Try it using Invoke-Atomic

Impair Defenses: HISTCONTROL

Description from ATT&CK

Adversaries may impair command history logging to hide commands they run on a compromised system. Various command interpreters keep track of the commands users type in their terminal so that users can retrace what they've done.

On Linux and macOS, command history is tracked in a file pointed to by the environment variable <code>HISTFILE</code>. When a user logs off a system, this information is flushed to a file in the user's home directory called <code>~/.bash_history</code>. The <code>HISTCONTROL</code> environment variable keeps track of what should be saved by the <code>history</code> command and eventually into the <code>~/.bash_history</code> file when a user logs out. <code>HISTCONTROL</code> does not exist by default on macOS, but can be set by the user and will be respected.

Adversaries may clear the history environment variable (<code>unset HISTFILE</code>) or set the command history size to zero (<code>export HISTFILESIZE=0</code>) to prevent logging of commands. Additionally, <code>HISTCONTROL</code> can be configured to ignore commands that start with a space by simply setting it to "ignorespace". <code>HISTCONTROL</code> can also be set to ignore duplicate commands by setting it to "ignoredups". In some Linux systems, this is set by default to "ignoreboth" which covers both of the previous examples. This means that “ ls” will not be saved, but “ls” would be saved by history. Adversaries can abuse this to operate without leaving traces by simply prepending a space to all of their terminal commands.

On Windows systems, the <code>PSReadLine</code> module tracks commands used in all PowerShell sessions and writes them to a file (<code>$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadLine\ConsoleHost_history.txt</code> by default). Adversaries may change where these logs are saved using <code>Set-PSReadLineOption -HistorySavePath {File Path}</code>. This will cause <code>ConsoleHost_history.txt</code> to stop receiving logs. Additionally, it is possible to turn off logging to this file using the PowerShell command <code>Set-PSReadlineOption -HistorySaveStyle SaveNothing</code>.(Citation: Microsoft PowerShell Command History)(Citation: Sophos PowerShell command audit)(Citation: Sophos PowerShell Command History Forensics)

Adversaries may also leverage a Network Device CLI on network devices to disable historical command logging.

Atomic Tests

Atomic Test #1 - Disable history collection

Disables history collection in shells

Supported Platforms: linux,macos

auto_generated_guid: 4eafdb45-0f79-4d66-aa86-a3e2c08791f5


Name Description Type Default Value
evil_command Command to run after shell history collection is disabled String whoami

Attack Commands: Run with sh!

export HISTCONTROL=ignoreboth

Atomic Test #2 - Mac HISTCONTROL

The HISTCONTROL variable is set to ignore (not write to the history file) command that are a duplicate of something already in the history and commands that start with a space. This atomic sets this variable in the current session and also writes it to the current user's ~/.bash_profile so that it will apply to all future settings as well.

Supported Platforms: macos,linux

auto_generated_guid: 468566d5-83e5-40c1-b338-511e1659628d



Run it with these steps!

  1. export HISTCONTROL=ignoreboth
  2. echo export "HISTCONTROL=ignoreboth" >> ~/.bash_profile
  3. ls
  4. whoami > recon.txt