Authentication Package

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Authentication Package
Technique
ID T1131
Tactic Persistence
Platform Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 8.1
Permissions Required Administrator
Data Sources DLL monitoring, Windows Registry, Loaded DLLs

Windows Authentication Package DLLs are loaded by the Local Security Authority (LSA) process at system start. They provide support for multiple logon processes and multiple security protocols to the operating system.1

Adversaries can use the autostart mechanism provided by LSA Authentication Packages for persistence by placing a reference to a binary in the Windows Registry location HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\ with the key value of "Authentication Packages"=<target binary>. The binary will then be executed by the system when the authentication packages are loaded.

Examples

  • Flame can use Windows Authentication Packages for persistence.2

Mitigation

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 may make LSA run as a Protected Process Light (PPL) by setting the Registry key HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\RunAsPPL, which requires all DLLs loaded by LSA to be signed by Microsoft.34

Detection

Monitor the Registry for changes to the LSA Registry keys. Monitor the LSA process for DLL loads. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 may generate events when unsigned DLLs try to load into the LSA by setting the Registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\LSASS.exe with AuditLevel = 8.34