Account Access Removal

Adversaries may interrupt availability of system and network resources by inhibiting access to accounts utilized by legitimate users. Accounts may be deleted, locked, or manipulated (ex: changed credentials) to remove access to accounts.

Adversaries may also subsequently log off and/or reboot boxes to set malicious changes into place.[1][2]

ID: T1531
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, SYSTEM, User, root
Impact Type: Availability
Version: 1.0
Created: 09 October 2019
Last Modified: 14 July 2020
Provided by LAYER 8

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0372 LockerGoga

LockerGoga has been observed changing account passwords and logging off current users.[1][2]

S0576 MegaCortex

MegaCortex has changed user account passwords and logged users off the system.[3]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0026 Active Directory Active Directory Object Modification
DS0002 User Account User Account Deletion
User Account Modification

Use process monitoring to monitor the execution and command line parameters of binaries involved in deleting accounts or changing passwords, such as use of Net. Windows event logs may also designate activity associated with an adversary's attempt to remove access to an account:

  • Event ID 4723 - An attempt was made to change an account's password
  • Event ID 4724 - An attempt was made to reset an account's password
  • Event ID 4726 - A user account was deleted
  • Event ID 4740 - A user account was locked out

Alerting on Net and these Event IDs may generate a high degree of false positives, so compare against baseline knowledge for how systems are typically used and correlate modification events with other indications of malicious activity where possible.