Gather Victim Identity Information: Credentials
Adversaries may gather credentials that can be used during targeting. Account credentials gathered by adversaries may be those directly associated with the target victim organization or attempt to take advantage of the tendency for users to use the same passwords across personal and business accounts.
Adversaries may gather credentials from potential victims in various ways, such as direct elicitation via Phishing for Information. Adversaries may also compromise sites then include malicious content designed to collect website authentication cookies from visitors. Credential information may also be exposed to adversaries via leaks to online or other accessible data sets (ex: Search Engines, breach dumps, code repositories, etc.). Adversaries may also purchase credentials from dark web or other black-markets. Gathering this information may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Phishing for Information), establishing operational resources (ex: Compromise Accounts), and/or initial access (ex: External Remote Services or Valid Accounts).
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. Efforts should focus on minimizing the amount and sensitivity of data available to external parties.
Much of this activity may have a very high occurrence and associated false positive rate, as well as potentially taking place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection difficult for defenders.
Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access.
- Blasco, J. (2014, August 28). Scanbox: A Reconnaissance Framework Used with Watering Hole Attacks. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Thomson, I. (2017, September 26). Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy 'login details leaked'. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- McCarthy, K. (2015, February 28). FORK ME! Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database of 50,000 drivers. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Detectify. (2016, April 28). Slack bot token leakage exposing business critical information. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Sandvik, R. (2014, January 14). Attackers Scrape GitHub For Cloud Service Credentials, Hijack Account To Mine Virtual Currency. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Dylan Ayrey. (2016, December 31). truffleHog. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Michael Henriksen. (2018, June 9). Gitrob: Putting the Open Source in OSINT. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Ng, A. (2019, January 17). Massive breach leaks 773 million email addresses, 21 million passwords. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Burt, T. (2020, September 10). New cyberattacks targeting U.S. elections. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
- Jansen, W . (2021, January 12). Abusing cloud services to fly under the radar. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
- Wikoff, A. Emerson, R. (2020, July 16). New Research Exposes Iranian Threat Group Operations. Retrieved March 8, 2021.