Microsoft releases SimuLand, a lab environment to simulate attacker tradecraft
Catalin Cimpanu May 20, 2021

Microsoft releases SimuLand, a lab environment to simulate attacker tradecraft

Microsoft releases SimuLand, a lab environment to simulate attacker tradecraft

Microsoft has open-sourced today a tool that can be used to build lab environments where security teams can simulate attacks and verify the detection effectiveness of Microsoft security products.

Named SimuLand, the tool was specifically built to help security/IT teams that use Microsoft products such as Microsoft 365 Defender, Azure Defender, and Azure Sentinel.

Currently, SimuLand comes with only one lab environment, specialized in detecting Golden SAML attacks.

However, Microsoft said it’s working on adding new ones. Community contributions are also welcomed, and the reason the project has been open-sourced on GitHub, with Microsoft hoping to get a helping hand from the tens of thousands of security teams that run its software.

“If you would like to share a new end-to-end attacker path, let us know by opening an issue in our GitHub repository, and we would be happy to collaborate and provide some resources to make it happen,” Microsoft said today in a blog post.

But Microsoft doesn’t want only lab environments specialized in executing well-known techniques or adversary tradecraft. The OS maker is also encouraging the community to contribute improved detection rules for the attacks they’re sharing, so everyone can benefit from the shared knowledge.

Microsoft also open-sourced an AI-driven cyber-attack simulator

All in all, SimuLand’s release comes a month after Microsoft open-sourced another cybersecurity-related project.

Named CyberBattleSim, the project uses a Python-based artificial intelligence (AI) engine to carry out attacks against a company’s internal network.

Microsoft built the project to allow security teams to test how an attacker would spread and move laterally across an internal network after an initial compromise.

The OS maker hopes that the results from CyberBattleSim simulations would help network defenders improve the security of their internal network, as today, most security teams seem to have an obsession with bolstering up the network edge while leaving their internal network exposed to even to most basic attacker techniques.

Catalin Cimpanu is a cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.