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T0891 Hardcoded Credentials

Adversaries may leverage credentials that are hardcoded in software or firmware to gain an unauthorized interactive user session to an asset. Examples credentials that may be hardcoded in an asset include:

  • Username/Passwords
  • Cryptographic keys/Certificates
  • API tokens

Unlike Default Credentials, these credentials are built into the system in a way that they either cannot be changed by the asset owner, or may be infeasible to change because of the impact it would cause to the control system operation. These credentials may be reused across whole product lines or device models and are often not published or known to the owner and operators of the asset.

Adversaries may utilize these hardcoded credentials to move throughout the control system environment or provide reliable access for their tools to interact with industrial assets.

Item Value
ID T0891
Tactics TA0109, TA0110
Platforms Control Server, Data Historian, Engineering Workstation, Field Controller/RTU/PLC/IED, Human-Machine Interface, Safety Instrumented System/Protection Relay
Version 1.0
Created 29 September 2022
Last Modified 09 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S1045 INCONTROLLER INCONTROLLER can login to Omron PLCs using hardcoded credentials, which is documented in CVE-2022-34151.1
S0603 Stuxnet Stuxnet uses a hardcoded password in the WinCC software’s database server as one of the mechanisms used to propagate to nearby systems. 2


ID Mitigation Description
M0801 Access Management Ensure embedded controls and network devices are protected through access management, as these devices often have unknown hardcoded accounts which could be used to gain unauthorized access.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0028 Logon Session Logon Session Creation
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content