Account Discovery

Adversaries may attempt to get a listing of accounts on a system or within an environment. This information can help adversaries determine which accounts exist to aid in follow-on behavior.

ID: T1087
Sub-techniques:  T1087.001, T1087.002, T1087.003, T1087.004
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Linux, Office 365, SaaS, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: User
Contributors: Daniel Stepanic, Elastic; Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC); Travis Smith, Tripwire
Version: 2.3
Created: 31 May 2017
Last Modified: 13 October 2021
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0016 APT29

APT29 obtained a list of users and their roles from an Exchange server using Get-ManagementRoleAssignment.[1]

S0445 ShimRatReporter

ShimRatReporter listed all non-privileged and privileged accounts available on the machine.[2]


XCSSET attempts to discover accounts from various locations such as a user's Evernote, AppleID, Telegram, Skype, and WeChat data.[3]


ID Mitigation Description
M1028 Operating System Configuration

Prevent administrator accounts from being enumerated when an application is elevating through UAC since it can lead to the disclosure of account names. The Registry key is located HKLM\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\CredUI\EnumerateAdministrators. It can be disabled through GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Credential User Interface: E numerate administrator accounts on elevation. [4]


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0022 File File Access
DS0009 Process Process Creation
DS0002 User Account User Account Metadata

System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as Lateral Movement, based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. Remote access tools with built-in features may interact directly with the Windows API to gather information. Information may also be acquired through Windows system management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation and PowerShell.

Monitor for processes that can be used to enumerate user accounts, such as net.exe and net1.exe, especially when executed in quick succession.[5]