
    • The attacker gathers information about the target organization. This can include identifying potential vulnerabilities, researching employee roles, and understanding the network structure. Footprinting
  2. Weaponization:
    • The attacker creates a deliverable payload (e.g., malware, exploit) by coupling malicious code with a legitimate file or software. This stage involves crafting the actual attack tools.
  3. Delivery:
    • The attacker transmits the weaponized payload to the target. Common methods include phishing emails, malicious attachments, compromised websites, or social engineering.
  4. Exploitation:
    • Once the payload reaches the target, it exploits a vulnerability to execute the malicious code. This could involve exploiting software vulnerabilities, leveraging social engineering, or using zero-day exploits.
  5. Installation:
    • The malicious payload installs a backdoor or other persistent mechanism on the victim’s system, allowing the attacker to maintain access.
  6. Command and Control (C2):
    • The attacker establishes a communication channel with the compromised system. This enables them to issue commands, exfiltrate data, or download additional tools.
  7. Actions on Objectives:
    • The attacker achieves their goals, which can include data theft, system disruption, financial gain, or espionage. This stage involves executing the final intent of the attack, such as exfiltrating data or causing damage.

By understanding these stages, organizations can develop more effective detection, prevention, and response strategies to disrupt the attacker’s progress at various points along the kill chain.