Peripheral Device Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to gather information about attached peripheral devices and components connected to a computer system. Peripheral devices could include auxiliary resources that support a variety of functionalities such as keyboards, printers, cameras, smart card readers, or removable storage. The information may be used to enhance their awareness of the system and network environment or may be used for further actions.

ID: T1120
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User
Version: 1.2
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 26 March 2020
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description

ADVSTORESHELL can list connected devices.[1]

G0007 APT28

APT28 uses a module to receive a notification every time a USB mass storage device is inserted into a victim.[2]

G0067 APT37

APT37 has a Bluetooth device harvester, which uses Windows Bluetooth APIs to find information on connected Bluetooth devices. [3]

S0438 Attor

Attor has a plugin that collects information about inserted storage devices, modems, and phone devices.[4]

G0135 BackdoorDiplomacy

BackdoorDiplomacy has used an executable to detect removable media, such as USB flash drives.[5]


BADNEWS checks for new hard drives on the victim, such as USB devices, by listening for the WM_DEVICECHANGE window message.[6][7]

S0234 Bandook

Bandook can detect USB devices.[8]

S0089 BlackEnergy

BlackEnergy can gather very specific information about attached USB devices, to include device instance ID and drive geometry.[9]

S0454 Cadelspy

Cadelspy has the ability to steal information about printers and the documents sent to printers.[10]

S0115 Crimson

Crimson has the ability to discover pluggable/removable drives to extract files from.[11][12]

S0538 Crutch

Crutch can monitor for removable drives being plugged into the compromised machine.[13]

S0062 DustySky

DustySky can detect connected USB devices.[14]

G0020 Equation

Equation has used tools with the functionality to search for specific information about the attached hard drive that could be used to identify and overwrite the firmware.[15]

S0381 FlawedAmmyy

FlawedAmmyy will attempt to detect if a usable smart card is current inserted into a card reader.[16]

G0047 Gamaredon Group

Gamaredon Group tools have contained an application to check performance of USB flash drives. Gamaredon Group has also used malware to scan for removable drives.[17][18]

S0283 jRAT

jRAT can map UPnP ports.[19]

S0409 Machete

Machete detects the insertion of new devices by listening for the WM_DEVICECHANGE window message.[20]

S0149 MoonWind

MoonWind obtains the number of removable drives from the victim.[21]

S0385 njRAT

njRAT will attempt to detect if the victim system has a camera during the initial infection. njRAT can also detect any removable drives connected to the system.[22][23]

S0644 ObliqueRAT

ObliqueRAT can discover pluggable/removable drives to extract files from.[24]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used tools to identify if a mouse is connected to a targeted system.[25]

G0116 Operation Wocao

Operation Wocao has discovered removable disks attached to a system.[26]

S0113 Prikormka

A module in Prikormka collects information on available printers and disk drives.[27]

S0650 QakBot

QakBot can identify peripheral devices on targeted systems.[28]

S0481 Ragnar Locker

Ragnar Locker may attempt to connect to removable drives and mapped network drives.[29]

S0458 Ramsay

Ramsay can scan for removable media which may contain documents for collection.[30][31]

S0148 RTM

RTM can obtain a list of smart card readers attached to the victim.[32][33]

S0603 Stuxnet

Stuxnet enumerates removable drives for infection.[34]

S0098 T9000

T9000 searches through connected drives for removable storage devices.[35]

S0467 TajMahal

TajMahal has the ability to identify connected Apple devices.[36]

S0647 Turian

Turian can scan for removable media to collect data.[5]

G0010 Turla

Turla has used fsutil fsinfo drives to list connected drives.[37]

S0452 USBferry

USBferry can check for connected USB devices.[38]

S0136 USBStealer

USBStealer monitors victims for insertion of removable drives. When dropped onto a second victim, it also enumerates drives connected to the system.[39]

S0366 WannaCry

WannaCry contains a thread that will attempt to scan for new attached drives every few seconds. If one is identified, it will encrypt the files on the attached device.[40]

S0612 WastedLocker

WastedLocker can enumerate removable drives prior to the encryption process.[41]

S0251 Zebrocy

Zebrocy enumerates information about connected storage devices.[42]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0009 Process OS API Execution
Process Creation

System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.


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  1. Fidelis Cybersecurity. (2013, June 28). Fidelis Threat Advisory #1009: "njRAT" Uncovered. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
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