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Category: Active Directory Attacks

Understanding Lateral Movement and Privilege Escalation

The Techniques Attackers Use and Best Practices for Defending Your Organization Introduction An attacker who gets into your network is seldom content with their initial foothold. To achieve their ultimate objective, whether that’s stealing sensitive information or planting malware, they need to leverage the account they have compromised to move laterally through your environment and escalate their privileges until they gain access to more data or resources. In other words, the accoun…


Active Directory persistence through userAccountControl manipulation I’ve been doing some research on group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs) recently and reading the MS-SAMR protocol specification for some information. I happened to stumble across some interesting information in the userAccountControl section which made us drop what we were doing to test it: Figure 1 – Part of the userAccountControl section of the MS-SAMR specification Effectively, when the UF_SERVER_TRUST_…
Making Internal Reconnaissance Harder Using NetCease and SAMRi10

Making Internal Reconnaissance Harder Using NetCease and SAMRi10

What is Internal Reconnaissance? Internal Reconnaissance is one of the first steps an attacker will take once they have compromised a user or computer on the internal network. This usually involves using tools or scripts to enumerate and collect information to help them identify where they should try and compromise next on the internal network to get what they need. An example of a tool that is commonly used for internal reconnaissance is BloodHound which can map out paths for an attacker….

Setup, Configuration, and Task Execution with Covenant: The Complete Guide

In this blog post, we are taking a deeper dive into Covenant. Covenant is one of the latest and greatest Command and Control (C2) Post Exploitation Frameworks which I covered in In my previous blog post. In that post, we discussed Covenant on a high level but now let’s go through the process of configuring and using Covenant to execute payloads on compromised hosts. NOTE: This post demonstrates the capabilities of Covenant in Mid-September 2019. Getting Setup and Starting Covenant T…

Protecting Against DCShadow

What Organizations Can Do to Stop a DCShadow Attack Recently, I came across a post outlining how companies CANNOT effectively defend against a DCShadow attack but instead need to take a reactive approach to identify when it may have occurred by monitoring their environment, and rolling back any unwanted changes once they were identified. Unfortunately, reacting to an incident could mean the damage is already done and a malicious actor has run off with the ‘keys to the kingdom’. The best co…
What is a DCShadow Attack and How to Defend Against it

What is a DCShadow Attack and How to Defend Against it

In this blog post, we’ll be covering the DCShadow attack and how we can use StealthDEFEND to detect and respond to this type of attack. DCShadow was the topic of previous STEALTHbits Blog post, so in this post, we’ll start with a review of DCShadow and then focus on how we can DETECT and RESPOND to this attack with StealthDEFEND. Introduction to DCShadow DCShadow is another late-stage kill chain attack that allows an attacker with privil…
Next-Gen Open Source C2 Frameworks in a Post PSEmpire World Covenant

Next-Gen Open Source C2 Frameworks in a Post PSEmpire World: Covenant

Rest in Peace PowerShell Empire PowerShell Empire (PSEmpire) is a Command and Control (C2) Post Exploitation Framework that has been discussed in a variety of posts on the STEALTHbits Blog. What is PSEmpire? PSEmpire is a great tool with a wide variety of uses in the Information Security community including learning, red teaming and even more nefarious uses such as being used by the Ryuk Ransomware. Sadly, it has been officially announced the PSEmpire is no longer b…

Detecting Persistence through Active Directory Extended Rights

Today, I came across an interesting article (since posting, the original post has been taken offline) where the author described how an attacker could manipulate the permissions on extended attributes to create persistence once they have compromised an Active Directory domain.  Read the article for a great breakdown of the attack, but here’s a quick summary. Step 1 – Domain Compromise An attacker compromised Domain Admin privileges within Active Directory and wants to make sure the…
Lateral Movement Through Pass-the-Cache

Lateral Movement Through Pass-the-Cache

Lateral movement techniques like Pass-the-Hash, Pass-the-Ticket, and Overpass-the-Hash provide attackers with ways to take stolen or compromised credentials and spread out across a network to achieve privilege escalation.  I recently found myself testing some Active Directory attacks from a Kali Linux host, and needed a way to use compromised credentials from this Linux system on my Windows boxes.  Luckily, this is something supported by Mimikatz and surprisingly easy to perform.&nb…
Resource-Based Constrained Delegation Abuse

Resource-Based Constrained Delegation Abuse

Abusing RBCD and MachineAccountQuota Delegation is an area that is confusing and complicated for most Active Directory administrators. Unconstrained delegation, constrained delegation, and even resource-based constrained delegation all play a role in not only your Active Directory infrastructure, but also its security posture. For example, unconstrained delegation is very insecure, and can be abused relatively easily. If you’re unfamiliar with the different types of delegation and how they…




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