When an attacker initially compromises a system on a network, they will have little to no privileges within the domain. However, due to the architecture of Active Directory, once an attacker has infiltrated any domain-joined computer, they are able to query the directory and its objects using LDAP, allowing them to locate sensitive accounts and assets to target in their attack.
Group Policy Preferences allow administrators to create and manage local accounts on servers and workstations in an Active Directory domain. Attackers can easily find and obtain the encrypted passwords of administrative account credentials managed by Group Policy Preferences and decrypt them using the Microsoft-published AES key.
Password Spraying is a technique attackers leverage to guess the password of an account. By trying a small number of highly common passwords against large numbers of accounts while also staying below an organization’s defined lockout threshold, the attacker can compromise accounts without any elevated privileges and likely without detection.
DCSync is a command within Mimikatz that an attacker can leverage to simulate the behavior of Domain Controller (DC). More simply, it allows the attacker to pretend to be a Domain Controller and ask other DC’s for user password data.
By stealing the Ntds.dit file – Active Directory’s database – an attacker can extract a copy of every user’s password hash and subsequently act as any user in the domain.
Modifying the Access Control List (ACL) of the AdminSDHolder container in Active Directory enables an attacker to achieve and maintain persistence in an already compromised domain, even if an administrator finds and removes the attacker’s permission on a protected object the AdminSDHolder controls.
DCShadow enables an attacker (using Mimikatz) to create a fake Active Directory Domain Controller (DC) that can replicate malicious changes to legitimate DCs.
By obtaining the password hash for the most powerful service account in Active Directory – the KRBTGT account – an attacker is able to compromise every account within Active Directory, giving them unlimited and virtually undetectable access to any system connected to AD.
Pass the Hash is a technique that enables an attacker (typically using Mimikatz) to leverage the LanMan or NTLM hashes of a user’s password – instead of the user’s plaintext password – to authenticate to a directory or resource.
Kerberoasting is an attack method that allows an attacker to crack the passwords of service accounts in Active Directory offline and without fear of detection.