Anatomy of a Living off the Land (LOTL) Attack

Vectra AI vs.
Volt Typhoon

How do you catch up to a highly skilled threat actor after they use stealthy living off the land techniques to evade traditional detection tools? We simulated a Volt Typhoon attack to find out.

How Vectra AI stopped a stealthy attacker from maintaining access

In this Volt Typhoon simulation, defenders were put to the test when the threat actor used everything within their power — command and control techniques, password spray techniques, brute force attempts — to avoid detection and live off the land across multiple hybrid attack surfaces. Armed with the highest threat signal efficacy, security analysts knew exactly where to focus efforts.

The attacker:

  • Thrives at hiding among normal activity
  • Leverages crafty tactics to go undetected
  • Moves across data center, cloud and identity surfaces

Defenders know:

  • Which activities are a real threat
  • When and where the actor moves
  • How to respond quickly to stop the attack
Response time
First Vectra Alert
5:02 A.M
Attack Stopped
5:22 A.M
Anatomy of a Living off the Land (LOTL) Attack

Stop living off the land techniques before any damage is done

The secret to stopping LOTL attacks? Attack Signal Intelligence™. Vectra AI’s patented AI-driven signal empowers defenders leveraging the Vectra AI Platform to move at the speed and scale of hybrid attackers — including state-sponsored actors like Volt Typhoon.

References in MITRE D3FEND
MITRE ATT&CK coverage
AI threat detection patents

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With Vectra AI, living off the land techniques don't work

Once access is achieved, Volt Typhoon makes quick use of difficult-to-detect LOTL techniques to blend in with normal network activity. With 11 references in the MITRE D3FEND framework — more than any other vendor — only Vectra AI correlates behavioral detections across each attack surface so defenders know exactly where to focus efforts. Attack Signal Intelligence detects and prioritizes:

Prioritizing tactics for Volt Typhoon

  • This simulated attack was initiated through a compromised home office.
  • The threat actor attempted to gather local drive info and credential information to help go unnoticed.
  • Moving across multiple surfaces, the actor gathered info along the way to advance and hide their tracks.
  • Even with a stealthy attack, defenders were able to prioritize threat actor activity before data was exfiltrated.
Prioritizing tactics for Volt Typhoon

Keep LOTL attacks from becoming data breaches

Download the full attack anatomy report to learn how you can move at the speed and scale of modern attackers.

Download the overview

Gain an unfair advantage over modern attacks