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.
ID: T1056.001
Sub-technique of:  T1056
Tactics: Collection, Credential Access
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User, root
Data Sources: API monitoring, Process monitoring, Windows Registry
CAPEC ID: CAPEC-568
Version: 1.0
Created: 11 February 2020
Last Modified: 24 March 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description
ADVSTORESHELL

ADVSTORESHELL can perform keylogging.[13][14]

Agent Tesla

Agent Tesla can log keystrokes on the victim’s machine.[49][50][51][52]

APT28

APT28 has used tools to perform keylogging.[117][55]

APT3

APT3 has used a keylogging tool that records keystrokes in encrypted files.[103]

APT32

APT32 has abused the PasswordChangeNotify to monitor for and capture account password changes.[125]

APT38

APT38 used a Trojan called KEYLIME to capture keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[106]

APT39

APT39 has used tools for capturing keystrokes.[123]

APT41

APT41 used a keylogger called GEARSHIFT on a target system.[93]

Astaroth

Astaroth logs keystrokes from the victim's machine. [82]

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.[98]

BabyShark

BabyShark has a PowerShell-based remote administration ability that can implement a PowerShell or C# based keylogger.[95]

BADNEWS

When it first starts, BADNEWS spawns a new thread to log keystrokes.[41][42][43]

BadPatch

BadPatch has a keylogging capability.[22]

Bandook

Bandook contains keylogging capabilities[71]

BISCUIT

BISCUIT can capture keystrokes.[76]

BlackEnergy

BlackEnergy has run a keylogger plug-in on a victim.[77]

Cadelspy

Cadelspy has the ability to log keystrokes on the compromised host.[101]

Carbanak

Carbanak logs key strokes for configured processes and sends them back to the C2 server.[24][25]

Cardinal RAT

Cardinal RAT can log keystrokes.[73]

Catchamas

Catchamas collects keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[62]

CHOPSTICK

CHOPSTICK is capable of performing keylogging.[54][13][55]

Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can track key presses with a keylogger module.[9]

Cobian RAT

Cobian RAT has a feature to perform keylogging on the victim’s machine.[60]

CosmicDuke

CosmicDuke uses a keylogger.[66]

DarkComet

DarkComet has a keylogging capability.[21]

Darkhotel

Darkhotel has used a keylogger.[110]

Daserf

Daserf can log keystrokes.[74][75]

Derusbi

Derusbi is capable of logging keystrokes.[36]

DOGCALL

DOGCALL is capable of logging keystrokes.[63][64]

Duqu

Duqu can track key presses with a keylogger module.[33]

DustySky

DustySky contains a keylogger.[15]

Empire

Empire includes keylogging capabilities for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems.[10]

EvilGrab

EvilGrab has the capability to capture keystrokes.[16]

FakeM

FakeM contains a keylogger module.[78]

FIN4

FIN4 has captured credentials via fake Outlook Web App (OWA) login pages and has also used a .NET based keylogger.[113][114]

Fysbis

Fysbis can perform keylogging.[92]

gh0st RAT

gh0st RAT has a keylogger.[37]

GreyEnergy

GreyEnergy has a module to harvest pressed keystrokes.[56]

Group5

Malware used by Group5 is capable of capturing keystrokes.[88]

Helminth

The executable version of Helminth has a module to log keystrokes.[69]

HTTPBrowser

HTTPBrowser is capable of capturing keystrokes on victims.[59]

Imminent Monitor

Imminent Monitor has a keylogging module.[12]

JPIN

JPIN contains a custom keylogger.[48]

jRAT

jRAT has the capability to log keystrokes from the victim’s machine, both offline and online.[67][68]

Kasidet

Kasidet has the ability to initiate keylogging.[79]

Ke3chang

Ke3chang has used keyloggers.[118]

KeyBoy

KeyBoy installs a keylogger for intercepting credentials and keystrokes.[89]

Kimsuky

Kimsuky has used a PowerShell-based keylogger.[121][122]

Kivars

Kivars has the ability to initiate keylogging on the infected host.[97]

KONNI

KONNI has the capability to perform keylogging.[46]

Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group malware KiloAlfa contains keylogging functionality.[104][105]

Lokibot

Lokibot has the ability to capture input on the compromised host via keylogging.[100]

Machete

Machete logs keystrokes from the victim’s machine.[90][91]

MacSpy

MacSpy captures keystrokes.[18]

Magic Hound

Magic Hound malware is capable of keylogging.[115] Magic Hound used CWoolger and MPK, custom-developed malware, which recorded all keystrokes on an infected system.[116]

Matroyshka

Matroyshka is capable of keylogging.[29][30]

menuPass

menuPass has used key loggers to steal usernames and passwords.[120]

Micropsia

Micropsia has keylogging capabilities.[72]

MoonWind

MoonWind has a keylogger.[28]

NanoCore

NanoCore can perform keylogging on the victim’s machine.[26]

NavRAT

NavRAT logs the keystrokes on the targeted system.[61]

NetTraveler

NetTraveler contains a keylogger.[40]

NETWIRE

NETWIRE can perform keylogging.[34][35]

njRAT

njRAT is capable of logging keystrokes.[86][87][88]

OilRig

OilRig has used keylogging tools called KEYPUNCH and LONGWATCH.[108][109]

Okrum

Okrum was seen using a keylogger tool to capture keystrokes. [99]

OwaAuth

OwaAuth captures and DES-encrypts credentials before writing the username and password to a log file, C:\log.txt.[59]

PLATINUM

PLATINUM has used several different keyloggers.[48]

PlugX

PlugX has a module for capturing keystrokes per process including window titles.[20]

PoetRAT

PoetRAT has used a Python tool named klog.exe for keylogging.[96]

PoisonIvy

PoisonIvy contains a keylogger.[57][58]

PoshC2

PoshC2 has modules for keystroke logging and capturing credentials from spoofed Outlook authentication messages.[11]

PowerSploit

PowerSploit's Get-Keystrokes Exfiltration module can log keystrokes.[7][8]

Prikormka

Prikormka contains a keylogger module that collects keystrokes and the titles of foreground windows.[17]

Proton

Proton uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes.[18]

Pupy

Pupy uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes it then sends back to the server after it is stopped.[2]

QuasarRAT

QuasarRAT has a built-in keylogger.[5][6]

Regin

Regin contains a keylogger.[23]

Remcos

Remcos has a command for keylogging.[3][4]

Remexi

Remexi gathers and exfiltrates keystrokes from the machine.[83]

Remsec

Remsec contains a keylogger component.[31][32]

Revenge RAT

Revenge RAT has a plugin for keylogging.[84][85]

ROKRAT

ROKRAT uses a keylogger to capture keystrokes and location of where the user is typing.[70]

Rover

Rover has keylogging functionality.[27]

RTM

RTM can record keystrokes from both the keyboard and virtual keyboard.[38][39]

RunningRAT

RunningRAT captures keystrokes and sends them back to the C2 server.[45]

Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has used a keylogger to capture keystrokes by using the SetWindowsHookEx function.[124]

Sowbug

Sowbug has used keylogging tools.[107]

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}}. [119]

Sykipot

Sykipot contains keylogging functionality to steal passwords.[19]

TajMahal

TajMahal has the ability to capture keystrokes on an infected host.[102]

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.[59][111][112]

TinyZBot

TinyZBot contains keylogger functionality.[80]

Unknown Logger

Unknown Logger is capable of recording keystrokes.[41]

VERMIN

VERMIN collects keystrokes from the victim machine.[81]

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.[53]

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.[65]

ZxShell

ZxShell has a feature to capture a remote computer's keystrokes using a keylogger.[93][94]

Mitigations

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

Detection

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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