Permission Groups Discovery: Domain Groups

Adversaries may attempt to find domain-level groups and permission settings. The knowledge of domain-level 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 domain administrators.

Commands such as net group /domain of the Net utility, dscacheutil -q group on macOS, and ldapsearch on Linux can list domain-level groups.

ID: T1069.002
Sub-technique of:  T1069
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, Process: Process Creation
Version: 1.0
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 12 March 2020

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0552 AdFind

AdFind can enumerate domain groups.[1][2][3]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can collect information about domain groups and members.[4]

S0488 CrackMapExec

CrackMapExec can gather the user accounts within domain groups.[5]

G0074 Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 used batch scripts to enumerate administrators and users in the domain.[6]

S0105 dsquery

dsquery can be used to gather information on permission groups within a domain.[7]

S0554 Egregor

Egregor can conduct Active Directory reconnaissance using tools such as Sharphound or AdFind.[8]


GRIFFON has used a reconnaissance module that can be used to retrieve Windows domain membership information.[9]

S0170 Helminth

Helminth has checked for the domain admin group and Exchange Trusted Subsystem groups using the commands net group Exchange Trusted Subsystem /domain and net group domain admins /domain.[10]

G0100 Inception

Inception has used specific malware modules to gather domain membership.[11]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang performs discovery of permission groups net group /domain.[12]

S0236 Kwampirs

Kwampirs collects a list of domain groups with the command net localgroup /domain.[13]

S0039 Net

Commands such as net group /domain can be used in Net to gather information about and manipulate groups.[14]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has used net group /domain, net group "domain admins" /domain, and net group "Exchange Trusted Subsystem" /domain to find domain group permission settings.[15]

S0165 OSInfo

OSInfo specifically looks for Domain Admins and power users within the domain.[16]


POWRUNER may collect domain group information by running net group /domain or a series of other commands on a victim.[17]

S0496 REvil

REvil can identify the domain membership of a compromised host.[18][19][20]

S0516 SoreFang

SoreFang can enumerate domain groups by executing net.exe group /domain.[21]

G0010 Turla

Turla has used net group "Domain Admins" /domain to identify domain administrators.[22]

S0514 WellMess

WellMess can identify domain group membership for the current user.[23]


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, such as Lateral Movement, 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.


  1. Brian Donohue, Katie Nickels, Paul Michaud, Adina Bodkins, Taylor Chapman, Tony Lambert, Jeff Felling, Kyle Rainey, Mike Haag, Matt Graeber, Aaron Didier.. (2020, October 29). A Bazar start: How one hospital thwarted a Ryuk ransomware outbreak. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  2. McKeague, B. et al. (2019, April 5). Pick-Six: Intercepting a FIN6 Intrusion, an Actor Recently Tied to Ryuk and LockerGoga Ransomware. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  3. Goody, K., et al (2019, January 11). A Nasty Trick: From Credential Theft Malware to Business Disruption. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  4. Red Team Labs. (2018, April 24). Hidden Administrative Accounts: BloodHound to the Rescue. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  5. byt3bl33d3r. (2018, September 8). SMB: Command Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  6. US-CERT. (2018, March 16). Alert (TA18-074A): Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  7. Microsoft. (n.d.). Dsquery. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  8. Bichet, J. (2020, November 12). Egregor – Prolock: Fraternal Twins ?. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  9. Namestnikov, Y. and Aime, F. (2019, May 8). FIN7.5: the infamous cybercrime rig “FIN7” continues its activities. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  10. Unit 42. (2017, December 15). Unit 42 Playbook Viewer. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  11. Symantec. (2018, March 14). Inception Framework: Alive and Well, and Hiding Behind Proxies. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  12. Villeneuve, N., Bennett, J. T., Moran, N., Haq, T., Scott, M., & Geers, K. (2014). OPERATION “KE3CHANG”: Targeted Attacks Against Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved November 12, 2014.