Search Victim-Owned Websites

Adversaries may search websites owned by the victim for information that can be used during targeting. Victim-owned websites may contain a variety of details, including names of departments/divisions, physical locations, and data about key employees such as names, roles, and contact info (ex: Email Addresses). These sites may also have details highlighting business operations and relationships.[1]

Adversaries may search victim-owned websites to gather actionable information. Information from these sources may reveal opportunities for other forms of reconnaissance (ex: Phishing for Information or Search Open Technical Databases), establishing operational resources (ex: Establish Accounts or Compromise Accounts), and/or initial access (ex: Trusted Relationship or Phishing).

ID: T1594
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Reconnaissance
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.0
Created: 02 October 2020
Last Modified: 15 April 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
C0029 Cutting Edge

During Cutting Edge, threat actors peformed reconnaissance of victims' internal websites via proxied connections.[2]


EXOTIC LILY has used contact forms on victim websites to generate phishing e-mails.[3]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has searched for information on the target company's website.[4]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has conducted research against potential victim websites as part of its operational planning.[5]

G0122 Silent Librarian

Silent Librarian has searched victim's websites to identify the interests and academic areas of targeted individuals and to scrape source code, branding, and organizational contact information for phishing pages.[6][7][8]


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. Efforts should focus on minimizing the amount and sensitivity of data available to external parties.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0015 Application Log Application Log Content

Monitor for suspicious network traffic that could be indicative of adversary reconnaissance, such as rapid successions of requests indicative of web crawling and/or large quantities of requests originating from a single source (especially if the source is known to be associated with an adversary). Analyzing web metadata may also reveal artifacts that can be attributed to potentially malicious activity, such as referer or user-agent string HTTP/S fields.