Obtain Capabilities

Adversaries may buy and/or steal capabilities that can be used during targeting. Rather than developing their own capabilities in-house, adversaries may purchase, freely download, or steal them. Activities may include the acquisition of malware, software (including licenses), exploits, certificates, and information relating to vulnerabilities. Adversaries may obtain capabilities to support their operations throughout numerous phases of the adversary lifecycle.

In addition to downloading free malware, software, and exploits from the internet, adversaries may purchase these capabilities from third-party entities. Third-party entities can include technology companies that specialize in malware and exploits, criminal marketplaces, or from individuals.[1][2]

In addition to purchasing capabilities, adversaries may steal capabilities from third-party entities (including other adversaries). This can include stealing software licenses, malware, SSL/TLS and code-signing certificates, or raiding closed databases of vulnerabilities or exploits.[3]

ID: T1588
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.0
Created: 01 October 2020
Last Modified: 15 April 2021


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.


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 Defense Evasion or Command and Control.