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Microsoft Unveils SimuLand: Open Source Attack Techniques Simulator

Microsoft this week announced the availability of SimuLand, an open source tool that enables security researchers to reproduce attack techniques in lab environments.

The purpose of SimuLand, Microsoft says, is to help understand the behavior and functionality of threat actors’ tradecraft, to find mitigations and validate existing detection capabilities, and to identify and share data sources relevant to adversary detection.

SimuLand can be used to test the effectiveness of Microsoft 365 Defender, Azure Defender, and Azure Sentinel detections.

Furthermore, it is expected to help accelerate the building and deployment of threat research lab environments and to enable security researchers to stay up to date with the techniques and tools that threat actors employ in real-world attacks.

“Our goal is to have SimuLand integrated with threat research methodologies where dynamic analysis is applied to end-to-end simulation scenarios,” Microsoft says.

Based on open-source projects such as Azure Sentinel2Go and the Open Threat Research (OTR) community’s Blacksmith and featuring a modular design, SimuLand can be used to test various combinations of attack actions and also includes guides for lab deployment and for executing simulation exercises.

The simulator can replicate different types of environments (hybrid, cloud) and includes Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates. The vast majority of the lab environments in the project require at least an Azure tenant and a Microsoft 365 E5 license (paid or trial).

The tool aims to get researchers accustomed with attacker behavior, and “every simulation plan provided through this project is research-based and broken down into attacker actions mapped to the MITRE ATT&CK framework,” Microsoft notes.

Moving forth, the tech company will focus on creating more scenarios, delivering a data model for a more organized documentation of simulation steps, developing capabilities to export generated telemetry and share it with the community, and more.

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