Adversaries may gather information on Group Policy settings to identify paths for privilege escalation, security measures applied within a domain, and to discover patterns in domain objects that can be manipulated or used to blend in the environment. Group Policy allows for centralized management of user and computer settings in Active Directory (AD). Group policy objects (GPOs) are containers for group policy settings made up of files stored within a predictable network path
Adversaries may use commands such as
gpresult or various publicly available PowerShell functions, such as
Get-DomainGPOLocalGroup, to gather information on Group Policy settings. Adversaries may use this information to shape follow-on behaviors, including determining potential attack paths within the target network as well as opportunities to manipulate Group Policy settings (i.e. Domain Policy Modification) for their benefit.
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
|Active Directory Object Access
Monitor for abnormal LDAP queries with filters for
Monitor for suspicious use of
|Network Traffic Content
Monitor and analyze traffic patterns and packet inspection associated to protocol(s) that do not follow the expected protocol standards and traffic flows (e.g extraneous packets that do not belong to established flows, gratuitous or anomalous traffic patterns, anomalous syntax, or structure). Consider correlation with process monitoring and command line to detect anomalous processes execution and command line arguments associated to traffic patterns (e.g. monitor anomalies in use of files that do not normally initiate connections for respective protocol(s)).
Monitor for newly executed processes that may gather information on Group Policy settings to identify paths for privilege escalation, security measures applied within a domain, and to discover patterns in domain objects that can be manipulated or used to blend in the environment.
Monitor for any attempts to enable scripts running on a system would be considered suspicious. If scripts are not commonly used on a system, but enabled, scripts running out of cycle from patching or other administrator functions are suspicious. Scripts should be captured from the file system when possible to determine their actions and intent.