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What is the “Windows file integrity”?

Federico Trotta
Federico Trotta
  • Updated


This article will explain the ACSIA alert called "Windows file integrity".

Explaining the Windows file integrity

"Windows file integrity" refers to the process of checking and ensuring that essential files and system components on a Windows operating system have not been altered or tampered with in an unauthorized or malicious manner. This security measure helps detect any unauthorized changes made to critical files, which could indicate a potential security breach or the presence of malware.

Example of a "Windows file integrity" attack:

Let's consider a scenario where an attacker wants to gain unauthorized access to a company's computer network. The company has several Windows-based computers that employees use for their daily work tasks.

The attacker finds a vulnerability in one of the company's computers, allowing them to gain unauthorized access to it. Once inside, the attacker wants to maintain a persistent presence on the compromised system without being detected.

To achieve this, the attacker decides to manipulate the Windows files and file integrity checks. They identify key system files responsible for system integrity verification and protection. These files are crucial for ensuring the operating system's security and stability.

The attacker replaces these critical files with modified versions or inserts malicious code into them. By doing so, they can bypass or disable the built-in security measures and monitoring systems that check file integrity.

With the file integrity checks compromised, the attacker can now make further changes to the system without triggering any alarms or alerts from the security mechanisms.

For example, the attacker could gain access to sensitive data, install additional malware, or create backdoors to allow them to re-enter the system at a later time.

Since the modified files now appear legitimate to the compromised computer's security systems, the attacker's presence and actions may go undetected for an extended period, enabling them to conduct their activities stealthily.

In this example, the "Windows file integrity" attack shows how an attacker can manipulate critical files in a Windows operating system to maintain unauthorized access and evade detection.

ACSIA alerts you when essential files and system components on a Windows operating system of your infrastructure have been compromised.