Service Stop

Adversaries may stop or disable services on a system to render those services unavailable to legitimate users. Stopping critical services or processes can inhibit or stop response to an incident or aid in the adversary's overall objectives to cause damage to the environment.[1][2]

Adversaries may accomplish this by disabling individual services of high importance to an organization, such as MSExchangeIS, which will make Exchange content inaccessible [2]. In some cases, adversaries may stop or disable many or all services to render systems unusable.[1] Services or processes may not allow for modification of their data stores while running. Adversaries may stop services or processes in order to conduct Data Destruction or Data Encrypted for Impact on the data stores of services like Exchange and SQL Server.[3]

ID: T1489
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User
Impact Type: Availability
Version: 1.2
Created: 29 March 2019
Last Modified: 02 March 2021
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0640 Avaddon

Avaddon looks for and attempts to stop database processes.[4]

S0638 Babuk

Babuk can stop specific services related to backups.[5][6][7]

S0611 Clop

Clop can kill several processes and services related to backups and security solutions.[8][9]

S0575 Conti

Conti can stop up to 146 Windows services related to security, backup, database, and email solutions through the use of net stop.[10]

S0625 Cuba

Cuba has a hardcoded list of services and processes to terminate.[11]


EKANS stops database, data backup solution, antivirus, and ICS-related processes.[12][13][14]

S0431 HotCroissant

HotCroissant has the ability to stop services on the infected host.[15]

G0119 Indrik Spider

Indrik Spider has used PsExec to stop services prior to the execution of ransomware.[16]

S0604 Industroyer

Industroyer’s data wiper module writes zeros into the registry keys in SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services to render a system inoperable.[17]

S0607 KillDisk

KillDisk terminates various processes to get the user to reboot the victim machine.[18]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has stopped the MSExchangeIS service to render Exchange contents inaccessible to users.[19]

S0582 LookBack

LookBack can kill processes and delete services.[20]

S0449 Maze

Maze has stopped SQL services to ensure it can encrypt any database.[21]

S0576 MegaCortex

MegaCortex can stop and disable services on the system.[22]

S0457 Netwalker

Netwalker can terminate system processes and services, some of which relate to backup software.[23]

S0365 Olympic Destroyer

Olympic Destroyer uses the API call ChangeServiceConfigW to disable all services on the affected system.[1]

S0556 Pay2Key

Pay2Key can stop the MS SQL service at the end of the encryption process to release files locked by the service.[24]

S0583 Pysa

Pysa can stop services and processes.[25]

S0481 Ragnar Locker

Ragnar Locker has attempted to stop services associated with business applications and databases to release the lock on files used by these applications so they may be encrypted.[26]

S0496 REvil

REvil has the capability to stop services and kill processes.[27][28]

S0400 RobbinHood

RobbinHood stops 181 Windows services on the system before beginning the encryption process.[29]

S0446 Ryuk

Ryuk has called kill.bat for stopping services, disabling services and killing processes.[30]


SLOTHFULMEDIA has the capability to stop processes and services.[31]

S0366 WannaCry

WannaCry attempts to kill processes associated with Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL to make it possible to encrypt their data stores.[32][3]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has used taskkill.exe and net.exe to stop backup, catalog, cloud, and other services prior to network encryption.[33]


ID Mitigation Description
M1030 Network Segmentation

Operate intrusion detection, analysis, and response systems on a separate network from the production environment to lessen the chances that an adversary can see and interfere with critical response functions.

M1022 Restrict File and Directory Permissions

Ensure proper process and file permissions are in place to inhibit adversaries from disabling or interfering with critical services.

M1024 Restrict Registry Permissions

Ensure proper registry permissions are in place to inhibit adversaries from disabling or interfering with critical services.

M1018 User Account Management

Limit privileges of user accounts and groups so that only authorized administrators can interact with service changes and service configurations.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Modification
DS0009 Process OS API Execution
Process Creation
Process Termination
DS0019 Service Service Metadata
DS0024 Windows Registry Windows Registry Key Modification

Monitor processes and command-line arguments to see if critical processes are terminated or stop running.

Monitor for edits for modifications to services and startup programs that correspond to services of high importance. Look for changes to services that do not correlate with known software, patch cycles, etc. Windows service information is stored in the Registry at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services. Systemd service unit files are stored within the /etc/systemd/system, /usr/lib/systemd/system/, and /home/.config/systemd/user/ directories, as well as associated symbolic links.

Alterations to the service binary path or the service startup type changed to disabled may be suspicious.

Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to perform these functions outside of typical system utilities. For example, ChangeServiceConfigW may be used by an adversary to prevent services from starting.[1]


  1. Mercer, W. and Rascagneres, P. (2018, February 12). Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim At Winter Olympics. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  2. Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Unraveling the Long Thread of the Sony Attack. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  3. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, May 18). WCry Ransomware Analysis. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. Yuste, J. Pastrana, S. (2021, February 9). Avaddon ransomware: an in-depth analysis and decryption of infected systems. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  5. Sogeti. (2021, March). Babuk Ransomware. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  6. Mundo, A. et al. (2021, February). Technical Analysis of Babuk Ransomware. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
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  8. Santos, D. (2021, April 13). Threat Assessment: Clop Ransomware. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
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  10. Baskin, B. (2020, July 8). TAU Threat Discovery: Conti Ransomware. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  11. Roccio, T., et al. (2021, April). Technical Analysis of Cuba Ransomware. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  12. Dragos. (2020, February 3). EKANS Ransomware and ICS Operations. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  13. Zafra, D., et al. (2020, February 24). Ransomware Against the Machine: How Adversaries are Learning to Disrupt Industrial Production by Targeting IT and OT. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  14. Hinchliffe, A. Santos, D.. (2020, June 26). Threat Assessment: EKANS Ransomware. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  15. Knight, S.. (2020, April 16). VMware Carbon Black TAU Threat Analysis: The Evolution of Lazarus. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  16. Symantec Threat Intelligence. (2020, June 25). WastedLocker: Symantec Identifies Wave of Attacks Against U.S. Organizations. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  17. Dragos Inc.. (2017, June 13). CRASHOVERRIDE Analysis of the Threat to Electric Grid Operations. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  1. Gilbert Sison, Rheniel Ramos, Jay Yaneza, Alfredo Oliveira. (2018, January 15). KillDisk Variant Hits Latin American Financial Groups. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  2. Novetta Threat Research Group. (2016, February 24). Operation Blockbuster: Destructive Malware Report. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  3. Raggi, M. Schwarz, D.. (2019, August 1). LookBack Malware Targets the United States Utilities Sector with Phishing Attacks Impersonating Engineering Licensing Boards. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  4. Brandt, A., Mackenzie, P.. (2020, September 17). Maze Attackers Adopt Ragnar Locker Virtual Machine Technique. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  5. Del Fierro, C. Kessem, L.. (2020, January 8). From Mega to Giga: Cross-Version Comparison of Top MegaCortex Modifications. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  6. Victor, K.. (2020, May 18). Netwalker Fileless Ransomware Injected via Reflective Loading . Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  7. Check Point. (2020, November 6). Ransomware Alert: Pay2Key. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  8. CERT-FR. (2020, April 1). ATTACKS INVOLVING THE MESPINOZA/PYSA RANSOMWARE. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  9. SophosLabs. (2020, May 21). Ragnar Locker ransomware deploys virtual machine to dodge security. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  10. Intel 471 Malware Intelligence team. (2020, March 31). REvil Ransomware-as-a-Service – An analysis of a ransomware affiliate operation. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  11. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2019, September 24). REvil/Sodinokibi Ransomware. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  12. Lee, S. (2019, May 17). CB TAU Threat Intelligence Notification: RobbinHood Ransomware Stops 181 Windows Services Before Encryption. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  13. Hanel, A. (2019, January 10). Big Game Hunting with Ryuk: Another Lucrative Targeted Ransomware. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  14. DHS/CISA, Cyber National Mission Force. (2020, October 1). Malware Analysis Report (MAR) MAR-10303705-1.v1 – Remote Access Trojan: SLOTHFULMEDIA. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  15. Berry, A., Homan, J., and Eitzman, R. (2017, May 23). WannaCry Malware Profile. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  16. The DFIR Report. (2020, October 8). Ryuk’s Return. Retrieved October 9, 2020.