Defacement: External Defacement

ID Name
T1491.001 Internal Defacement
T1491.002 External Defacement

An adversary may deface systems external to an organization in an attempt to deliver messaging, intimidate, or otherwise mislead an organization or users. Externally-facing websites are a common victim of defacement; often targeted by adversary and hacktivist groups in order to push a political message or spread propaganda.[1][2][3] External Defacement may be used as a catalyst to trigger events, or as a response to actions taken by an organization or government. Similarly, website defacement may also be used as setup, or a precursor, for future attacks such as Drive-by Compromise.[4]

ID: T1491.002
Sub-technique of:  T1491
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: IaaS, Linux, Windows, macOS
Impact Type: Integrity
Version: 1.1
Created: 20 February 2020
Last Modified: 08 March 2021
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team defaced approximately 15,000 websites belonging to Georgian government, non-government, and private sector organizations in 2019.[5][6]


ID Mitigation Description
M1053 Data Backup

Consider implementing IT disaster recovery plans that contain procedures for taking regular data backups that can be used to restore organizational data.[7] Ensure backups are stored off system and is protected from common methods adversaries may use to gain access and destroy the backups to prevent recovery.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0015 Application Log Application Log Content
DS0022 File File Creation
File Modification
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content

Monitor external websites for unplanned content changes. Monitor application logs for abnormal behavior that may indicate attempted or successful exploitation. Use deep packet inspection to look for artifacts of common exploit traffic, such as SQL injection. Web Application Firewalls may detect improper inputs attempting exploitation.