System Owner/User Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to identify the primary user, currently logged in user, set of users that commonly uses a system, or whether a user is actively using the system. They may do this, for example, by retrieving account usernames or by using OS Credential Dumping. The information may be collected in a number of different ways using other Discovery techniques, because user and username details are prevalent throughout a system and include running process ownership, file/directory ownership, session information, and system logs. Adversaries may use the information from System Owner/User Discovery during automated discovery to shape follow-on behaviors, including whether or not the adversary fully infects the target and/or attempts specific actions.

Utilities and commands that acquire this information include whoami. In Mac and Linux, the currently logged in user can be identified with w and who.

ID: T1033
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, Process: Process Creation
Version: 1.2
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 15 March 2020

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0331 Agent Tesla

Agent Tesla can collect the username from the victim’s machine.[1][2][3]

S0092 Agent.btz

Agent.btz obtains the victim username and saves it to a file.[4]

G0073 APT19

APT19 used an HTTP malware variant and a Port 22 malware variant to collect the victim’s username.[5]

G0022 APT3

An APT3 downloader uses the Windows command "cmd.exe" /C whoami to verify that it is running with the elevated privileges of "System."[6]

G0050 APT32

APT32 collected the victim's username and executed the whoami command on the victim's machine. APT32 executed shellcode to collect the username on the victim's machine. [7][8][9]

G0067 APT37

APT37 identifies the victim username.[10]

G0087 APT39

APT39 used Remexi to collect usernames from the system. [11]

G0096 APT41

APT41 used the WMIEXEC utility to execute whoami commands on remote machines.[12]

S0456 Aria-body

Aria-body has the ability to identify the username on a compromised host.[13]

S0344 Azorult

Azorult can collect the username from the victim’s machine.[14]

S0414 BabyShark

BabyShark has executed the whoami command.[15]

S0093 Backdoor.Oldrea

Backdoor.Oldrea collects the current username from the victim.[16]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar can identify the username of the infected user.[17]


BISCUIT has a command to gather the username from the system.[18]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can collect information on user sessions.[19]

S0486 Bonadan

Bonadan has discovered the username of the user running the backdoor.[20]

S0351 Cannon

Cannon can gather the username from the system.[21]

S0348 Cardinal RAT

Cardinal RAT can collect the username from a victim machine.[22]

S0572 Caterpillar WebShell

Caterpillar WebShell can obtain a list of user accounts from a victim's machine.[23]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has used the quser command to show currently logged on users.[24]

S0498 Cryptoistic

Cryptoistic can gather data on the user of a compromised host.[25]

S0334 DarkComet

DarkComet gathers the username from the victim’s machine.[26]

S0354 Denis

Denis enumerates and collects the username from the victim’s machine.[27][9]

S0021 Derusbi

A Linux version of Derusbi checks if the victim user ID is anything other than zero (normally used for root), and the malware will not execute if it does not have root privileges. Derusbi also gathers the username of the victim.[28]

S0186 DownPaper

DownPaper collects the victim username and sends it to the C2 server.[29]

G0074 Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 used the command query user on victim hosts.[30]

S0024 Dyre

Dyre has the ability to identify the users on a compromised host.[31]

S0554 Egregor

Egregor has used tools to gather information about users.[32]

S0091 Epic

Epic collects the user name from the victim’s machine.[33]


EVILNUM can obtain the username from the victim's machine.[34]

S0401 Exaramel for Linux

Exaramel for Linux can run whoami to identify the system owner.[35]

S0569 Explosive

Explosive has collected the username from the infected host.[36]

S0171 Felismus

Felismus collects the current username and sends it to the C2 server.[37]


FELIXROOT collects the username from the victim’s machine.[38][39]

G0051 FIN10

FIN10 has used Meterpreter to enumerate users on remote systems.[40]

S0381 FlawedAmmyy

FlawedAmmyy enumerates the current user during the initial infection.[41]

G0101 Frankenstein

Frankenstein has enumerated hosts, gathering username, machine name, and administrative permissions information.[42]


GALLIUM used whoami and query user to obtain information about the victim user.[43]

G0047 Gamaredon Group

A Gamaredon Group file stealer can gather the victim's username to send to a C2 server.[44]

S0168 Gazer

Gazer obtains the current user's security identifier.[45]

S0460 Get2

Get2 has the ability to identify the current username of an infected host.[46]

S0249 Gold Dragon

Gold Dragon collects the endpoint victim's username and uses it as a basis for downloading additional components from the C2 server.[47]

S0477 Goopy

Goopy has the ability to enumerate the infected system's user name.[9]

S0531 Grandoreiro

Grandoreiro can collect the username from the victim's machine.[48]

S0237 GravityRAT

GravityRAT collects the victim username along with other account information (account type, description, full name, SID and status).[49]


can collect the victim user name.[50]


HAWKBALL can collect the user name of the system.[51]

S0431 HotCroissant

HotCroissant has the ability to collect the username on the infected host.[52]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole lists local users and session information.[53]

S0015 Ixeshe

Ixeshe collects the username from the victim’s machine.[54]

S0201 JPIN

JPIN can obtain the victim user name.[55]

S0265 Kazuar

Kazuar gathers information on users.[56]

S0250 Koadic

Koadic can identify logged in users across the domain and views user sessions.[57]

S0162 Komplex

The OsInfo function in Komplex collects the current running username.[58]


KONNI can collect the username from the victim’s machine.[59]

S0236 Kwampirs

Kwampirs collects registered owner details by using the commands systeminfo and net config workstation.[60]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Various Lazarus Group malware enumerates logged-on users.[61][62][63][64][65][25]

S0362 Linux Rabbit

Linux Rabbit opens a socket on port 22 and if it receives a response it attempts to obtain the machine's hostname and Top-Level Domain. [66]

S0447 Lokibot

Lokibot has the ability to discover the username on the infected host.[67]

S0532 Lucifer

Lucifer has the ability to identify the username on a compromised host.[68]

G0059 Magic Hound

Magic Hound malware has obtained the victim username and sent it to the C2 server.[69]

S0459 MechaFlounder

MechaFlounder has the ability to identify the username and hostname on a compromised host.[70]

S0339 Micropsia

Micropsia collects the username from the victim’s machine.[71]

S0280 MirageFox

MirageFox can gather the username from the victim’s machine.[72]

S0084 Mis-Type

Mis-Type runs tests to determine the privilege level of the compromised user.[73]

S0149 MoonWind

MoonWind obtains the victim username.[74]

S0284 More_eggs

More_eggs has the capability to gather the username from the victim's machine.[75][76]

S0256 Mosquito

Mosquito runs whoami on the victim’s machine.[77]

G0069 MuddyWater

MuddyWater has used malware that can collect the victim’s username.[78][79]

S0228 NanHaiShu

NanHaiShu collects the username from the victim.[80]

S0590 NBTscan

NBTscan can list active users on the system.[81][82]

S0272 NDiskMonitor

NDiskMonitor obtains the victim username and encrypts the information to send over its C2 channel.[83]

S0385 njRAT

njRAT enumerates the current user during the initial infection.[84]


NOKKI can collect the username from the victim’s machine.[85]

S0340 Octopus

Octopus collects the username from the victim’s machine.[86]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has run whoami on a victim.[87][88]

S0439 Okrum

Okrum can collect the victim username.[89]

G0116 Operation Wocao

Operation Wocao has enumerated sessions and users on a remote host, and identified privileged users logged into a targeted system.[90]

G0040 Patchwork

Patchwork collected the victim username and whether it was running as admin, then sent the information to its C2 server.[91][83]

S0428 PoetRAT

PoetRAT sent username, computer name, and the previously generated UUID in reply to a "who" command from C2.[92]

S0139 PowerDuke

PowerDuke has commands to get the current user's name and SID.[93]

S0441 PowerShower

PowerShower has the ability to identify the current user on the infected host.[94]


POWERSTATS has the ability to identify the username on the compromised host.[95]


POWRUNER may collect information about the currently logged in user by running whoami on a victim.[96]

S0113 Prikormka

A module in Prikormka collects information from the victim about the current user name.[97]

S0192 Pupy

Pupy can enumerate local information for Linux hosts and find currently logged on users for Windows hosts.[98]


QUADAGENT gathers the victim username.[99]


RATANKBA runs the whoami and query user commands.[100]

S0172 Reaver

Reaver collects the victim's username.[101]

S0153 RedLeaves

RedLeaves can obtain information about the logged on user both locally and for Remote Desktop sessions.[102]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec can obtain information about the current user.[103]

S0379 Revenge RAT

Revenge RAT gathers the username from the system.[104]

S0258 RGDoor

RGDoor executes the whoami on the victim’s machine.[105]

S0433 Rifdoor

Rifdoor has the ability to identify the username on the compromised host.[52]

S0448 Rising Sun

Rising Sun can detect the username of the infected host.[106]

S0270 RogueRobin

RogueRobin collects the victim’s username and whether that user is an admin.[107]

S0148 RTM

RTM can obtain the victim username and permissions.[108]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has collected the username from a compromised host.[109]

S0461 SDBbot

SDBbot has the ability to identify the user on a compromised host.[46]

S0382 ServHelper

ServHelper will attempt to enumerate the username of the victim.[110]

S0596 ShadowPad

ShadowPad has collected the username of the victim system.[111]


SHARPSTATS has the ability to identify the username on the compromised host.[95]

G0121 Sidewinder

Sidewinder has used tools to identify the user of a compromised host.[112]


SLOTHFULMEDIA has collected the username from a victim machine.[113]

S0543 Spark

Spark has run the whoami command and has a built-in command to identify the user logged in.[114]

S0374 SpeakUp

SpeakUp uses the whoami command. [115]

S0058 SslMM

SslMM sends the logged-on username to its hard-coded C2.[116]

G0038 Stealth Falcon

Stealth Falcon malware gathers the registered user and primary owner name via WMI.[117]


SUNBURST collected the username from a compromised host.[118][119]

S0242 SynAck

SynAck gathers user names from infected hosts.[120]

S0060 Sys10

Sys10 collects the account name of the logged-in user and sends it to the C2.[116]

S0098 T9000

T9000 gathers and beacons the username of the logged in account during installation. It will also gather the username of running processes to determine if it is running as SYSTEM.[121]

S0266 TrickBot

TrickBot can identify the user and groups the user belongs to on a compromised host.[122]

S0094 Trojan.Karagany

Trojan.Karagany can gather information about the user on a compromised host.[123]

G0081 Tropic Trooper

Tropic Trooper used letmein to scan for saved usernames on the target system.[124]

S0130 Unknown Logger

Unknown Logger can obtain information about the victim usernames.[125]


UPPERCUT has the capability to collect the current logged on user’s username from a machine.[126]

S0476 Valak

Valak can gather information regarding the user.[127]


VERMIN gathers the username from the victim’s machine.[128]

S0515 WellMail

WellMail can identify the current username on the victim system.[129]

S0514 WellMess

WellMess can collect the username on the victim machine to send to C2.[130]


WINDSHIELD can gather the victim user name.[131]

G0112 Windshift

Windshift has used malware to identify the username on a compromised host.[132]


WINERACK can gather information on the victim username.[50]

S0059 WinMM

WinMM uses NetUser-GetInfo to identify that it is running under an "Admin" account on the local system.[116]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has used "whoami" to identify the local user and their privileges.[133]

S0161 XAgentOSX

XAgentOSX contains the getInfoOSX function to return the OS X version as well as the current user.[134]

S0248 yty

yty collects the victim’s username.[135]

S0251 Zebrocy

Zebrocy gets the username from the system.[136][137]


ZIRCONIUM has used a tool to capture the username on a compromised host in order to register it with C2.[138]

S0350 zwShell

zwShell can obtain the name of the logged-in user on the victim.[139]

S0412 ZxShell

ZxShell can collect the owner and organization information from the target workstation.[140]


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 based on the information obtained.

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.


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