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T1635 Steal Application Access Token

Adversaries can steal user application access tokens as a means of acquiring credentials to access remote systems and resources. This can occur through social engineering or URI hijacking and typically requires user action to grant access, such as through a system “Open With” dialogue.

Application access tokens are used to make authorized API requests on behalf of a user and are commonly used as a way to access resources in cloud-based applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS).2 OAuth is one commonly implemented framework used to issue tokens to users for access to systems. An application desiring access to cloud-based services or protected APIs can gain entry through OAuth 2.0 using a variety of authorization protocols. An example of a commonly-used sequence is Microsoft’s Authorization Code Grant flow.43 An OAuth access token enables a third-party application to interact with resources containing user data in the ways requested without requiring user credentials.

Item Value
ID T1635
Sub-techniques T1635.001
Tactics TA0031
Platforms Android, iOS
Version 1.1
Created 01 April 2022
Last Modified 20 March 2023


ID Mitigation Description
M1013 Application Developer Guidance Developers should use Android App Links7 and iOS Universal Links6 to provide a secure binding between URIs and applications, preventing malicious applications from intercepting redirections. Additionally, for OAuth use cases, PKCE8 should be used to prevent use of stolen authorization codes.
M1006 Use Recent OS Version iOS 11 introduced a first-come-first-served principle for URIs, allowing only the prior installed app to be launched via the URI.9 Android 6 introduced App Links.
M1011 User Guidance Users should be instructed to not open links in applications they don’t recognize.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0041 Application Vetting API Calls
DS0042 User Interface System Notifications