Adversaries may acquire credentials from the Windows Credential Manager. The Credential Manager stores credentials for signing into websites, applications, and/or devices that request authentication through NTLM or Kerberos in Credential Lockers (previously known as Windows Vaults).
The Windows Credential Manager separates website credentials from application or network credentials in two lockers. As part of Credentials from Web Browsers, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge website credentials are managed by the Credential Manager and are stored in the Web Credentials locker. Application and network credentials are stored in the Windows Credentials locker.
Credential Lockers store credentials in encrypted
.vcrd files, located under
%Systemdrive%\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\[Vault/Credentials]\. The encryption key can be found in a file named
Policy.vpol, typically located in the same folder as the credentials.
Adversaries may list credentials managed by the Windows Credential Manager through several mechanisms.
vaultcmd.exe is a native Windows executable that can be used to enumerate credentials stored in the Credential Locker through a command-line interface. Adversaries may gather credentials by reading files located inside of the Credential Lockers. Adversaries may also abuse Windows APIs such as
CredEnumerateA to list credentials managed by the Credential Manager.
Adversaries may use password recovery tools to obtain plain text passwords from the Credential Manager.
|M1042||Disable or Remove Feature or Program||
Consider enabling the "Network access: Do not allow storage of passwords and credentials for network authentication" setting that will prevent network credentials from being stored by the Credential Manager.
|ID||Data Source||Data Component|
|DS0009||Process||OS API Execution|
Monitor process and command-line parameters of
vaultcmd.exe for suspicious activity, such as listing credentials from the Windows Credentials locker (i.e.,
vaultcmd /listcreds:"Windows Credentials").
Consider monitoring file reads to Vault locations,
%Systemdrive%\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\[Vault/Credentials]\, for suspicious activity.