Search Open Websites/Domains: Search Engines

ID Name
T1593.001 Social Media
T1593.002 Search Engines

Adversaries may use search engines to collect information about victims that can be used during targeting. Search engine services typical crawl online sites to index context and may provide users with specialized syntax to search for specific keywords or specific types of content (i.e. filetypes).[1][2]

Adversaries may craft various search engine queries depending on what information they seek to gather. Threat actors may use search engines to harvest general information about victims, as well as use specialized queries to look for spillages/leaks of sensitive information such as network details or credentials. 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: Valid Accounts or Phishing).

ID: T1593.002
Sub-technique of:  T1593
Tactic: Reconnaissance
Platforms: PRE
Version: 1.0
Created: 02 October 2020
Last Modified: 15 April 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0094 Kimsuky

Kimsuky has searched for vulnerabilities, tools, and geopolitical trends on Google to target victims.[3]


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.


Much of this activity may have a very high occurrence and associated false positive rate, as well as potentially taking place outside the visibility of the target organization, making detection difficult for defenders.

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