Access Token Manipulation: Create Process with Token
Adversaries may create a new process with a duplicated token to escalate privileges and bypass access controls. An adversary can duplicate a desired access token with
DuplicateToken(Ex) and use it with
CreateProcessWithTokenW to create a new process running under the security context of the impersonated user. This is useful for creating a new process under the security context of a different user.
|M1026||Privileged Account Management||
Limit permissions so that users and user groups cannot create tokens. This setting should be defined for the local system account only. GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment: Create a token object.  Also define who can create a process level token to only the local and network service through GPO: Computer Configuration > [Policies] > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment: Replace a process level token.
Administrators should log in as a standard user but run their tools with administrator privileges using the built-in access token manipulation command
|M1018||User Account Management||
An adversary must already have administrator level access on the local system to make full use of this technique; be sure to restrict users and accounts to the least privileges they require.
If an adversary is using a standard command-line shell, analysts can detect token manipulation by auditing command-line activity. Specifically, analysts should look for use of the
runas command. Detailed command-line logging is not enabled by default in Windows.
If an adversary is using a payload that calls the Windows token APIs directly, analysts can detect token manipulation only through careful analysis of user network activity, examination of running processes, and correlation with other endpoint and network behavior.
Analysts can also monitor for use of Windows APIs such as
CreateProcessWithTokenW and correlate activity with other suspicious behavior to reduce false positives that may be due to normal benign use by users and administrators.
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