Adversaries may attempt to make payloads difficult to discover and analyze by delivering files to victims as uncompiled code. Text-based source code files may subvert analysis and scrutiny from protections targeting executables/binaries. These payloads will need to be compiled before execution; typically via native utilities such as csc.exe or GCC/MinGW.
Source code payloads may also be encrypted, encoded, and/or embedded within other files, such as those delivered as a Phishing. Payloads may also be delivered in formats unrecognizable and inherently benign to the native OS (ex: EXEs on macOS/Linux) before later being (re)compiled into a proper executable binary with a bundled compiler and execution framework.
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
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Monitor the execution file paths and command-line arguments for common compilers, such as csc.exe and GCC/MinGW, and correlate with other suspicious behavior to reduce false positives from normal user and administrator behavior. The compilation of payloads may also generate file creation and/or file write events. Look for non-native binary formats and cross-platform compiler and execution frameworks like Mono and determine if they have a legitimate purpose on the system. Typically these should only be used in specific and limited cases, like for software development.