Skip to content

T1136.001 Local Account

Adversaries may create a local account to maintain access to victim systems. Local accounts are those configured by an organization for use by users, remote support, services, or for administration on a single system or service. With a sufficient level of access, the net user /add command can be used to create a local account. On macOS systems the dscl -create command can be used to create a local account. Local accounts may also be added to network devices, often via common Network Device CLI commands such as username.1

Such accounts may be used to establish secondary credentialed access that do not require persistent remote access tools to be deployed on the system.

Item Value
ID T1136.001
Sub-techniques T1136.001, T1136.002, T1136.003
Tactics TA0003
Platforms Linux, Network, Windows, macOS
Version 1.2
Created 28 January 2020
Last Modified 12 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0022 APT3 APT3 has been known to create or enable accounts, such as support_388945a0.22
G0087 APT39 APT39 has created accounts on multiple compromised hosts to perform actions within the network.23
G0096 APT41 APT41 has created user accounts.18
S0274 Calisto Calisto has the capability to add its own account to the victim’s machine.7
S0030 Carbanak Carbanak can create a Windows account.10
G0035 Dragonfly Dragonfly has created accounts on victims, including administrator accounts, some of which appeared to be tailored to each individual staging target.17
S0363 Empire Empire has a module for creating a local user if permissions allow.5
S0143 Flame Flame can create backdoor accounts with login “HelpAssistant” on domain connected systems if appropriate rights are available.1314
G0117 Fox Kitten Fox Kitten has created a local user account with administrator privileges.26
S0493 GoldenSpy GoldenSpy can create new users on an infected system.8
S0394 HiddenWasp HiddenWasp creates a user account as a means to provide initial persistence to the compromised machine.11
S0601 Hildegard Hildegard has created a user named “monerodaemon”.12
G0094 Kimsuky Kimsuky has created accounts with net user.20
G0077 Leafminer Leafminer used a tool called Imecab to set up a persistent remote access account on the victim machine.19
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound has created local accounts named help and DefaultAccount on compromised machines.2425
S0084 Mis-Type Mis-Type may create a temporary user on the system named Lost_{Unique Identifier}.9
S0039 Net The net user username \password commands in Net can be used to create a local account.3
S0192 Pupy Pupy can user PowerView to execute “net user” commands and create local system accounts.4
S0085 S-Type S-Type may create a temporary user on the system named Lost_{Unique Identifier} with the password pond~!@6”{Unique Identifier}.9
S0382 ServHelper ServHelper has created a new user named “supportaccount”.6
S0649 SMOKEDHAM SMOKEDHAM has created user accounts.15
G0139 TeamTNT TeamTNT has created local privileged users on victim machines.21
S0412 ZxShell ZxShell has a feature to create local user accounts.16


ID Mitigation Description
M1032 Multi-factor Authentication Use multi-factor authentication for user and privileged accounts.
M1026 Privileged Account Management Limit the usage of local administrator accounts to be used for day-to-day operations that may expose them to potential adversaries.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0009 Process Process Creation
DS0002 User Account User Account Creation


  1. Cisco. (2023, March 6). username - Cisco IOS Security Command Reference: Commands S to Z. Retrieved July 13, 2022. 

  2. Lich, B., Miroshnikov, A. (2017, April 5). 4720(S): A user account was created. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 

  3. Savill, J. (1999, March 4). Net.exe reference. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 

  4. Nicolas Verdier. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2018. 

  5. Schroeder, W., Warner, J., Nelson, M. (n.d.). Github PowerShellEmpire. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 

  6. Schwarz, D. and Proofpoint Staff. (2019, January 9). ServHelper and FlawedGrace - New malware introduced by TA505. Retrieved May 28, 2019. 

  7. Pantig, J. (2018, July 30). OSX.Calisto. Retrieved September 7, 2018. 

  8. Trustwave SpiderLabs. (2020, June 25). The Golden Tax Department and Emergence of GoldenSpy Malware. Retrieved July 23, 2020. 

  9. Gross, J. (2016, February 23). Operation Dust Storm. Retrieved December 22, 2021. 

  10. Bennett, J., Vengerik, B. (2017, June 12). Behind the CARBANAK Backdoor. Retrieved June 11, 2018. 

  11. Sanmillan, I. (2019, May 29). HiddenWasp Malware Stings Targeted Linux Systems. Retrieved June 24, 2019. 

  12. Chen, J. et al. (2021, February 3). Hildegard: New TeamTNT Cryptojacking Malware Targeting Kubernetes. Retrieved April 5, 2021. 

  13. Gostev, A. (2012, May 28). The Flame: Questions and Answers. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 

  14. Gostev, A. (2012, May 30). Flame: Bunny, Frog, Munch and BeetleJuice…. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 

  15. FireEye. (2021, June 16). Smoking Out a DARKSIDE Affiliate’s Supply Chain Software Compromise. Retrieved September 22, 2021. 

  16. Allievi, A., et al. (2014, October 28). Threat Spotlight: Group 72, Opening the ZxShell. Retrieved September 24, 2019. 

  17. US-CERT. (2018, March 16). Alert (TA18-074A): Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved June 6, 2018. 

  18. Fraser, N., et al. (2019, August 7). Double DragonAPT41, a dual espionage and cyber crime operation APT41. Retrieved September 23, 2019. 

  19. Symantec Security Response. (2018, July 25). Leafminer: New Espionage Campaigns Targeting Middle Eastern Regions. Retrieved August 28, 2018. 

  20. KISA. (n.d.). Phishing Target Reconnaissance and Attack Resource Analysis Operation Muzabi. Retrieved March 7, 2022. 

  21. Fishbein, N. (2020, September 8). Attackers Abusing Legitimate Cloud Monitoring Tools to Conduct Cyber Attacks. Retrieved September 22, 2021. 

  22. valsmith. (2012, September 21). More on APTSim. Retrieved September 28, 2017. 

  23. Rusu, B. (2020, May 21). Iranian Chafer APT Targeted Air Transportation and Government in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Retrieved May 22, 2020. 

  24. DFIR Report. (2022, March 21). APT35 Automates Initial Access Using ProxyShell. Retrieved May 25, 2022. 

  25. ClearSky. (2020, December 17). Pay2Key Ransomware – A New Campaign by Fox Kitten. Retrieved December 21, 2020.