Account Discovery: Domain Account

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of domain accounts. This information can help adversaries determine which domain accounts exist to aid in follow-on behavior such as targeting specific accounts which possess particular privileges.

Commands such as net user /domain and net group /domain of the Net utility, dscacheutil -q groupon macOS, and ldapsearch on Linux can list domain users and groups. PowerShell cmdlets including Get-ADUser and Get-ADGroupMember may enumerate members of Active Directory groups.[1]

ID: T1087.002
Sub-technique of:  T1087
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Contributors: ExtraHop; Miriam Wiesner, @miriamxyra, Microsoft Security
Version: 1.2
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 15 April 2024

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0552 AdFind

AdFind can enumerate domain users.[2][3][4][5][6]

G0096 APT41

APT41 used built-in net commands to enumerate domain administrator users.[7]

S0239 Bankshot

Bankshot gathers domain and account names/information through process monitoring.[8]

S0534 Bazar

Bazar has the ability to identify domain administrator accounts.[9][10]

S1068 BlackCat

BlackCat can utilize net use commands to identify domain users.[11]

S0521 BloodHound

BloodHound can collect information about domain users, including identification of domain admin accounts.[12]

S0635 BoomBox

BoomBox has the ability to execute an LDAP query to enumerate the distinguished name, SAM account name, and display name for all domain users.[13]


BRONZE BUTLER has used net user /domain to identify account information.[14]

S1063 Brute Ratel C4

Brute Ratel C4 can use LDAP queries, net group "Domain Admins" /domain and net user /domain for discovery.[15][16]

G0114 Chimera

Chimera has has used net user /dom and net user Administrator to enumerate domain accounts including administrator accounts.[17][18]

S0154 Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike can determine if the user on an infected machine is in the admin or domain admin group.[19]

S0488 CrackMapExec

CrackMapExec can enumerate the domain user accounts on a targeted system.[20]

G0035 Dragonfly

Dragonfly has used batch scripts to enumerate users on a victim domain controller.[21]

S0105 dsquery

dsquery can be used to gather information on user accounts within a domain.[22][23]

S0363 Empire

Empire can acquire local and domain user account information.[24][25]

G1016 FIN13

FIN13 can identify user accounts associated with a Service Principal Name and query Service Principal Names within the domain by utilizing the following scripts: GetUserSPNs.vbs and querySpn.vbs.[26][27]

G0037 FIN6

FIN6 has used Metasploit’s PsExec NTDSGRAB module to obtain a copy of the victim's Active Directory database.[28]

G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has used the Softerra LDAP browser to browse documentation on service accounts.[29]

S1022 IceApple

The IceApple Active Directory Querier module can perform authenticated requests against an Active Directory server.[30]

S0483 IcedID

IcedID can query LDAP to identify additional users on the network to infect.[31]

G0004 Ke3chang

Ke3chang performs account discovery using commands such as net localgroup administrators and net group "REDACTED" /domain on specific permissions groups.[32]


LAPSUS$ has used the AD Explorer tool to enumerate users on a victim's network.[33][34]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass has used the Microsoft administration tool csvde.exe to export Active Directory data.[35]

G0069 MuddyWater

MuddyWater has used cmd.exe net user /domain to enumerate domain users.[36]

S0039 Net

Net commands used with the /domain flag can be used to gather information about and manipulate user accounts on the current domain.[37]

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.[38]

C0012 Operation CuckooBees

During Operation CuckooBees, the threat actors used the dsquery and dsget commands to get domain environment information and to query users in administrative groups.[39]

C0022 Operation Dream Job

During Operation Dream Job, Lazarus Group queried compromised victim's active directory servers to obtain the list of employees including administrator accounts.[40]

C0014 Operation Wocao

During Operation Wocao, threat actors used the net command to retrieve information about domain accounts.[41]

S0165 OSInfo

OSInfo enumerates local and domain users[42]

G0033 Poseidon Group

Poseidon Group searches for administrator accounts on both the local victim machine and the network.[43]

S0378 PoshC2

PoshC2 can enumerate local and domain user account information.[44]


POWRUNER may collect user account information by running net user /domain or a series of other commands on a victim.[45]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has used a tool to query Active Directory using LDAP, discovering information about usernames listed in AD.[46]

G1015 Scattered Spider

Scattered Spider leverages legitimate domain accounts to gain access to the target environment.[47][48]


SILENTTRINITY can use System.Security.AccessControl namespaces to retrieve domain user information.[49]

C0024 SolarWinds Compromise

During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 used PowerShell to discover domain accounts by exectuing Get-ADUser and Get-ADGroupMember.[1][50]

S0516 SoreFang

SoreFang can enumerate domain accounts via net.exe user /domain.[51]

S0603 Stuxnet

Stuxnet enumerates user accounts of the domain.[52]

S0018 Sykipot

Sykipot may use net group "domain admins" /domain to display accounts in the "domain admins" permissions group and net localgroup "administrators" to list local system administrator group membership.[53]

G1022 ToddyCat

ToddyCat has run net user %USER% /dom for account discovery.[54]

G0010 Turla

Turla has used net user /domain to enumerate domain accounts.[55]

S0476 Valak

Valak has the ability to enumerate domain admin accounts.[56]

G1017 Volt Typhoon

Volt Typhoon has run net group /dom and net group "Domain Admins" /dom in compromised environments for account discovery.[57][58]

G0102 Wizard Spider

Wizard Spider has identified domain admins through the use of net group "Domain admins" /DOMAIN. Wizard Spider has also leveraged the PowerShell cmdlet Get-ADComputer to collect account names from Active Directory data.[10][59]


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.[60]


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0017 Command Command Execution

Monitor for execution of commands and arguments associated with enumeration or information gathering of domain accounts and groups, such as net user /domain and net group /domain, dscacheutil -q groupon macOS, and ldapsearch on Linux.

System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment, and also to an extent in normal network operations. Therefore discovery 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.

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.

DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content

Monitor and analyze traffic patterns and packet inspection associated to LDAP and MSRPC that do not follow the expected protocol standards and traffic flows (e.g extraneous packets that do not belong to established flows, gratuitous or anomalous traffic patterns, anomalous syntax, or structure).

DS0009 Process OS API Execution

Monitor for API calls that may attempt to gather information about domain accounts such as type of user, privileges and groups.

Process Creation

Monitor for processes that can be used to enumerate domain accounts and groups, such as net.exe and net1.exe, especially when executed in quick succession.[61] Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.


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