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T1555.001 Keychain

Adversaries may acquire credentials from Keychain. Keychain (or Keychain Services) is the macOS credential management system that stores account names, passwords, private keys, certificates, sensitive application data, payment data, and secure notes. There are three types of Keychains: Login Keychain, System Keychain, and Local Items (iCloud) Keychain. The default Keychain is the Login Keychain, which stores user passwords and information. The System Keychain stores items accessed by the operating system, such as items shared among users on a host. The Local Items (iCloud) Keychain is used for items synced with Apple’s iCloud service.

Keychains can be viewed and edited through the Keychain Access application or using the command-line utility security. Keychain files are located in ~/Library/Keychains/, /Library/Keychains/, and /Network/Library/Keychains/.254

Adversaries may gather user credentials from Keychain storage/memory. For example, the command security dump-keychain –d will dump all Login Keychain credentials from ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain-db. Adversaries may also directly read Login Keychain credentials from the ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain file. Both methods require a password, where the default password for the Login Keychain is the current user’s password to login to the macOS host.13

Item Value
ID T1555.001
Sub-techniques T1555.001, T1555.002, T1555.003, T1555.004, T1555.005
Tactics TA0006
Platforms macOS
Version 1.1
Created 12 February 2020
Last Modified 18 April 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0274 Calisto Calisto collects Keychain storage data and copies those passwords/tokens to a file.1112
S0690 Green Lambert Green Lambert can use Keychain Services API functions to find and collect passwords, such as SecKeychainFindInternetPassword and SecKeychainItemCopyAttributesAndData.89
S0278 iKitten iKitten collects the keychains on the system.10
S0349 LaZagne LaZagne can obtain credentials from macOS Keychains.6
S1016 MacMa MacMa can dump credentials from the macOS keychain.7
S0279 Proton Proton gathers credentials in files for keychains.10


ID Mitigation Description
M1027 Password Policies The password for the user’s login keychain can be changed from the user’s login password. This increases the complexity for an adversary because they need to know an additional password.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Access
DS0009 Process OS API Execution