Compromise Accounts: Email Accounts

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

Before compromising a victim, adversaries may compromise email accounts that can be used during targeting. Adversaries can use compromised email accounts to further their operations, such as leveraging them to conduct Phishing for Information or Phishing. Utilizing an existing persona with a compromised email account may engender a level of trust in a potential victim if they have a relationship, or knowledge of, the compromised persona. Compromised email accounts can also be used in the acquisition of infrastructure (ex: Domains).

A variety of methods exist for compromising email 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 email accounts, adversaries may conduct Reconnaissance to inform decisions about which accounts to compromise to further their operation.

Adversaries can use a compromised email account to hijack existing email threads with targets of interest.

ID: T1586.002
Sub-technique of:  T1586
Tactic: Resource Development
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.0
Created: 01 October 2020
Last Modified: 20 October 2020


Mitigation Description

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.


Much of this activity will take place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection of this behavior difficult. Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access (ex: Phishing).