Permission Groups Discovery: Local Groups

Adversaries may attempt to find local system groups and permission settings. The knowledge of local system permission groups can help adversaries determine which groups exist and which users belong to a particular group. Adversaries may use this information to determine which users have elevated permissions, such as the users found within the local administrators group.

Commands such as net localgroup of the Net utility, dscl . -list /Groups on macOS, and groups on Linux can list local groups.

ID: T1069.001
Sub-technique of:  T1069
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Contributors: Harshal Tupsamudre, Qualys; Miriam Wiesner, @miriamxyra, Microsoft Security
Version: 1.2
Created: 12 March 2020
Last Modified: 07 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0018 admin@338

admin@338 actors used the following command following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to list local groups: net localgroup administrator >> %temp%\download[1]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can collect information about local groups and members.[2]

C0015 C0015

During C0015, the threat actors used the command net localgroup "adminstrator" to identify accounts with local administrator rights.[3]

S0572 Caterpillar WebShell

Caterpillar WebShell can obtain a list of local groups of users from a system.[4]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has used net localgroup administrators to identify accounts with local administrative rights.[5]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can use net localgroup to list local groups on a system.[6]

S0082 Emissary

Emissary has the capability to execute the command net localgroup administrators.[7]

S0091 Epic

Epic gathers information on local group names.[8]

S0696 Flagpro

Flagpro has been used to execute the net localgroup administrators command on a targeted system.[9]

S0381 FlawedAmmyy

FlawedAmmyy enumerates the privilege level of the victim during the initial infection.[10][11]

S0170 Helminth

Helminth has checked the local administrators group.[12]


HEXANE has run net localgroup to enumerate local groups.[13]

S0201 JPIN

JPIN can obtain the permissions of the victim user.[14]

S0265 Kazuar

Kazuar gathers information about local groups and members.[15]

S0236 Kwampirs

Kwampirs collects a list of users belonging to the local users and administrators groups with the commands net localgroup administrators and net localgroup users.[16]

S0039 Net

Commands such as net group and net localgroup can be used in Net to gather information about and manipulate groups.[17]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used net localgroup administrators to find local administrators on compromised systems.[18]

C0012 Operation CuckooBees

During Operation CuckooBees, the threat actors used the net group command as part of their advanced reconnaissance.[19]

C0014 Operation Wocao

During Operation Wocao, threat actors used the command net localgroup administrators to list all administrators part of a local group.[20]

S0165 OSInfo

OSInfo has enumerated the local administrators group.[21]

S0378 PoshC2

PoshC2 contains modules, such as Get-LocAdm for enumerating permission groups.[22]


POWRUNER may collect local group information by running net localgroup administrators or a series of other commands on a victim.[23]

S0650 QakBot

QakBot can use net localgroup to enable discovery of local groups.[24][25]


SILENTTRINITY can obtain a list of local groups and members.[26]

S0060 Sys10

Sys10 collects the group name of the logged-in user and sends it to the C2.[27]

G0131 Tonto Team

Tonto Team has used the ShowLocalGroupDetails command to identify administrator, user, and guest accounts on a compromised host.[28]

G0010 Turla

Turla has used net localgroup and net localgroup Administrators to enumerate group information, including members of the local administrators group.[29]

G1017 Volt Typhoon

Volt Typhoon has run net localgroup administrators in compromised environments to enumerate accounts.[30]


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


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0017 Command Command Execution

Monitor for executed commands and arguments that may attempt to find local system groups and permission settings.

DS0036 Group Group Enumeration

Monitor for logging that may suggest a list of available groups and/or their associated settings has been extracted, ex. Windows EID 4798 and 4799.

DS0009 Process OS API Execution

Monitor for API calls associated with finding local system groups and permission settings, such as NetLocalGroupEnum. Other API calls relevant to Local Group discovery include NetQueryDisplayInformation and NetGetDisplayInformationIndex.

Note: Most EDR tools do not support direct monitoring of API calls due to the sheer volume of calls produced by an endpoint but may have alerts or events that are based on abstractions of OS API calls. Dynamic malware analysis tools (i.e., sandboxes) can be used to trace the execution, including OS API calls, for a single PE binary.

Process Creation

Monitor newly executed processes that may attempt to find local system groups and permission settings.

Note: Event IDs are for Sysmon (Event ID 1 - process creation) and Windows Security Log (Event ID 4688 - a new process has been created). The logic in the Analytic looks for any instances of net.exe used for local user/group discovery; although this utility is not normally used for benign purposes, such usage by system administrator actions may trigger false positives.

Analytic 1 - Suspicious Processes

processes = filter processes where ( (event_id == "1" OR event_id == "4688") AND exe = "net.exe" AND ( command_line="net user" OR command_line="net group" OR command_line="net localgroup" OR command_line="get-localgroup" OR command_line="get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership*" )


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