Threat hunting is a proactive and critical aspect of cybersecurity that involves searching for signs of malicious activity on your organization’s networks and systems. It’s a process of identifying and mitigating the risk of cyber attacks before they cause significant harm to your organization. However, a common challenge that organizations and threat hunters face is creating effective threat hunting hypothesis examples to build from.
A hypothesis is an educated guess or a proposed explanation for a phenomenon that can be tested and verified. In threat hunting, a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observed behavior that may be indicative of malicious activity. The ability to create effective hypotheses is a key component of successful threat hunting, as it helps hunters to focus their efforts and identify the most critical threats to the organization.
To help organizations and hunters overcome this challenge, we’ve compiled a list of 50 threat hunting hypotheses examples. These examples cover a wide range of scenarios and can serve as a starting point for organizations and hunters looking to improve their threat hunting efforts. Whether you’re a seasoned threat hunter or just getting started, this list of threat hunting hypotheses is sure to provide you with valuable insights and ideas for your next threat hunting project.
50 Threat Hunting Hypothesis Examples
- I believe that an attacker is exfiltrating data from our network through a specific port that has seen an increase in traffic in the past week.
- I think that an adversary is using a certain type of malware to compromise our systems and is using a specific command and control server to communicate with the infected systems.
- I suspect that an insider is intentionally leaking sensitive information to a competitor based on a pattern of access to certain files and communication with the competitor’s employees.
- I hypothesize that a group of attackers is attempting to gain access to our network through vulnerable remote access protocols.
- I believe that an adversary is using a certain type of phishing attack to gain access to our systems and is targeting a specific group of employees.
- I think that an attacker is using a specific type of exploit to gain access to our systems and is using a particular tool to move laterally within our network.
- I suspect that an adversary is attempting to gain access to our systems through a zero-day vulnerability that has not yet been patched.
- I hypothesize that a group of attackers is using a specific type of malware to mine cryptocurrency on our systems.
- I believe that an adversary is using a certain type of ransomware to compromise our systems and is targeting a specific group of employees with the ransom demands.
- I think that an attacker is using a particular type of denial of service attack to disrupt our systems and is targeting a specific group of users.”
- An adversary is attempting to exfiltrate sensitive data through a specific network port.
- A new strain of malware is being distributed through email attachments.
- An adversary is using a specific tool to establish a foothold in the network.
- A group of compromised devices are communicating with a known Command and Control server.
- An adversary is attempting to escalate privileges on targeted systems.
- An insider threat is attempting to access and steal sensitive data.
- A group of systems are exhibiting unusual network traffic patterns.
- An adversary is using a specific exploit to compromise systems.
- A device on the network is communicating with a suspicious domain.
- An adversary is using a specific type of encryption to evade detection.
- A specific user account has been the source of multiple network intrusions.
- An increase in the number of failed login attempts suggests a brute force attack.
- Unusual outbound network traffic could indicate data exfiltration.
- A sudden drop in system performance could indicate malware activity.
- An increase in the number of newly created user accounts could suggest a breach.
- Unexplained changes to system or user permissions could indicate malicious activity.
- A spike in network traffic during off hours could suggest unauthorized access.
- An increase in the number of error messages could indicate a cyber attack.
- Unusually large file transfers could suggest data exfiltration.
- Sudden changes in network behavior could indicate a potential threat.
- A new malware family has infected multiple endpoints in our organization.
- An insider is exfiltrating data from our network.
- A nation-state group is targeting our industry.
- A ransomware attack is imminent based on increased chatter on underground forums.
- An adversary is using a specific spearphishing technique to gain initial access.
- A particular web server is being targeted for exploitation.
- A new strain of a known malware family is being distributed.
- A botnet is being used to attack our infrastructure.
- A zero-day vulnerability is being exploited in our environment.
- An adversary is using a specific tool or framework to move laterally within our network.
- A new variant of a known APT group’s malware has been discovered.
- An insider is collaborating with an external threat actor.
- A misconfiguration in a cloud service is being exploited.
- A specific user account is being targeted for privilege escalation.
- A supply chain attack has compromised one of our vendors.
- A threat actor is using a new technique for evading detection.
- A new strain of a known ransomware family is being distributed.
- A specific network segment is being targeted for compromise.
- A mobile device is being used to access sensitive data.
- A threat actor is using a specific tool to exfiltrate data.
Creating effective threat hunting hypothesis examples is a crucial aspect of successful threat hunting. By providing organizations and hunters with a starting point, a list of threat hunting hypothesis examples can help to overcome the challenge of hypothesis creation and improve threat hunting efforts. The 50 threat hunting hypotheses examples listed in this article provide a comprehensive and diverse range of scenarios to help organizations and hunters focus their efforts and identify the most critical threats to their organization.
At Cyborg Security, we understand the importance of threat hunting and the challenges that come with it. That’s why we’ve created a platform that provides organizations and hunters with not only hunting hypotheses but also dozens of hunt packages with the queries, threat intelligence, and runbooks that they can use for threat hunting today. With HUNTER, you’ll have access to everything you need to enhance your threat hunting capabilities and protect your organization from cyber attacks.
So, if you’re ready to take your threat hunting efforts to the next level, sign up for a free HUNTER account today using promocode “HYPOTHESIS23”! With HUNTER, you’ll have access to a wealth of information, tools, and resources related to threat hunting, all in one place. Stay up to date on the latest emerging threats, improve your threat hunting skills, and save time and resources. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your threat hunting capabilities and protect your organization from cyber attacks. Sign up for your free HUNTER account today!