Input Capture: Keylogging

Adversaries may log user keystrokes to intercept credentials as the user types them. Keylogging is likely to be used to acquire credentials for new access opportunities when OS Credential Dumping efforts are not effective, and may require an adversary to intercept keystrokes on a system for a substantial period of time before credentials can be successfully captured.

Keylogging is the most prevalent type of input capture, with many different ways of intercepting keystrokes.[1] Some methods include:

  • Hooking API callbacks used for processing keystrokes. Unlike Credential API Hooking, this focuses solely on API functions intended for processing keystroke data.
  • Reading raw keystroke data from the hardware buffer.
  • Windows Registry modifications.
  • Custom drivers.
  • Modify System Image may provide adversaries with hooks into the operating system of network devices to read raw keystrokes for login sessions.[2]
ID: T1056.001
Sub-technique of:  T1056
Tactics: Collection, Credential Access
Platforms: Linux, Network, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User, root
Data Sources: Driver: Driver Load, Process: OS API Execution, Windows Registry: Windows Registry Key Modification
Version: 1.1
Created: 11 February 2020
Last Modified: 21 October 2020

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description

ADVSTORESHELL can perform keylogging.[3][4]

S0331 Agent Tesla

Agent Tesla can log keystrokes on the victim’s machine.[5][6][7][8][9]

G0130 Ajax Security Team

Ajax Security Team has used CWoolger and MPK, custom-developed malware, which recorded all keystrokes on an infected system.[10]

G0007 APT28

APT28 has used tools to perform keylogging.[11][12][13]

G0022 APT3

APT3 has used a keylogging tool that records keystrokes in encrypted files.[14]

G0050 APT32

APT32 has abused the PasswordChangeNotify to monitor for and capture account password changes.[15]

G0082 APT38

APT38 used a Trojan called KEYLIME to capture keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[16]

G0087 APT39

APT39 has used tools for capturing keystrokes.[17][18]

G0096 APT41

APT41 used a keylogger called GEARSHIFT on a target system.[19]

S0373 Astaroth

Astaroth logs keystrokes from the victim's machine. [20]

S0438 Attor

One of Attor's plugins can collect user credentials via capturing keystrokes and can capture keystrokes pressed within the window of the injected process.[21]

S0414 BabyShark

BabyShark has a PowerShell-based remote administration ability that can implement a PowerShell or C# based keylogger.[22]


When it first starts, BADNEWS spawns a new thread to log keystrokes.[23][24][25]

S0337 BadPatch

BadPatch has a keylogging capability.[26]

S0234 Bandook

Bandook contains keylogging capabilities[27]


BISCUIT can capture keystrokes.[28]

S0089 BlackEnergy

BlackEnergy has run a keylogger plug-in on a victim.[29]

S0454 Cadelspy

Cadelspy has the ability to log keystrokes on the compromised host.[30]

S0030 Carbanak

Carbanak logs key strokes for configured processes and sends them back to the C2 server.[31][32]

S0348 Cardinal RAT

Cardinal RAT can log keystrokes.[33]

S0261 Catchamas

Catchamas collects keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[34]


CHOPSTICK is capable of performing keylogging.[35][3][12]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can track key presses with a keylogger module.[36][37]

S0338 Cobian RAT

Cobian RAT has a feature to perform keylogging on the victim’s machine.[38]

S0050 CosmicDuke

CosmicDuke uses a keylogger.[39]

S0334 DarkComet

DarkComet has a keylogging capability.[40]

G0012 Darkhotel

Darkhotel has used a keylogger.[41]

S0187 Daserf

Daserf can log keystrokes.[42][43]

S0021 Derusbi

Derusbi is capable of logging keystrokes.[44]


DOGCALL is capable of logging keystrokes.[45][46]

S0567 Dtrack

Dtrack’s dropper contains a keylogging executable.[47]

S0038 Duqu

Duqu can track key presses with a keylogger module.[48]

S0062 DustySky

DustySky contains a keylogger.[49]


ECCENTRICBANDWAGON can capture and store keystrokes.[50]

S0363 Empire

Empire includes keylogging capabilities for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems.[51]

S0152 EvilGrab

EvilGrab has the capability to capture keystrokes.[52]

S0569 Explosive

Explosive has leveraged its keylogging capabilities to gain access to administrator accounts on target servers.[53][54]

S0076 FakeM

FakeM contains a keylogger module.[55]

G0085 FIN4

FIN4 has captured credentials via fake Outlook Web App (OWA) login pages and has also used a .NET based keylogger.[56][57]

S0410 Fysbis

Fysbis can perform keylogging.[58]

S0032 gh0st RAT

gh0st RAT has a keylogger.[59][60]

S0531 Grandoreiro

Grandoreiro can log keystrokes on the victim's machine.[61]

S0342 GreyEnergy

GreyEnergy has a module to harvest pressed keystrokes.[62]

G0043 Group5

Malware used by Group5 is capable of capturing keystrokes.[63]

S0170 Helminth

The executable version of Helminth has a module to log keystrokes.[64]

S0070 HTTPBrowser

HTTPBrowser is capable of capturing keystrokes on victims.[65]

S0434 Imminent Monitor

Imminent Monitor has a keylogging module.[66]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole can capture keystrokes on a compromised host.[67]

S0201 JPIN

JPIN contains a custom keylogger.[68]

S0283 jRAT

jRAT has the capability to log keystrokes from the victim’s machine, both offline and online.[69][70]

S0088 Kasidet

Kasidet has the ability to initiate keylogging.[71]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang has used keyloggers.[72]

S0387 KeyBoy

KeyBoy installs a keylogger for intercepting credentials and keystrokes.[73]


KGH_SPY can perform keylogging by polling the GetAsyncKeyState() function.[74]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has used a PowerShell-based keylogger.[75][76][77]

S0437 Kivars

Kivars has the ability to initiate keylogging on the infected host.[78]


KONNI has the capability to perform keylogging.[79]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group malware KiloAlfa contains keylogging functionality.[80][81]

S0447 Lokibot

Lokibot has the ability to capture input on the compromised host via keylogging.[82]

S0409 Machete

Machete logs keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[83][84][85][86]

S0282 MacSpy

MacSpy captures keystrokes.[87]

G0059 Magic Hound

Magic Hound malware is capable of keylogging.[88]

S0167 Matryoshka

Matryoshka is capable of keylogging.[89][90]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass has used key loggers to steal usernames and passwords.[91]

S0455 Metamorfo

Metamorfo has a command to launch a keylogger on the victim’s machine.[92]

S0339 Micropsia

Micropsia has keylogging capabilities.[93]

S0149 MoonWind

MoonWind has a keylogger.[94]

S0336 NanoCore

NanoCore can perform keylogging on the victim’s machine.[95]

S0247 NavRAT

NavRAT logs the keystrokes on the targeted system.[96]

S0033 NetTraveler

NetTraveler contains a keylogger.[97]


NETWIRE can perform keylogging.[98][99][100][101][102]

S0385 njRAT

njRAT is capable of logging keystrokes.[103][104][63]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used keylogging tools called KEYPUNCH and LONGWATCH.[105][106]

S0439 Okrum

Okrum was seen using a keylogger tool to capture keystrokes. [107]

G0116 Operation Wocao

Operation Wocao has obtained the password for the victim's password manager via a custom keylogger.[108]

S0072 OwaAuth

OwaAuth captures and DES-encrypts credentials before writing the username and password to a log file, C:\log.txt.[65]


PLATINUM has used several different keyloggers.[68]

S0013 PlugX

PlugX has a module for capturing keystrokes per process including window titles.[109]

S0428 PoetRAT

PoetRAT has used a Python tool named klog.exe for keylogging.[110]

S0012 PoisonIvy

PoisonIvy contains a keylogger.[111][112]

S0378 PoshC2

PoshC2 has modules for keystroke logging and capturing credentials from spoofed Outlook authentication messages.[113]

S0194 PowerSploit

PowerSploit's Get-Keystrokes Exfiltration module can log keystrokes.[114][115]

S0113 Prikormka

Prikormka contains a keylogger module that collects keystrokes and the titles of foreground windows.[116]

S0279 Proton

Proton uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes.[87]

S0192 Pupy

Pupy uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes it then sends back to the server after it is stopped.[117]

S0262 QuasarRAT

QuasarRAT has a built-in keylogger.[118][119]

S0019 Regin

Regin contains a keylogger.[120]

S0332 Remcos

Remcos has a command for keylogging.[121][122]

S0375 Remexi

Remexi gathers and exfiltrates keystrokes from the machine.[123]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec contains a keylogger component.[124][125]

S0379 Revenge RAT

Revenge RAT has a plugin for keylogging.[126][127]


ROKRAT uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes and location of where the user is typing.[128]

S0090 Rover

Rover has keylogging functionality.[129]

S0148 RTM

RTM can record keystrokes from both the keyboard and virtual keyboard.[130][131]

S0253 RunningRAT

RunningRAT captures keystrokes and sends them back to the C2 server.[132]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has used a keylogger to capture keystrokes by using the SetWindowsHookEx function.[133]


SLOTHFULMEDIA has a keylogging capability.[134]

G0054 Sowbug

Sowbug has used keylogging tools.[135]

S0058 SslMM

SslMM creates a new thread implementing a keylogging facility using Windows Keyboard Accelerators.[136]

G0086 Stolen Pencil

Stolen Pencil has a tool to log keystrokes to %userprofile%\appdata\roaming\apach.{{txt,log}}. [137]

S0018 Sykipot

Sykipot contains keylogging functionality to steal passwords.[138]

S0467 TajMahal

TajMahal has the ability to capture keystrokes on an infected host.[139]

S0595 ThiefQuest

ThiefQuest uses the CGEventTap functions to perform keylogging.[140]

G0027 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.[65][141][142]

S0004 TinyZBot

TinyZBot contains keylogger functionality.[143]

S0094 Trojan.Karagany

Trojan.Karagany can capture keystrokes on a compromised host.[144]

S0130 Unknown Logger

Unknown Logger is capable of recording keystrokes.[23]


VERMIN collects keystrokes from the victim machine.[145]

S0161 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.[146]

S0248 yty

yty uses a keylogger plugin to gather keystrokes.[147]

S0330 Zeus Panda

Zeus Panda can perform keylogging on the victim’s machine by hooking the functions TranslateMessage and WM_KEYDOWN.[148]

S0412 ZxShell

ZxShell has a feature to capture a remote computer's keystrokes using a keylogger.[19][149]


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, monitor driver installs, and look 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.


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