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Input Capture

Adversaries can use methods of capturing user input for obtaining credentials for Valid Accounts and information Collection that include keylogging and user input field interception.

Keylogging is the most prevalent type of input capture, with many different ways of intercepting keystrokes, [1] but other methods exist to target information for specific purposes, such as performing a UAC prompt or wrapping the Windows default credential provider. [2]

Keylogging is likely to be used to acquire credentials for new access opportunities when Credential Dumping efforts are not effective, and may require an adversary to remain passive on a system for a period of time before an opportunity arises.

Adversaries may also install code on externally facing portals, such as a VPN login page, to capture and transmit credentials of users who attempt to log into the service. This variation on input capture may be conducted post-compromise using legitimate administrative access as a backup measure to maintain network access through External Remote Services and Valid Accounts or as part of the initial compromise by exploitation of the externally facing web service. [3]

ID: T1056
Tactic: Collection, Credential Access
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM
Data Sources: Windows Registry, Kernel drivers, Process monitoring, API monitoring
Contributors: John Lambert, Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center
Version: 1.0

Procedure Examples

Name Description
ADVSTORESHELL ADVSTORESHELL can perform keylogging. [14] [15]
Agent Tesla Agent Tesla can log keystrokes on the victim’s machine. [49] [50] [51]
APT28 APT28 has used tools to perform keylogging. [101] [54]
APT3 APT3 has used a keylogging tool that records keystrokes in encrypted files. [89]
APT38 APT38 used a Trojan called KEYLIME to capture keystrokes from the victim’s machine. [92]
Astaroth Astaroth logs keystrokes from the victim's machine. [81]
BADNEWS When it first starts, BADNEWS spawns a new thread to log keystrokes. [41] [42] [43]
BadPatch BadPatch has a keylogging capability. [23]
Bandook Bandook contains keylogging capabilities [70]
BISCUIT BISCUIT can capture keystrokes. [75]
BlackEnergy BlackEnergy has run a keylogger plug-in on a victim. [76]
Carbanak Carbanak logs key strokes for configured processes and sends them back to the C2 server. [25] [26]
Cardinal RAT Cardinal RAT can log keystrokes. [72]
Catchamas Catchamas collects keystrokes from the victim’s machine. [61]
CHOPSTICK CHOPSTICK is capable of performing keylogging. [53] [14] [54]
Cobalt Strike Cobalt Strike can track key presses with a keylogger module. [11]
Cobian RAT Cobian RAT has a feature to perform keylogging on the victim’s machine. [59]
CosmicDuke CosmicDuke uses a keylogger and steals clipboard contents from victims. [65]
DarkComet DarkComet has a keylogging capability. [22]
Darkhotel Darkhotel has used a keylogger. [95]
Daserf Daserf can log keystrokes. [73] [74]
Derusbi Derusbi is capable of logging keystrokes. [37]
DOGCALL DOGCALL is capable of logging keystrokes. [62] [63]
Duqu Duqu can track key presses with a keylogger module. [34]
DustySky DustySky contains a keylogger. [16]
Empire Empire includes keylogging capabilities for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems. [12]
EvilGrab EvilGrab has the capability to capture keystrokes. [17]
FakeM FakeM contains a keylogger module. [77]
FIN4 FIN4 has captured credentials via fake Outlook Web App (OWA) login pages and has also used a .NET based keylogger. [98] [99]
gh0st RAT gh0st RAT has a keylogger. [38]
GreyEnergy GreyEnergy has a module to harvest pressed keystrokes. [55]
Group5 Malware used by Group5 is capable of capturing keystrokes. [87]
Helminth The executable version of Helminth has a module to log keystrokes. [68]
HTTPBrowser HTTPBrowser is capable of capturing keystrokes on victims. [58]
JPIN JPIN contains a custom keylogger. [48]
jRAT jRAT has the capability to log keystrokes from the victim’s machine, both offline and online. [66] [67]
Kasidet Kasidet has the ability to initiate keylogging. [78]
Ke3chang Ke3chang has used keyloggers. [102]
KeyBoy KeyBoy installs a keylogger for intercepting credentials and keystrokes. [88]
KONNI KONNI has the capability to perform keylogging. [46]
Lazarus Group Lazarus Group malware KiloAlfa contains keylogging functionality. [90] [91]
MacSpy MacSpy captures keystrokes. [19]
Magic Hound Magic Hound malware is capable of keylogging. [100]
Matroyshka Matroyshka is capable of keylogging. [30] [31]
menuPass menuPass has used key loggers to steal usernames and passwords. [104]
Micropsia Micropsia has keylogging capabilities. [71]
MoonWind MoonWind has a keylogger. [29]
NanoCore NanoCore can perform keylogging on the victim’s machine. [27]
NavRAT NavRAT logs the keystrokes on the targeted system. [60]
NetTraveler NetTraveler contains a keylogger. [40]
NETWIRE NETWIRE can perform keylogging. [35] [36]
njRAT njRAT is capable of logging keystrokes. [85] [86] [87]
OilRig OilRig has used a keylogging tool called KEYPUNCH. [94]
OwaAuth OwaAuth captures and DES-encrypts credentials before writing the username and password to a log file, C:\log.txt. [58]
PLATINUM PLATINUM has used several different keyloggers. [48]
PlugX PlugX has a module for capturing keystrokes per process including window titles. [21]
PoisonIvy PoisonIvy contains a keylogger. [56] [57]
PoshC2 PoshC2 has modules for keystroke logging and capturing credentials from spoofed Outlook authentication messages. [13]
PowerSploit PowerSploit's Get-Keystrokes Exfiltration module can log keystrokes. [9] [10]
Prikormka Prikormka contains a keylogger module that collects keystrokes and the titles of foreground windows. [18]
Proton Proton uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes. [19]
Pupy Pupy uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes it then sends back to the server after it is stopped. [4]
QuasarRAT QuasarRAT has a built-in keylogger. [7] [8]
Regin Regin contains a keylogger. [24]
Remcos Remcos has a command for keylogging. [5] [6]
Remexi Remexi gathers and exfiltrates keystrokes from the machine. [82]
Remsec Remsec contains a keylogger component. [32] [33]
Revenge RAT Revenge RAT has a plugin for keylogging. [83] [84]
ROKRAT ROKRAT uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes and location of where the user is typing. [69]
Rover Rover has keylogging functionality. [28]
RTM RTM can record keystrokes from both the keyboard and virtual keyboard. [39]
RunningRAT RunningRAT captures keystrokes and sends them back to the C2 server. [45]
Sowbug Sowbug has used keylogging tools. [93]
SslMM SslMM creates a new thread implementing a keylogging facility using Windows Keyboard Accelerators. [47]
Stolen Pencil Stolen Pencil has a tool to log keystrokes to %userprofile%\appdata\roaming\apach.{txt,log}. [103]
Sykipot Sykipot contains keylogging functionality to steal passwords. [20]
Threat Group-3390 Threat Group-3390 actors installed a credential logger on Microsoft Exchange servers. Threat Group-3390 also leveraged the reconnaissance framework, ScanBox, to capture keystrokes. [58] [96] [97]
TinyZBot TinyZBot contains keylogger functionality. [79]
Unknown Logger Unknown Logger is capable of recording keystrokes. [41]
VERMIN VERMIN collects keystrokes from the victim machine. [80]
XAgentOSX XAgentOSX contains keylogging functionality that will monitor for active application windows and write them to the log, it can handle special characters, and it will buffer by default 50 characters before sending them out over the C2 infrastructure. [52]
yty yty uses a keylogger plugin to gather keystrokes. [44]
Zeus Panda Zeus Panda can perform keylogging on the victim’s machine by hooking the functions TranslateMessage and WM_KEYDOWN. [64]


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


Keyloggers may take many forms, possibly involving modification to the Registry and installation of a driver, setting a hook, or polling to intercept keystrokes. Commonly used API calls include SetWindowsHook, GetKeyState, and GetAsyncKeyState. [1] Monitor the Registry and file system for such changes and detect driver installs, as well as looking for common keylogging API calls. API calls alone are not an indicator of keylogging, but may provide behavioral data that is useful when combined with other information such as new files written to disk and unusual processes.

Monitor the Registry for the addition of a Custom Credential Provider. [2] Detection of compromised Valid Accounts in use by adversaries may help to catch the result of user input interception if new techniques are used.


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