Create Account

Adversaries with a sufficient level of access may create a local system or domain account. Such accounts may be used for persistence that do not require persistent remote access tools to be deployed on the system.

The net user commands can be used to create a local or domain account.

ID: T1136

Tactic: Persistence

Platform:  Linux, macOS, Windows

Permissions Required:  Administrator

Data Sources:  Process monitoring, Process command-line parameters, Authentication logs, Windows event logs

Version: 1.0

Mitigations

Mitigation Description
Multi factor Authentication Use multi-factor authentication for user and privileged accounts.
Network Segmentation Configure access controls and firewalls to limit access to domain controllers and systems used to create and manage accounts.
Operating System Configuration Protect domain controllers by ensuring proper security configuration for critical servers.
Privileged Account Management Do not allow domain administrator accounts to be used for day-to-day operations that may expose them to potential adversaries on unprivileged systems.

Examples

Name Description
APT3

APT3 has been known to create or enable accounts, such as support_388945a0.[1]

Calisto

Calisto has the capability to add its own account to the victim's machine.[2]

Carbanak

Carbanak can create a Windows account.[3]

Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 created accounts on victims, including administrator accounts, some of which appeared to be tailored to each individual staging target.[4][5]

Empire

Empire has a module for creating a new domain user or local user if permissions allow.[6]

Flame

Flame can create backdoor accounts with the login "HelpAssistant" with the Limbo module.[7][8]

HiddenWasp

HiddenWasp creates a user account as a means to provide initial persistence to the compromised machine.[9]

Leafminer

Leafminer used a tool called Imecab to set up a persistent remote access account on the victim machine.[10]

Mis-Type

Mis-Type may create a temporary user on the system named "Lost_{{Unique Identifier}}."[11]

Net

The net user username \password and net user username \password \domain commands in Net can be used to create a local or domain account respectively.[12]

Pupy

Pupy can user PowerView to perform "net user" commands and create local system and domain accounts.[13]

S-Type

S-Type may create a temporary user on the system named "Lost_{{Unique Identifier}}" with the password "pond~!@6"{{Unique Identifier}}."[11]

ServHelper

ServHelper may create a new account and add the new user to the "Remote Desktop Users" and "Administrators" groups.[14]

Soft Cell

Soft Cell created rogue, high-privileged domain user accounts to maintain access across waves of a compromise.[15]

Detection

Collect data on account creation within a network. Event ID 4720 is generated when a user account is created on a Windows system and domain controller. [16] Perform regular audits of domain and local system accounts to detect suspicious accounts that may have been created by an adversary.

References