An adversary may abuse Active Directory authentication encryption properties to gain access to credentials on Windows systems. The
AllowReversiblePasswordEncryption property specifies whether reversible password encryption for an account is enabled or disabled. By default this property is disabled (instead storing user credentials as the output of one-way hashing functions) and should not be enabled unless legacy or other software require it.
If the property is enabled and/or a user changes their password after it is enabled, an adversary may be able to obtain the plaintext of passwords created/changed after the property was enabled. To decrypt the passwords, an adversary needs four components:
G$RADIUSCHAP) from the Active Directory user-structure
G$RADIUSCHAPKEY) also from
An adversary may set this property at various scopes through Local Group Policy Editor, user properties, Fine-Grained Password Policy (FGPP), or via the ActiveDirectory PowerShell module. For example, an adversary may implement and apply a FGPP to users or groups if the Domain Functional Level is set to "Windows Server 2008" or higher. In PowerShell, an adversary may make associated changes to user settings using commands similar to
Set-ADUser -AllowReversiblePasswordEncryption $true.
|M1026||Privileged Account Management||
Audit domain and local accounts as well as their permission levels routinely to look for situations that could allow an adversary to gain wide access by obtaining credentials of a privileged account. These audits should also include if default accounts have been enabled, or if new local accounts are created that have not be authorized. Follow best practices for design and administration of an enterprise network to limit privileged account use across administrative tiers.
|ID||Data Source||Data Component||Detects|
|DS0026||Active Directory||Active Directory Object Modification||
Monitor property changes in Group Policy:
Monitor command-line usage for
Consider monitoring and/or blocking suspicious execution of Active Directory PowerShell modules, such as
|DS0002||User Account||User Account Metadata||
Monitor Fine-Grained Password Policies and regularly audit user accounts and group settings.