Compromise Accounts: Social Media Accounts

ID Name
T1586.001 Social Media Accounts
T1586.002 Email Accounts
T1586.003 Cloud Accounts

Adversaries may compromise social media accounts that can be used during targeting. For operations incorporating social engineering, the utilization of an online persona may be important. Rather than creating and cultivating social media profiles (i.e. Social Media Accounts), adversaries may compromise existing social media accounts. Utilizing an existing persona may engender a level of trust in a potential victim if they have a relationship, or knowledge of, the compromised persona.

A variety of methods exist for compromising social media accounts, such as gathering credentials via Phishing for Information, purchasing credentials from third-party sites, or by brute forcing credentials (ex: password reuse from breach credential dumps).[1] Prior to compromising social media accounts, adversaries may conduct Reconnaissance to inform decisions about which accounts to compromise to further their operation.

Personas may exist on a single site or across multiple sites (ex: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). Compromised social media accounts may require additional development, this could include filling out or modifying profile information, further developing social networks, or incorporating photos.

Adversaries can use a compromised social media profile to create new, or hijack existing, connections to targets of interest. These connections may be direct or may include trying to connect through others.[2][3] Compromised profiles may be leveraged during other phases of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access (ex: Spearphishing via Service).

ID: T1586.001
Sub-technique of:  T1586
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.1
Created: 01 October 2020
Last Modified: 16 October 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0065 Leviathan

Leviathan has compromised social media accounts to conduct social engineering attacks.[4]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team creates credential capture webpages to compromise existing, legitimate social media accounts.[5]


ID Mitigation Description
M1056 Pre-compromise

This technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on behaviors performed outside of the scope of enterprise defenses and controls.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content

Monitor and analyze traffic patterns and packet inspection associated to protocol(s), leveraging SSL/TLS inspection for encrypted traffic, 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). Consider correlation with process monitoring and command line to detect anomalous processes execution and command line arguments associated to traffic patterns (e.g. monitor anomalies in use of files that do not normally initiate connections for respective protocol(s)).

DS0021 Persona Social Media

Consider monitoring social media activity related to your organization. Suspicious activity may include personas claiming to work for your organization or recently modified accounts making numerous connection requests to accounts affiliated with your organization.Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access (ex: Spearphishing via Service).