OS Credential Dumping: LSA Secrets

Adversaries with SYSTEM access to a host may attempt to access Local Security Authority (LSA) secrets, which can contain a variety of different credential materials, such as credentials for service accounts.[1][2][3] LSA secrets are stored in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY\Policy\Secrets. LSA secrets can also be dumped from memory.[4]

Reg can be used to extract from the Registry. Mimikatz can be used to extract secrets from memory.[4]

ID: T1003.004
Sub-technique of:  T1003
Tactic: Credential Access
Platforms: Windows
Permissions Required: SYSTEM
Data Sources: PowerShell logs, Process command-line parameters, Process monitoring
Contributors: Ed Williams, Trustwave, SpiderLabs
Version: 1.0
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 24 March 2020

Procedure Examples

Name Description
APT33

APT33 has used a variety of publicly available tools like LaZagne to gather credentials.[5][6]

CosmicDuke

CosmicDuke collects LSA secrets.[7]

CrackMapExec

CrackMapExec can dump hashed passwords from LSA secrets for the targeted system.[8]

Dragonfly 2.0

Dragonfly 2.0 dropped and executed SecretsDump to dump password hashes.[9][10][11]

gsecdump

gsecdump can dump LSA secrets.[12]

Impacket

SecretsDump and Mimikatz modules within Impacket can perform credential dumping to obtain account and password information.[13]

Ke3chang

Ke3chang has dumped credentials, including by using gsecdump.[14][15]

LaZagne

LaZagne can perform credential dumping from LSA secrets to obtain account and password information.[16]

Leafminer

Leafminer used several tools for retrieving login and password information, including LaZagne.[17]

menuPass

menuPass has used a modified version of pentesting tools wmiexec.vbs and secretsdump.py to dump credentials.[18][19]

Mimikatz

Mimikatz performs credential dumping to obtain account and password information useful in gaining access to additional systems and enterprise network resources. It contains functionality to acquire information about credentials in many ways, including from the LSA.[20][21][22][23]

MuddyWater

MuddyWater has performed credential dumping with LaZagne.[24][25]

OilRig

OilRig has used credential dumping tools such as LaZagne to steal credentials to accounts logged into the compromised system and to Outlook Web Access.[26][27][28][29]

Pupy

Pupy can use Lazagne for harvesting credentials.[30]

Threat Group-3390

Threat Group-3390 actors have used gsecdump to dump credentials. They have also dumped credentials from domain controllers.[31][32]

Mitigations

Mitigation Description
Password Policies

Ensure that local administrator accounts have complex, unique passwords across all systems on the network.

Privileged Account Management

Follow best practices for design and administration of an enterprise network to limit privileged account use across administrative tiers.[3]

User Training

Limit credential overlap across accounts and systems by training users and administrators not to use the same password for multiple accounts.

Detection

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for program execution that may be indicative of credential dumping. Remote access tools may contain built-in features or incorporate existing tools like Mimikatz. PowerShell scripts also exist that contain credential dumping functionality, such as PowerSploit's Invoke-Mimikatz module,[33] which may require additional logging features to be configured in the operating system to collect necessary information for analysis.

References

  1. Passcape. (n.d.). Windows LSA secrets. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  2. Microsoft. (2019, February 14). Active Directory administrative tier model. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  3. Chad Tilbury. (2017, August 8). 1Windows Credentials: Attack, Mitigation, Defense. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  4. Mantvydas Baranauskas. (2019, November 16). Dumping LSA Secrets. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  5. Security Response attack Investigation Team. (2019, March 27). Elfin: Relentless Espionage Group Targets Multiple Organizations in Saudi Arabia and U.S.. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  6. Ackerman, G., et al. (2018, December 21). OVERRULED: Containing a Potentially Destructive Adversary. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  7. F-Secure Labs. (2015, September 17). The Dukes: 7 years of Russian cyberespionage. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  8. byt3bl33d3r. (2018, September 8). SMB: Command Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  9. US-CERT. (2018, March 16). Alert (TA18-074A): Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  10. US-CERT. (2017, October 20). Alert (TA17-293A): Advanced Persistent Threat Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  11. Core Security. (n.d.). Impacket. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  12. TrueSec. (n.d.). gsecdump v2.0b5. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  13. SecureAuth. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  14. Villeneuve, N., Bennett, J. T., Moran, N., Haq, T., Scott, M., & Geers, K. (2014). OPERATION “KE3CHANG”: Targeted Attacks Against Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  15. Smallridge, R. (2018, March 10). APT15 is alive and strong: An analysis of RoyalCli and RoyalDNS. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  16. Zanni, A. (n.d.). The LaZagne Project !!!. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  17. Symantec Security Response. (2018, July 25). Leafminer: New Espionage Campaigns Targeting Middle Eastern Regions. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  1. PwC and BAE Systems. (2017, April). Operation Cloud Hopper: Technical Annex. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  2. Twi1ight. (2015, July 11). AD-Pentest-Script - wmiexec.vbs. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  3. Deply, B. (n.d.). Mimikatz. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  4. Deply, B., Le Toux, V. (2016, June 5). module ~ lsadump. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  5. Grafnetter, M. (2015, October 26). Retrieving DPAPI Backup Keys from Active Directory. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  6. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), the New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre (NZ NCSC), CERT New Zealand, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (UK NCSC) and the US National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). (2018, October 11). Joint report on publicly available hacking tools. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  7. Lancaster, T.. (2017, November 14). Muddying the Water: Targeted Attacks in the Middle East. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  8. Symantec DeepSight Adversary Intelligence Team. (2018, December 10). Seedworm: Group Compromises Government Agencies, Oil & Gas, NGOs, Telecoms, and IT Firms. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  9. Unit 42. (2017, December 15). Unit 42 Playbook Viewer. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  10. Davis, S. and Caban, D. (2017, December 19). APT34 - New Targeted Attack in the Middle East. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  11. Mandiant. (2018). Mandiant M-Trends 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  12. Bromiley, M., et al.. (2019, July 18). Hard Pass: Declining APT34’s Invite to Join Their Professional Network. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  13. Nicolas Verdier. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  14. Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit Threat Intelligence. (2015, August 5). Threat Group-3390 Targets Organizations for Cyberespionage. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  15. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, June 27). BRONZE UNION Cyberespionage Persists Despite Disclosures. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  16. PowerSploit. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2014.