Remote System Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of other systems by IP address, hostname, or other logical identifier on a network that may be used for Lateral Movement from the current system. Functionality could exist within remote access tools to enable this, but utilities available on the operating system could also be used such as Ping or net view using Net. Adversaries may also use local host files (ex: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts or /etc/hosts) in order to discover the hostname to IP address mappings of remote systems.

Specific to macOS, the bonjour protocol exists to discover additional Mac-based systems within the same broadcast domain.

ID: T1018
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, File: File Access, Network Traffic: Network Connection Creation, Process: Process Creation
Contributors: Daniel Stepanic, Elastic; RedHuntLabs, @redhuntlabs
Version: 3.1
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 13 April 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0552 AdFind

AdFind has the ability to query Active Directory for computers.[1][2][3]

G0016 APT29

APT29 has used AdFind to enumerate remote systems.[4]

G0022 APT3

APT3 has a tool that can detect the existence of remote systems.[5][6]

G0050 APT32

APT32 has enumerated DC servers using the command net group "Domain Controllers" /domain. The group has also used the ping command.[7]

G0087 APT39

APT39 has used NBTscan and custom tools to discover remote systems. [8][9][10]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar can enumerate remote systems using Net View.[11]

S0570 BitPaymer

BitPaymer can use net view to discover remote systems.[12]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can enumerate and collect the properties of domain computers, including domain controllers.[13]


BRONZE BUTLER typically use ping and Net to enumerate systems.[14]

S0335 Carbon

Carbon uses the net view command.[15]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has utilized various scans and queries to find domain controllers and remote services in the target environment.[16]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike uses the native Windows Network Enumeration APIs to interrogate and discover targets in a Windows Active Directory network.[17][18]

S0244 Comnie

Comnie runs the net view command

S0488 CrackMapExec

CrackMapExec can discover active IP addresses, along with the machine name, within a targeted network.[19]

G0009 Deep Panda

Deep Panda has used ping to identify other machines of interest.[20]

G0074 Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 likely obtained a list of hosts in the victim environment.[21]

S0091 Epic

Epic uses the net view command on the victim’s machine.[22]

G0053 FIN5

FIN5 has used the open source tool Essential NetTools to map the network and build a list of targets.[23]

G0037 FIN6

FIN6 used publicly available tools (including Microsoft's built-in SQL querying tool, osql.exe) to map the internal network and conduct reconnaissance against Active Directory, Structured Query Language (SQL) servers, and NetBIOS.[24]

G0061 FIN8

FIN8 uses dsquery and other Active Directory utilities to enumerate hosts.[25]

G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has used Angry IP Scanner to detect remote systems.[26]


GALLIUM used a modified version of NBTscan to identify available NetBIOS name servers over the network as well as ping to identify remote systems.[27]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang has used network scanning and enumeration tools, including Ping.[28]

S0599 Kinsing

Kinsing has used a script to parse files like /etc/hosts and SSH known_hosts to discover remote systems.[29]

S0236 Kwampirs

Kwampirs collects a list of available servers with the command net view.[30]

G0077 Leafminer

Leafminer used Microsoft’s Sysinternals tools to gather detailed information about remote systems.[31]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass uses scripts to enumerate IP ranges on the victim network. menuPass has also issued the command net view /domain to a PlugX implant to gather information about remote systems on the network.[32][33]


MURKYTOP has the capability to identify remote hosts on connected networks.[34]

S0590 NBTscan

NBTscan can list NetBIOS computer names.[35][36]

S0039 Net

Commands such as net view can be used in Net to gather information about available remote systems.[37]

S0385 njRAT

njRAT can identify remote hosts on connected networks.[38]

S0359 Nltest

Nltest may be used to enumerate remote domain controllers using options such as /dclist and /dsgetdc.[39]

S0365 Olympic Destroyer

Olympic Destroyer uses Windows Management Instrumentation to enumerate all systems in the network.[40]

G0116 Operation Wocao

Operation Wocao can use the ping command to discover remote systems.[41]

S0165 OSInfo

OSInfo performs a connection test to discover remote systems in the network[5]

S0097 Ping

Ping can be used to identify remote systems within a network.[42]

S0428 PoetRAT

PoetRAT used Nmap for remote system discovery.[43]


RATANKBA runs the net view /domain and net view commands.[44]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec can ping or traceroute a remote host.[45]

G0106 Rocke

Rocke has looked for IP addresses in the known_hosts file on the infected system and attempted to SSH into them.[46]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has used a tool to query Active Directory using LDAP, discovering information about computers listed in AD.[47]

S0140 Shamoon

Shamoon scans the C-class subnet of the IPs on the victim's interfaces.[48]


SHOTPUT has a command to list all servers in the domain, as well as one to locate domain controllers on a domain.[49]

G0091 Silence

Silence has used Nmap to scan the corporate network, build a network topology, and identify vulnerable hosts.[50]

S0018 Sykipot

Sykipot may use net view /domain to display hostnames of available systems on a network.[51]


The TAINTEDSCRIBE command and execution module can perform target system enumeration.[52]

G0027 Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has used the net view command.[53]

S0266 TrickBot

TrickBot can enumerate computers and network devices.[54]

G0010 Turla

Turla surveys a system upon check-in to discover remote systems on a local network using the net view and net view /DOMAIN commands. Turla has also used net group "Domain Computers" /domain, net group "Domain Controllers" /domain, and net group "Exchange Servers" /domain to enumerate domain computers, including the organization's DC and Exchange Server.[22][55]

S0452 USBferry

USBferry can use net view to gather information about remote systems.[56]

S0366 WannaCry

WannaCry scans its local network segment for remote systems to try to exploit and copy itself to.[57]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has used networkdll for network discovery and psfin specifically for financial and point of sale indicators. Wizard Spider has also used AdFind and nltest/dclist to enumerate domain computers, including the domain controller.[3][58][59][1][60]

S0248 yty

yty uses the net view command for discovery.[61]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as Lateral Movement, based on the information obtained.

Normal, benign system and network events related to legitimate remote system discovery may be uncommon, depending on the environment and how they are used. Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.

Monitor for processes that can be used to discover remote systems, such as ping.exe and tracert.exe, especially when executed in quick succession.[62]


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