Mitre Attack Framework Red Team Challenge Playbook

December 17, 20234 min read

Playbook Objectives:

  • To evaluate and improve the detection and response capabilities of the security team against advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  • To provide a hands-on experience to security analysts in identifying, mitigating, and responding to cyber-attacks modeled after real-world tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of adversaries
  • To enhance collaboration among different departments within the organization during a cyber incident
  • To test the effectiveness of existing security controls and incident response plans against a sophisticated simulated cyber-attack
  • To identify potential gaps in security posture and improve upon the company’s overall cyber resilience

Difficulty level:

  • Advanced


  • Cyberhaven Inc., a leading financial services provider, has recently noticed an uptick in targeted phishing attempts and suspicious network activities pointing towards a possible looming cyber threat. With a vast array of sensitive client data and financial records,
  • Cyberhaven Inc. realizes the need to fortify its cybersecurity posture against the latest APT tactics. To proactively prepare for and potentially mitigate a catastrophic breach, the company’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has decided to conduct a comprehensive Cyber Range exercise using the MITRE ATT&CK Framework Red Team Challenge Playbook.
  • The scenario envisages a situation where the company is being targeted by “FinPhantom,” a notorious cybercriminal group known for its sophistication and persistence. FinPhantom aims to infiltrate Cyberhaven’s network, move laterally to reach the central data repository, exfiltrate sensitive client data, and ultimately compromise the integrity of the company’s financial transactions system.
  • Cyberhaven Inc. boasts an extensive network with numerous endpoints, including employee workstations, servers, and cloud-based systems, all protected by a combination of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and endpoint protection solutions. The key personnel involved in the exercise include the incident response team, network administrators, cybersecurity analysts, and executive stakeholders.


  • Cybersecurity Red Teaming / Advanced Persistent Threat Simulation

Exercise Attack Steps:

  • Initial Reconnaissance:
    • Utilize open-source intelligence (OSINT) to gather information about Cyberhaven’s corporate structure, employee details, and potential network vulnerabilities.
    • Perform network scanning to identify active IP addresses, open ports, and services running on Cyberhaven Inc.’s network.
  • Weaponization and Delivery:
    • Develop a spear-phishing campaign tailored to Cyberhaven’s employees, using information gathered during reconnaissance.
    • Craft malicious attachments and links that exploit known vulnerabilities within the company’s widely used software.
  • Exploitation:
    • Trigger the spear-phishing campaign, targeting specific individuals within Cyberhaven who have access to sensitive data.
    • Use the initial foothold obtained from a successful phishing attempt to deploy custom malware that bypasses AV detection.
  • Command and Control (C2):
    • Establish a C2 channel to communicate with the compromised system, ensuring it blends with normal traffic to avoid detection.
    • Maintain persistence within the network through the use of legitimate credentials harvested during the exploitation phase.
  • Lateral Movement:
    • Explore and escalate privileges within the network to move laterally and gain access to restricted areas.
    • Identify and access the central data repository where sensitive client information is stored.
  • Data Exfiltration:
    • Package and exfiltrate data in a stealthy manner, ensuring to avoid triggering data loss prevention (DLP) systems.
    • Ensure the integrity of data remains unaltered to avoid immediate detection through integrity checking mechanisms.
  • Objective Completion and Report Generation:
    • Confirm the success of data exfiltration and prepare to disrupt operations by compromising financial transactions systems.
    • Generate a detailed report outlining the steps taken, data accessed, and recommendations for improving Cyberhaven’s security posture.
Cyberhaven Inc. seeks to leverage the insights gained from this simulated red team exercise to identify weaknesses, tighten security protocols, upgrade technology, and improve the awareness and readiness of the IT staff. With this proactive approach, the company aims to thwart real-life FinPhantom-like adversaries and ensure the security and trust of its clients.