Skip to content

T1589.001 Credentials

Adversaries may gather credentials that can be used during targeting. Account credentials gathered by adversaries may be those directly associated with the target victim organization or attempt to take advantage of the tendency for users to use the same passwords across personal and business accounts.

Adversaries may gather credentials from potential victims in various ways, such as direct elicitation via Phishing for Information. Adversaries may also compromise sites then add malicious content designed to collect website authentication cookies from visitors.1 Credential information may also be exposed to adversaries via leaks to online or other accessible data sets (ex: Search Engines, breach dumps, code repositories, etc.).9428356 Adversaries may also purchase credentials from dark web or other black-markets. Finally, where multi-factor authentication (MFA) based on out-of-band communications is in use, adversaries may compromise a service provider to gain access to MFA codes and one-time passwords (OTP).7

Gathering this information may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Phishing for Information), establishing operational resources (ex: Compromise Accounts), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services or Valid Accounts).

Item Value
ID T1589.001
Sub-techniques T1589.001, T1589.002, T1589.003
Tactics TA0043
Platforms PRE
Version 1.1
Created 02 October 2020
Last Modified 14 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0007 APT28 APT28 has harvested user’s login credentials.10
G0114 Chimera Chimera has collected credentials for the target organization from previous breaches for use in brute force attacks.13
G1004 LAPSUS$ LAPSUS$ has gathered user identities and credentials to gain initial access to a victim’s organization; the group has also called an organization’s help desk to reset a target’s credentials.11
G0065 Leviathan Leviathan has collected compromised credentials to use for targeting efforts.12
G0059 Magic Hound Magic Hound gathered credentials from two victims that they then attempted to validate across 75 different websites. Magic Hound has also collected credentials from over 900 Fortinet VPN servers in the US, Europe, and Israel.1514
C0024 SolarWinds Compromise For the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 conducted credential theft operations to obtain credentials to be used for access to victim environments.16


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. Efforts should focus on minimizing the amount and sensitivity of data available to external parties.


  1. Blasco, J. (2014, August 28). Scanbox: A Reconnaissance Framework Used with Watering Hole Attacks. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  2. Detectify. (2016, April 28). Slack bot token leakage exposing business critical information. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  3. Dylan Ayrey. (2016, December 31). truffleHog. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  4. McCarthy, K. (2015, February 28). FORK ME! Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database of 50,000 drivers. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  5. Michael Henriksen. (2018, June 9). Gitrob: Putting the Open Source in OSINT. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  6. Ng, A. (2019, January 17). Massive breach leaks 773 million email addresses, 21 million passwords. Retrieved October 20, 2020. 

  7. Okta. (2022, August 25). Detecting Scatter Swine: Insights into a Relentless Phishing Campaign. Retrieved February 24, 2023. 

  8. Sandvik, R. (2014, January 14). Attackers Scrape GitHub For Cloud Service Credentials, Hijack Account To Mine Virtual Currency. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  9. Thomson, I. (2017, September 26). Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy ‘login details leaked’. Retrieved October 19, 2020. 

  10. Burt, T. (2020, September 10). New cyberattacks targeting U.S. elections. Retrieved March 24, 2021. 

  11. MSTIC, DART, M365 Defender. (2022, March 24). DEV-0537 Criminal Actor Targeting Organizations for Data Exfiltration and Destruction. Retrieved May 17, 2022. 

  12. CISA. (2021, July 19). (AA21-200A) Joint Cybersecurity Advisory – Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures of Indicted APT40 Actors Associated with China’s MSS Hainan State Security Department. Retrieved August 12, 2021. 

  13. Jansen, W . (2021, January 12). Abusing cloud services to fly under the radar. Retrieved January 19, 2021. 

  14. Wikoff, A. Emerson, R. (2020, July 16). New Research Exposes Iranian Threat Group Operations. Retrieved March 8, 2021. 

  15. CrowdStrike. (2022, January 27). Early Bird Catches the Wormhole: Observations from the StellarParticle Campaign. Retrieved February 7, 2022.