Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Xavier Mertens

SANS ISC: SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

Watch ISC TV. Great for NOCs, SOCs and Living Rooms:

Sign Up for Free!   Forgot Password?
Log In or Sign Up for Free!
Using AppLocker to Prevent Living off the Land Attacks

STI student David Brown published an STI research paper in January with some interesting ideas to prevent living off the land attacks with AppLocker. Living off the land attacks use existing Windows binaries instead of downloading specific attack tools. This post-compromise technique is very difficult to block. AppLocker isn't really designed to block these attacks because AppLocker by default does allow standard Windows binaries to run.

David is using a more restrictive AppLocker configuration that blocks normal users from running some of the more popular tools that attackers tend to use. He wrote specific AppLocker rules around some of the popular living off the land attack guides and summarized them in his research paper. You can find his complete paper here: .

Or check out the YouTube video I recorded with David that includes a brief proof of concept demo:


Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research, SANS Technology Institute

I will be teaching next: Intrusion Detection In-Depth - SANS Doha March 2022


4349 Posts
ISC Handler
Apr 16th 2020

Sign Up for Free or Log In to start participating in the conversation!