Communication Through Removable Media

Adversaries can perform command and control between compromised hosts on potentially disconnected networks using removable media to transfer commands from system to system. Both systems would need to be compromised, with the likelihood that an Internet-connected system was compromised first and the second through lateral movement by Replication Through Removable Media. Commands and files would be relayed from the disconnected system to the Internet-connected system to which the adversary has direct access.

ID: T1092
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Version: 1.0
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 14 July 2020
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0007 APT28

APT28 uses a tool that captures information from air-gapped computers via an infected USB and transfers it to network-connected computer when the USB is inserted.[1]


Part of APT28's operation involved using CHOPSTICK modules to copy itself to air-gapped machines, using files written to USB sticks to transfer data and command traffic.[2][3][1]

S0136 USBStealer

USBStealer drops commands for a second victim onto a removable media drive inserted into the first victim, and commands are executed when the drive is inserted into the second victim.[4]


ID Mitigation Description
M1042 Disable or Remove Feature or Program

Disable Autoruns if it is unnecessary.[5]

M1028 Operating System Configuration

Disallow or restrict removable media at an organizational policy level if they are not required for business operations.[6]


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0016 Drive Drive Access
Drive Creation

Monitor file access on removable media. Detect processes that execute when removable media is mounted.