Account Discovery: Local Account

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of local system accounts. This information can help adversaries determine which local accounts exist on a system to aid in follow-on behavior.

Commands such as net user and net localgroup of the Net utility and id and groupson macOS and Linux can list local users and groups. On Linux, local users can also be enumerated through the use of the /etc/passwd file.

ID: T1087.001
Sub-technique of:  T1087
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, File: File Access, Process: Process Creation
Contributors: Daniel Stepanic, Elastic
Version: 1.1
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 13 April 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0018 admin@338

admin@338 actors used the following commands following exploitation of a machine with LOWBALL malware to enumerate user accounts: net user >> %temp%\download net user /domain >> %temp%\download[1]

S0331 Agent Tesla

Agent Tesla can collect account information from the victim’s machine.[2]

G0006 APT1

APT1 used the commands net localgroup,net user, and net group to find accounts on the system.[3]

G0022 APT3

APT3 has used a tool that can obtain info about local and global group users, power users, and administrators.[4]

G0050 APT32

APT32 enumerated administrative users using the commands net localgroup administrators.[5]

S0239 Bankshot

Bankshot gathers domain and account names/information through process monitoring.[6]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar can identify administrator accounts on an infected host.[7]

S0570 BitPaymer

BitPaymer can enumerate the sessions for each user logged onto the infected host.[8]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can identify users with local administrator rights.[9]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has used net user for account discovery.[10]

S0244 Comnie

Comnie uses the net user command.[11]

S0038 Duqu

The discovery modules used with Duqu can collect information on accounts and permissions.[12]

S0081 Elise

Elise executes net user after initial communication is made to the remote server.[13]

S0363 Empire

Empire can acquire local and domain user account information.[14]

S0091 Epic

Epic gathers a list of all user accounts, privilege classes, and time of last logon.[15]

G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has accessed ntuser.dat and UserClass.dat on compromised hosts.[16]

S0049 GeminiDuke

GeminiDuke collects information on local user accounts from the victim.[17]

S0537 HyperStack

HyperStack can enumerate all account names on a remote share.[18]

S0260 InvisiMole

InvisiMole has a command to list account information on the victim’s machine.[19]

S0265 Kazuar

Kazuar gathers information on local groups and members on the victim’s machine.[20]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang performs account discovery using commands such as net localgroup administrators and net group "REDACTED" /domain on specific permissions groups.[21]

S0236 Kwampirs

Kwampirs collects a list of accounts with the command net users.[22]

S0084 Mis-Type

Mis-Type may create a file containing the results of the command cmd.exe /c net user {{Username}}.[23]


MURKYTOP has the capability to retrieve information about users on remote hosts.[24]

S0039 Net

Commands under net user can be used in Net to gather information about and manipulate user accounts.[25]

G0049 OilRig

OilRig has run net user, net user /domain, net group "domain admins" /domain, and net group "Exchange Trusted Subsystem" /domain to get account listings on a victim.[26]

S0165 OSInfo

OSInfo enumerates local and domain users[4]

S0598 P.A.S. Webshell

P.A.S. Webshell can display the /etc/passwd file on a compromised host.[27]

S0453 Pony

Pony has used the NetUserEnum function to enumerate local accounts.[28]

G0033 Poseidon Group

Poseidon Group searches for administrator accounts on both the local victim machine and the network.[29]

S0378 PoshC2

PoshC2 can enumerate local and domain user account information.[30]

S0194 PowerSploit

PowerSploit's Get-ProcessTokenGroup Privesc-PowerUp module can enumerate all SIDs associated with its current token.[31][32]


POWERSTATS can retrieve usernames from compromised hosts.[33]


PUNCHBUGGY can gather user names.[34]

S0192 Pupy

Pupy uses PowerView and Pywerview to perform discovery commands such as net user, net group, net local group, etc.[35]


RATANKBA uses the net user command.[36]

S0125 Remsec

Remsec can obtain a list of users.[37]

S0085 S-Type

S-Type runs the command net user on a victim. S-Type also runs tests to determine the privilege level of the compromised user.[23]


SHOTPUT has a command to retrieve information about connected users.[38]

S0516 SoreFang

SoreFang can collect usernames from the local system via net.exe user.[39]

G0027 Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 has used net user to conduct internal discovery of systems.[40]

S0266 TrickBot

TrickBot collects the users of the system.[41][42]

G0010 Turla

Turla has used net user to enumerate local accounts on the system.[43][44]

S0452 USBferry

USBferry can use net user to gather information about local accounts.[45]

S0476 Valak

Valak has the ability to enumerate local admin accounts.[46]


ID Mitigation Description
M1028 Operating System Configuration

Prevent administrator accounts from being enumerated when an application is elevating through UAC since it can lead to the disclosure of account names. The Registry key is located at HKLM\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\CredUI\EnumerateAdministrators. It can be disabled through GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Credential User Interface: Enumerate administrator accounts on elevation.[47]


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.

Monitor for processes that can be used to enumerate user accounts, such as net.exe and net1.exe, especially when executed in quick succession.[48]


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