Acquire Infrastructure: Domains

Adversaries may purchase domains that can be used during targeting. Domain names are the human readable names used to represent one or more IP addresses. They can be purchased or, in some cases, acquired for free.

Adversaries can use purchased domains for a variety of purposes, including for Phishing, Drive-by Compromise, and Command and Control.[1] Adversaries may choose domains that are similar to legitimate domains, including through use of homoglyphs or use of a different top-level domain (TLD).[2][3] Typosquatting may be used to aid in delivery of payloads via Drive-by Compromise. Adversaries can also use internationalized domain names (IDNs) to create visually similar lookalike domains for use in operations.[4]

Domain registrars each maintain a publicly viewable database that displays contact information for every registered domain. Private WHOIS services display alternative information, such as their own company data, rather than the owner of the domain. Adversaries may use such private WHOIS services to obscure information about who owns a purchased domain. Adversaries may further interrupt efforts to track their infrastructure by using varied registration information and purchasing domains with different domain registrars.[5]

ID: T1583.001
Sub-technique of:  T1583
Platforms: PRE
Contributors: Deloitte Threat Library Team; Vinayak Wadhwa, Lucideus; Wes Hurd
Version: 1.1
Created: 30 September 2020
Last Modified: 16 October 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0006 APT1

APT1 has registered hundreds of domains for use in operations.[5]

G0007 APT28

APT28 registered domains imitating NATO, OSCE security websites, Caucasus information resources, and other organizations.[2][6][7]

G0016 APT29

APT29 has acquired C2 domains, sometimes through resellers.[8][9][10]

G0050 APT32

APT32 has set up and operated websites to gather information and deliver malware.[11]

G0035 Dragonfly

Dragonfly has registered domains for targeting intended victims.[12]

G0137 Ferocious Kitten

Ferocious Kitten has acquired domains imitating legitimate sites.[13]

G0046 FIN7

FIN7 has registered look-alike domains for use in phishing campaigns.[14]

G0047 Gamaredon Group

Gamaredon Group has registered multiple domains to facilitate payload staging and C2.[15][16]

G0136 IndigoZebra

IndigoZebra has established domains, some of which were designed to look like official government domains, for their operations.[17]

G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has registered domains to spoof targeted organizations and trusted third parties.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has acquired domains related to their campaigns to act as distribution points and C2 channels.[24][25][26]

G0140 LazyScripter

LazyScripter has used dynamic DNS providers to create legitimate-looking subdomains for C2.[27]

G0065 Leviathan

Leviathan has established domains that impersonate legitimate entities to use for targeting efforts. [28][29]

G0059 Magic Hound

Magic Hound has registered fraudulent domains such as "" and "" to target specific victims with phishing attacks.[30]

G0045 menuPass

menuPass has registered malicious domains for use in intrusion campaigns.[31][32]

G0129 Mustang Panda

Mustang Panda have acquired C2 domains prior to operations.[33][34][35]

G0034 Sandworm Team

Sandworm Team has registered domain names and created URLs that are often designed to mimic or spoof legitimate websites, such as email login pages, online file sharing and storage websites, and password reset pages.[36]

G0122 Silent Librarian

Silent Librarian has acquired domains to establish credential harvesting pages, often spoofing the target organization and using free top level domains .TK, .ML, .GA, .CF, and .GQ.[37][38][39][40][41][42]

G0139 TeamTNT

TeamTNT has obtained domains to host their payloads.[43]

G0134 Transparent Tribe

Transparent Tribe has registered domains to mimic file sharing, government, defense, and research websites for use in targeted campaigns.[44][45]

G0044 Winnti Group

Winnti Group has registered domains for C2 that mimicked sites of their intended targets.[46]


ZIRCONIUM has purchased domains for use in targeted campaigns.[47]


ID Mitigation Description
M1056 Pre-compromise

Organizations may intentionally register similar domains to their own to deter adversaries from creating typosquatting domains. Other facets of 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.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0038 Domain Name Active DNS
Domain Registration
Passive DNS

Domain registration information is, by design, captured in public registration logs. Consider use of services that may aid in tracking of newly acquired domains, such as WHOIS databases and/or passive DNS. In some cases it may be possible to pivot on known pieces of domain registration information to uncover other infrastructure purchased by the adversary. Consider monitoring for domains created with a similar structure to your own, including under a different TLD. Though various tools and services exist to track, query, and monitor domain name registration information, tracking across multiple DNS infrastructures can require multiple tools/services or more advanced analytics.[48]

Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access and Command and Control.


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