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T1586 Compromise Accounts

Adversaries may compromise accounts with services that can be used during targeting. For operations incorporating social engineering, the utilization of an online persona may be important. Rather than creating and cultivating accounts (i.e. Establish Accounts), adversaries may compromise existing accounts. Utilizing an existing persona may engender a level of trust in a potential victim if they have a relationship, or knowledge of, the compromised persona.

A variety of methods exist for compromising accounts, such as gathering credentials via Phishing for Information, purchasing credentials from third-party sites, brute forcing credentials (ex: password reuse from breach credential dumps), or paying employees, suppliers or business partners for access to credentials.12 Prior to compromising accounts, adversaries may conduct Reconnaissance to inform decisions about which accounts to compromise to further their operation.

Personas may exist on a single site or across multiple sites (ex: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, etc.). Compromised accounts may require additional development, this could include filling out or modifying profile information, further developing social networks, or incorporating photos.

Adversaries may directly leverage compromised email accounts for Phishing for Information or Phishing.

Item Value
ID T1586
Sub-techniques T1586.001, T1586.002, T1586.003
Tactics TA0042
Platforms PRE
Version 1.2
Created 01 October 2020
Last Modified 11 April 2023


ID Mitigation Description
M1056 Pre-compromise This technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on behaviors performed outside of the scope of enterprise defenses and controls.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content
DS0021 Persona Social Media