OS Credential Dumping: NTDS
Adversaries may attempt to access or create a copy of the Active Directory domain database in order to steal credential information, as well as obtain other information about domain members such as devices, users, and access rights. By default, the NTDS file (NTDS.dit) is located in
%SystemRoot%\NTDS\Ntds.dit of a domain controller.
In addition to looking NTDS files on active Domain Controllers, attackers may search for backups that contain the same or similar information.
The following tools and techniques can be used to enumerate the NTDS file and the contents of the entire Active Directory hashes.
- Volume Shadow Copy
- Using the in-built Windows tool, ntdsutil.exe
|Encrypt Sensitive Information||
Ensure Domain Controller backups are properly secured.
Ensure that local administrator accounts have complex, unique passwords across all systems on the network.
|Privileged Account Management||
Do not put user or admin domain accounts in the local administrator groups across systems unless they are tightly controlled, as this is often equivalent to having a local administrator account with the same password on all systems. Follow best practices for design and administration of an enterprise network to limit privileged account use across administrative tiers.
Limit credential overlap across accounts and systems by training users and administrators not to use the same password for multiple accounts.
Monitor processes and command-line arguments for program execution that may be indicative of credential dumping, especially attempts to access or copy the NTDS.dit.
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