NIST Special Publication 800-53 (Rev. 4)

Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations

SC-30 CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION

Family:
System and Communications Protection
Class:
Priority:
P0 - Unspecified priority.
Baseline Allocation:
Low Moderate High

Control Description

The organization employs [Assignment: organization-defined concealment and misdirection techniques] for [Assignment: organization-defined information systems] at [Assignment: organization-defined time periods] to confuse and mislead adversaries.

Supplemental Guidance

Concealment and misdirection techniques can significantly reduce the targeting capability of adversaries (i.e., window of opportunity and available attack surface) to initiate and complete cyber attacks. For example, virtualization techniques provide organizations with the ability to disguise information systems, potentially reducing the likelihood of successful attacks without the cost of having multiple platforms. Increased use of concealment/misdirection techniques including, for example, randomness, uncertainty, and virtualization, may sufficiently confuse and mislead adversaries and subsequently increase the risk of discovery and/or exposing tradecraft. Concealment/misdirection techniques may also provide organizations additional time to successfully perform core missions and business functions. Because of the time and effort required to support concealment/misdirection techniques, it is anticipated that such techniques would be used by organizations on a very limited basis.

Related to: SC-26SC-29SI-14

Control Enhancements

SC-30 (1) CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION | VIRTUALIZATION TECHNIQUES
[Withdrawn: Incorporated into SC-29 (1)].
SC-30 (2) CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION | RANDOMNESS
The organization employs [Assignment: organization-defined techniques] to introduce randomness into organizational operations and assets.
Supplemental Guidance: Randomness introduces increased levels of uncertainty for adversaries regarding the actions organizations take in defending against cyber attacks. Such actions may impede the ability of adversaries to correctly target information resources of organizations supporting critical missions/business functions. Uncertainty may also cause adversaries to hesitate before initiating or continuing attacks. Misdirection techniques involving randomness include, for example, performing certain routine actions at different times of day, employing different information technologies (e.g., browsers, search engines), using different suppliers, and rotating roles and responsibilities of organizational personnel.
SC-30 (3) CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION | CHANGE PROCESSING / STORAGE LOCATIONS
The organization changes the location of [Assignment: organization-defined processing and/or storage] [Selection: [Assignment: organization-defined time frequency]; at random time intervals]].
Supplemental Guidance: Adversaries target critical organizational missions/business functions and the information resources supporting those missions and functions while at the same time, trying to minimize exposure of their existence and tradecraft. The static, homogeneous, and deterministic nature of organizational information systems targeted by adversaries, make such systems more susceptible to cyber attacks with less adversary cost and effort to be successful. Changing organizational processing and storage locations (sometimes referred to as moving target defense) addresses the advanced persistent threat (APT) using techniques such as virtualization, distributed processing, and replication. This enables organizations to relocate the information resources (i.e., processing and/or storage) supporting critical missions and business functions. Changing locations of processing activities and/or storage sites introduces uncertainty into the targeting activities by adversaries. This uncertainty increases the work factor of adversaries making compromises or breaches to organizational information systems much more difficult and time-consuming, and increases the chances that adversaries may inadvertently disclose aspects of tradecraft while attempting to locate critical organizational resources.
SC-30 (4) CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION | MISLEADING INFORMATION
The organization employs realistic, but misleading information in [Assignment: organization-defined information system components] with regard to its security state or posture.
Supplemental Guidance: This control enhancement misleads potential adversaries regarding the nature and extent of security safeguards deployed by organizations. As a result, adversaries may employ incorrect (and as a result ineffective) attack techniques. One way of misleading adversaries is for organizations to place misleading information regarding the specific security controls deployed in external information systems that are known to be accessed or targeted by adversaries. Another technique is the use of deception nets (e.g., honeynets, virtualized environments) that mimic actual aspects of organizational information systems but use, for example, out-of-date software configurations.
SC-30 (5) CONCEALMENT AND MISDIRECTION | CONCEALMENT OF SYSTEM COMPONENTS
The organization employs [Assignment: organization-defined techniques] to hide or conceal [Assignment: organization-defined information system components].
Supplemental Guidance: By hiding, disguising, or otherwise concealing critical information system components, organizations may be able to decrease the probability that adversaries target and successfully compromise those assets. Potential means for organizations to hide and/or conceal information system components include, for example, configuration of routers or the use of honeynets or virtualization techniques.

References

None.