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T1555.004 Windows Credential Manager

Adversaries may acquire credentials from the Windows Credential Manager. The Credential Manager stores credentials for signing into websites, applications, and/or devices that request authentication through NTLM or Kerberos in Credential Lockers (previously known as Windows Vaults).43

The Windows Credential Manager separates website credentials from application or network credentials in two lockers. As part of Credentials from Web Browsers, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge website credentials are managed by the Credential Manager and are stored in the Web Credentials locker. Application and network credentials are stored in the Windows Credentials locker.

Credential Lockers store credentials in encrypted .vcrd files, located under %Systemdrive%\Users\\[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\\[Vault/Credentials]\. The encryption key can be found in a file named Policy.vpol, typically located in the same folder as the credentials.61

Adversaries may list credentials managed by the Windows Credential Manager through several mechanisms. vaultcmd.exe is a native Windows executable that can be used to enumerate credentials stored in the Credential Locker through a command-line interface. Adversaries may also gather credentials by directly reading files located inside of the Credential Lockers. Windows APIs, such as CredEnumerateA, may also be absued to list credentials managed by the Credential Manager.52

Adversaries may also obtain credentials from credential backups. Credential backups and restorations may be performed by running rundll32.exe keymgr.dll KRShowKeyMgr then selecting the “Back up…” button on the “Stored User Names and Passwords” GUI.

Password recovery tools may also obtain plain text passwords from the Credential Manager.1

Item Value
ID T1555.004
Sub-techniques T1555.001, T1555.002, T1555.003, T1555.004, T1555.005
Tactics TA0006
Platforms Windows
Version 1.1
Created 23 November 2020
Last Modified 21 October 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0526 KGH_SPY KGH_SPY can collect credentials from the Windows Credential Manager.15
S0349 LaZagne LaZagne can obtain credentials from Vault files.11
S0681 Lizar Lizar has a plugin that can retrieve credentials from Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge using vaultcmd.exe and another that can collect RDP access credentials using the CredEnumerateW function.13
S0002 Mimikatz Mimikatz contains functionality to acquire credentials from the Windows Credential Manager.2
G0049 OilRig OilRig has used credential dumping tool named VALUEVAULT to steal credentials from the Windows Credential Manager.19
S0194 PowerSploit PowerSploit contains a collection of Exfiltration modules that can harvest credentials from Windows vault credential objects.910
S0629 RainyDay RainyDay can use the QuarksPwDump tool to obtain local passwords and domain cached credentials.16
S0240 ROKRAT ROKRAT can steal credentials by leveraging the Windows Vault mechanism.12
S0692 SILENTTRINITY SILENTTRINITY can gather Windows Vault credentials.8
G0038 Stealth Falcon Stealth Falcon malware gathers passwords from the Windows Credential Vault.17
G0010 Turla Turla has gathered credentials from the Windows Credential Manager tool.18
S0476 Valak Valak can use a .NET compiled module named exchgrabber to enumerate credentials from the Credential Manager.14


ID Mitigation Description
M1042 Disable or Remove Feature or Program Consider enabling the “Network access: Do not allow storage of passwords and credentials for network authentication” setting that will prevent network credentials from being stored by the Credential Manager.7


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


  1. Arntz, P. (2016, March 30). The Windows Vault . Retrieved November 23, 2020. 

  2. Delpy, B. (2017, December 12). howto ~ credential manager saved credentials. Retrieved November 23, 2020. 

  3. Microsoft. (2013, October 23). Credential Locker Overview. Retrieved November 24, 2020. 

  4. Microsoft. (2016, August 31). Cached and Stored Credentials Technical Overview. Retrieved November 24, 2020. 

  5. Microsoft. (2018, December 5). CredEnumarateA function (wincred.h). Retrieved November 24, 2020. 

  6. Passcape. (n.d.). Windows Password Recovery - Vault Explorer and Decoder. Retrieved November 24, 2020. 

  7. Microsoft. (2016, August 31). Network access: Do not allow storage of passwords and credentials for network authentication. Retrieved November 23, 2020. 

  8. Salvati, M. (2019, August 6). SILENTTRINITY Modules. Retrieved March 24, 2022. 

  9. PowerShellMafia. (2012, May 26). PowerSploit - A PowerShell Post-Exploitation Framework. Retrieved February 6, 2018. 

  10. PowerSploit. (n.d.). PowerSploit. Retrieved February 6, 2018. 

  11. Zanni, A. (n.d.). The LaZagne Project !!!. Retrieved December 14, 2018. 

  12. Mercer, W., Rascagneres, P. (2018, January 16). Korea In The Crosshairs. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 

  13. BI.ZONE Cyber Threats Research Team. (2021, May 13). From pentest to APT attack: cybercriminal group FIN7 disguises its malware as an ethical hacker’s toolkit. Retrieved February 2, 2022. 

  14. Reaves, J. and Platt, J. (2020, June). Valak Malware and the Connection to Gozi Loader ConfCrew. Retrieved August 31, 2020. 

  15. Dahan, A. et al. (2020, November 2). Back to the Future: Inside the Kimsuky KGH Spyware Suite. Retrieved November 6, 2020. 

  16. Vrabie, V. (2021, April 23). NAIKON – Traces from a Military Cyber-Espionage Operation. Retrieved June 29, 2021. 

  17. Marczak, B. and Scott-Railton, J.. (2016, May 29). Keep Calm and (Don’t) Enable Macros: A New Threat Actor Targets UAE Dissidents. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 

  18. Symantec DeepSight Adversary Intelligence Team. (2019, June 20). Waterbug: Espionage Group Rolls Out Brand-New Toolset in Attacks Against Governments. Retrieved July 8, 2019. 

  19. Bromiley, M., et al.. (2019, July 18). Hard Pass: Declining APT34’s Invite to Join Their Professional Network. Retrieved August 26, 2019.