Browsed by
Category: Active Directory Attacks

This series details Active Directory attacks you need to know about–how they work, the techniques and tools cyber attackers use to perpetrate these AD attacks, and what you can do to detect, block, and mitigate them.

Attacking Local Account Passwords

Attacking Local Account Passwords

So far in this series, we’ve learned how attackers can target weak domain passwords in Active Directory.  To complete the story, we need to look beyond domain accounts and understand the ways to attack local accounts on Windows servers and desktops.  For this post, we will focus on the most important local account: Administrator.  The Administrator account is built into every Windows operating system and provides full control over the system, including the ability to compromise domain accounts through pass-the-hash…

Read More Read More

Finding Weak Passwords in Active Directory

Finding Weak Passwords in Active Directory

So far in this series we’ve looked at how plain text passwords can be exposed within Active Directory, which represents a major vulnerability for most AD environments.  However, even if you have proper controls to prevent plain text passwords in your network, attackers can still get them pretty efficiently.  How do they do this?  They guess.  And you’d be surprised how well guessing works at cracking passwords. As we covered in the introductory post for this series, guessing can be…

Read More Read More

Ways to Detect and Mitigate PowerShell Attacks

Ways to Detect and Mitigate PowerShell Attacks

Detect and Mitigate PowerShell Attacks PowerShell has grown as an attack platform against Windows systems as a way for attackers to “live off the land” and use tools that are natively available. We’ve already looked at Empire, DeathStar, and CrackMapExec and how those tools leverage PowerShell to invoke Mimikatz and initiate other attacks. In this post, we will explore what you can do to detect and protect against PowerShell attacks. What’s So Great about PowerShell? There are several reasons attackers…

Read More Read More

Lateral Movement with CrackMapExec

Lateral Movement with CrackMapExec

In the previous post, we explored how attackers can use Mimikatz to automatically escalate privileges to Domain Admins using Empire and DeathStar. In this post, I will take a look at another open-source tool that leverages Mimikatz to harvest credentials and move laterally through an Active Directory environment: CrackMapExec. Self-described as a “swiss army knife for pentesting networks”, CrackMapExec is a Python-based utility that is geared towards evaluating and exploiting weaknesses in Active Directory security. This approach involves gathering credentials…

Read More Read More

How Attackers are Stealing Your Credentials with Mimikatz

How Attackers are Stealing Your Credentials with Mimikatz

Stealing Credentials with Mimikatz Mimikatz is an open-source tool built to gather and exploit Windows credentials. Since its introduction in 2011 by author Benjamin Delpy, the attacks that Mimikatz is capable of have continued to grow. Also, the ways in which Mimikatz can be packaged and deployed have become even more creative and difficult to detect by security professionals. This has led to Mimikatz recently being tied to some of the most prevalent cyber attacks such as the Petya ransomware….

Read More Read More

Unlocking All the Doors to Active Directory with the Skeleton Key Attack

Unlocking All the Doors to Active Directory with the Skeleton Key Attack

Introduction: Unlocking Active Directory with the Skeleton Key Attack There are several methods for compromising Active Directory accounts that attackers can use to elevate privileges and create persistence once they have established themselves in your domain. The Skeleton Key is a particularly scary piece of malware targeted at Active Directory domains to make it alarmingly easy to hijack any account. This malware injects itself into LSASS and creates a master password that will work for any account in the domain….

Read More Read More