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Not A Security Boundary: Breaking Forest Trusts

For years Microsoft has stated that the forest was the security boundary in Active Directory. For example, Microsoft’s “What Are Domains and Forests?” document (last updated in 2014) has a “Forests as Security Boundaries” section which states (emphasis added): Each forest is a single instance of the directory, the top-level Active Directory container, and a …

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Operational Guidance for Offensive User DPAPI Abuse

I’ve spoken about DPAPI (the Data Protection Application Programming Interface) a bit before, including how KeePass uses DPAPI for its “Windows User Account” key option. I recently dove into some of the amazing work that Benjamin Delpy has done concerning DPAPI and wanted to record some operational notes on abusing DPAPI with Mimikatz. Note: I am focusing on …

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A Guide to Attacking Domain Trusts

It’s been a while (nearly 2 years) since I wrote a post purely on Active Directory domain trusts. After diving into group scoping, I realized a few subtle misconceptions I previously had concerning trusts and group memberships. That, combined with the changes made to PowerView last year, convinced me to publish an up-to-date guide on …

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Pass-the-Hash Is Dead: Long Live LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy

Nearly three years ago, I wrote a post named “Pass-the-Hash is Dead: Long Live Pass-the-Hash” that detailed some operational implications of Microsoft’s KB2871997 patch. A specific sentence in the security advisory, “Changes to this feature include: prevent network logon and remote interactive logon to domain-joined machine using local accounts…” led me to believe (for the …

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