Gather Victim Identity Information: Email Addresses
Before compromising a victim, adversaries may gather email addresses that can be used during targeting. Even if internal instances exist, organizations may have public-facing email infrastructure and addresses for employees.
Adversaries may easily gather email addresses, since they may be readily available and exposed via online or other accessible data sets (ex: Social Media or Search Victim-Owned Websites). Gathering this information may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Phishing for Information), establishing operational resources (ex: Email Accounts), and/or initial access (ex: Phishing).
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.