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Category: Active Directory Attacks


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_…

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…

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…
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…

Honey Token Threat Detection with StealthDEFEND

In this post we will discuss the concept of Honey Pots, and how StealthDEFEND utilizes Honey Tokens in its threat detection to provide an additional line of defense against attackers. Introduction to Honey Pots Wikipedia defines “Honey Pots” as a computer security mechanism set to detect, deflect, or, in some manner, counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Honey Pots are not a new concept in the realm of Information Security. Implementations of Honeypots …

Domain Persistence with Subauthentication Packages

A lot of my posts have covered Mimikatz and how it can be used to explore Active Directory and Windows security to learn how various attacks work.  Recently, the author of Mimikatz released a new feature which exposes a new attack surface that could be used to create persistence within AD.  This feature uses a subauthentication package to manipulate the Active Directory login process and escalate user privileges based on arbitrary conditions.  Basically, an attacker with ac…

What is DCSync? An Introduction

In this blog post, we’ll be talking about the DCSync attack and how we can use StealthDEFEND to detect and respond to this type of attack. DCSync was the topic of previous STEALTHbits Blog post, so we’ll start this post with a review of DCSync and then cover what we can do about this attack with StealthDEFEND. What is DCSync? DCSync is a late-stage kill chain attack that allows an attacker to simulate the behavior of Domain Controller (DC) in order to retrieve passwo…

How to Detect Pass-the-Hash Attacks

This is the first in a 3-part blog series, that will be followed by a webinar February 28th. Lateral movement techniques are one of the most common approaches attackers can use to infiltrate your network and obtain privileged access to your credentials and data. This has been seen recently with modern ransomware such as SamSam and Ryuk. We’ve looked recently at how to detect pass-the-hash attacks using honeypots and in doing research into the most effective ways to detect this type…

New Exchange Authentication Vulnerability uses AD Admin to Gain Privileges

STEALTHbits mitigates a new vulnerability that uses Exchange Authentication to gain AD Admin privileges A new attack has been posted by Dirk-jan Mollemma, an independent security researcher that exploits how Exchange uses NTLM over HTTP to authenticate to the Active Directory Domain. Read the complete details. This attack combines known vulnerabilities in a new way to achieve privilege escalation that can be used to attack AD. Here is how the attack works. An attacker sends a re…




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