Compromise Accounts: Social Media Accounts

ID Name
T1586.001 Social Media Accounts
T1586.002 Email Accounts

Adversaries may compromise social media accounts that can be used during targeting. For operations incorporating social engineering, the utilization of an online persona may be important. Rather than creating and cultivating social media profiles (i.e. Social Media Accounts), adversaries may compromise existing social media accounts. Utilizing an existing persona may engender a level of trust in a potential victim if they have a relationship, or knowledge of, the compromised persona.

A variety of methods exist for compromising social media accounts, such as gathering credentials via Phishing for Information, purchasing credentials from third-party sites, or by brute forcing credentials (ex: password reuse from breach credential dumps).[1] Prior to compromising social media accounts, adversaries may conduct Reconnaissance to inform decisions about which accounts to compromise to further their operation.

Personas may exist on a single site or across multiple sites (ex: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). Compromised social media accounts may require additional development, this could include filling out or modifying profile information, further developing social networks, or incorporating photos.

Adversaries can use a compromised social media profile to create new, or hijack existing, connections to targets of interest. These connections may be direct or may include trying to connect through others.[2][3] Compromised profiles may be leveraged during other phases of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access (ex: Spearphishing via Service).

ID: T1586.001
Sub-technique of:  T1586
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.1
Created: 01 October 2020
Last Modified: 16 October 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0065 Leviathan

Leviathan has compromised social media accounts to conduct social engineering attacks.[4]


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.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0029 Network Traffic Network Traffic Content
DS0021 Persona Social Media

Consider monitoring social media activity related to your organization. Suspicious activity may include personas claiming to work for your organization or recently modified accounts making numerous connection requests to accounts affiliated with your organization.

Detection efforts may be focused on related stages of the adversary lifecycle, such as during Initial Access (ex: Spearphishing via Service).