Adversaries may use Valid Accounts to log into a computer using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The adversary may then perform actions as the logged-on user.
Remote desktop is a common feature in operating systems. It allows a user to log into an interactive session with a system desktop graphical user interface on a remote system. Microsoft refers to its implementation of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as Remote Desktop Services (RDS).
Adversaries may connect to a remote system over RDP/RDS to expand access if the service is enabled and allows access to accounts with known credentials. Adversaries will likely use Credential Access techniques to acquire credentials to use with RDP. Adversaries may also use RDP in conjunction with the Accessibility Features technique for Persistence.
Audit the Remote Desktop Users group membership regularly. Remove unnecessary accounts and groups from Remote Desktop Users groups.
|M1042||Disable or Remove Feature or Program||
Disable the RDP service if it is unnecessary.
|M1035||Limit Access to Resource Over Network||
Use remote desktop gateways.
Use multi-factor authentication for remote logins.
Do not leave RDP accessible from the internet. Enable firewall rules to block RDP traffic between network security zones within a network.
|M1028||Operating System Configuration||
Change GPOs to define shorter timeouts sessions and maximum amount of time any single session can be active. Change GPOs to specify the maximum amount of time that a disconnected session stays active on the RD session host server.
|M1026||Privileged Account Management||
Consider removing the local Administrators group from the list of groups allowed to log in through RDP.
|M1018||User Account Management||
Limit remote user permissions if remote access is necessary.
|ID||Data Source||Data Component|
|DS0028||Logon Session||Logon Session Creation|
|DS0029||Network Traffic||Network Connection Creation|
|Network Traffic Flow|
Use of RDP may be legitimate, depending on the network environment and how it is used. Other factors, such as access patterns and activity that occurs after a remote login, may indicate suspicious or malicious behavior with RDP. Monitor for user accounts logged into systems they would not normally access or access patterns to multiple systems over a relatively short period of time.