Credential Dumping: DCSync Attack

The most of the Organisation need more than one domain controller for their Active Directory and to maintain consistency among multiple Domain controller, it is necessary to have the Active Directory objects replicated through those DCs with the help of MS-DRSR refer as Microsoft feature Directory Replication Service (DRS) Remote Protocol that is used to replicate users data from one DC to another. Taking Advantage of this feature the attack abuse the MS-DRSR using Mimikatz-DCSYNC.

Table of Content

  • What is DCSYNC Attack
  • Walkthorugh
  • Mimikatz
  • PowerShell Empire
  • Metasploit

What is DCSYNC Attack

The Mimikatz DCSYNC-function allows an attacker to replicate Domain Controller (DC) behaviour. Typically impersonates as a domain controller and request other DC’s for user credential data via GetNCChanges.

But compromised account should be a member of administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin to retrieve account password hashes from the others domain controller. As a result, the intruder will build Kerberos forged tickets using a retrieved hash to obtain any of the Active Directory ‘s resources and this is known as Golden Ticket attack.

Walkthrough on DCSYNC Attack


So, here we have a normal user account, hence at present User, Yashika is not the member of any privileged account (administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin).

When the attacker attempts to execute the command MimiKatz-DCSYNC to get user credentials by requesting other domain controllers in the domain, this will cause an error as shown in the image. This is not possible.

So now we have granted Domain Admins right for user Yashika and now yashika has become the member of domain Admin Group which is also AD a privileged group.

We then confirmed this by listing the details of user Yashika ‘s group information and found that she is part of the domain admin group.

Now let ask for a credential for KRBTGT account by executing the following command using mimikatz:

As a result, it will retrieve the KRBTGT NTLM HASH, this hash further can be used to conduct the very famous GOLDEN Ticket attack, read more about it from here.

Similarly, for every user account in the domain with the same command, we can obtain credentials. Here, it not only requests the current hash but also seeks to get the previous credentials stored.

PowerShell Empire

If you want to conduct this attack remotely, PowerShell Empire is one of the best tools to conduct DCSYNC attack. Only you need to compromise the machine who is member privilege account (administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin) as shown here.

Now load the following module that will invoke the mimikatz Powershell script to execute the dcsync attack to obtain the credential by asking from an others domain controller in the domain. Here again, we will request for KRBTGT account Hashes and as result, it will retrieve the KRBTGT NTLM HASH.

Likewise, the Empire has a similar module that retrieves the hash of the entire domain controller users account.


If you have meterpreter session of the victim machine who account is member of domain admin, then here also you can execute Mimikatz-DCSYNC attack in order to obtain user’s password.

If your compromised account is a member of the domain admin group, then without wasting time load KIWI and run following command:

As a result, we found the hashes for krbtgt account and this will help us to conduct Golden Ticket attack for further.

DevRandom CTF:1.1 Vulnhub Walkthrough

Today we are going to solve another boot2root challenge called “DevRandom CTF:1.1”. It is available on Vulnhub for the purpose of Penetration Testing practices. This lab is not that difficult if we have the proper basic knowledge of cracking the labs. This credit of making this lab goes to Hunri Beats. Let’s start and learn how to successfully breach it.

Since these labs are available on the Vulnhub Website. We will be downloading the lab file from this link .

Penetration Testing Methodology


  • netdiscover
  • nmap


  • Browsing HTTP Service
  • Local file inclusion


  • Password Bruteforce via hydra
  • Login to ssh

Privilege Escalation

  • Abusing sudo  dpkg



We will start by scanning the network using Netdiscover tool and identify the host IP address.

We can identify our host IP address as So let’s start with nmap port enumeration and execute following command in our terminal.

From its result, we found ports 22(SSH), 80(HTTP) were open. Also robots.txt is available .


For more detail, we will be needing to start enumeration against the host machine. Therefore, we will navigate to a web browser for exploring HTTP service.

Nothing was displayed on the page . So we started exploring things we found in nmap scan that is:

On seeing the above page i hit-and-trial lfi on it and boom it worked . From its result we found a user trevor .


We have got a username trevor, now our next job is to find the password for the user trevor with the help of hydra, thus we execute following command:

From its result , we found the password that is qwertyuiop[]

Since We have username and a password, so we tried to access the SSH on the target system and were successfully able to logged in.

let’s go for post exploitation and try to escalate root privileged. 

with the help of sudo list, we notice that trevor can execute dpkg program as root.

Privilege Escalation

As we know that dpkg is a package installer thus we need to create a malicious package and install the malicious package within the host machine with the help of dpkg as result it will escalate the root privilege.

Thus we run the following command found from gtfobin, that creates a malicious package to execute /bin/bash.

Once you will create the package, use python server to transfer this packet into host.

So, I downloaded the above malicious package inside /tmp using wget command.

Now, once I have this package inside the /tmp I can used dpkg with sudo right to install the downloaded package, as soon as it will get install we will the root privilege shell.

Author: Japneet Kaur Gandhi is a Technical Writer, Researcher and Penetration Tester. Contact  here

Abusing Microsoft Outlook 365 to Capture NTLM

In this post we will discuss “How the attacker uses the Microsoft office for phishing attack to get the NTLM hashes from Windows.” Since we all knew that Microsoft Office applications like Word , PowerPoint , Excel and Outlook are the most reliable resource for any organization, and an attacker takes advantage of this reliance to masquerade the user.

Here, we’ve been trying to explain what a different approach an attack uses for a phishing attack to capture Microsoft Windows NTLM hashes.

In actual fact, the attacker tried to use the UNC path injection technique to capture the Windows NTLM hashes and use phishing to achieve his goal.

Table of Content

  • Link UNC Path in an Image
  • Link UNC PATH in a Text File
  • Link UNC PATH Word Document


Here we are using Kali Linux and its IP is, this IP will be used for UNC Path.

Link UNC Path in an Image

Objective 1: send phishing mail to the target user that contains malicious image.

Use office 365 to linking UNC path within an image, for this insert an image and draft a mail for your Victim to masquerade him/her.

Inject the UNC path by adding a hyperlink to the image as shown below. Now-a-day attackers use the COVID-19 precaution images to carry out a large-scale phishing attack.

And we used our Kali Linux IP here to steal the NTLM hashes. This phase could be considered as an easy phase for a threat hunter while hunting for IOC as per pyramid of plain , because here the attacker’s malicious domain address or IP in dword format is used to evade the intruder detection system.

Once you have drafted your message using office 365, install the responder in your Kali Linux which to capture the NTLM hashes.

Responder is a LLMNR, NBT-NS and MDNS poisoner, with built-in HTTP/SMB/MSSQL/FTP/LDAP rogue authentication server supporting NTLMv1/NTLMv2/LMv2, Extended Security NTLMSSP and Basic HTTP authentication.

Run the given command and just after executing responder send the mail to the victim.

Now, when the victim opens the mail and clicks on the image or opens a new tab or saves the image, his/her NTLM hashes have been stolen without his/her knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

An attacker may use John’s ripper or other NTLM hashed cracking tools to retrieve a password. As you can see here, we used the above NTLM hashes file generated by the responder to extract Victim’s password with the help of john the ripper.

Link UNC PATH in a Text File

Objective 2: Send phishing mail to the target user that contains Object.

Till Office 2013 it was possible to send a malicious attachment by injecting UNC Path but after Office 2013 the link to the file option is disabled, which prevents an attacker from carrying out a phishing attack via a malicious attachment.

Yet the attacker still figures out about the second alternative to send malicious attachment. Despite sending attachment they try to link object in the mail.

Here we have added a text file as object, here we cannot use “link to file” feature for injecting UNC path.

Once you will add the object, inject the hyperlink for UNC Path as done above, i.e. \\ and mail to the victim. On other hand use responder, the to steal NLTM hashes as done above.

Now when the victim will opens the mail and clicked on the text or opens in new tab, his/her NTLM hashes has been stolen without his knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

Link UNC PATH Word Document

Objective:  Send phishing mail to the target user that contains Word Document Attachment.

In most scenarios, the attacker uses Word Document to make the email appear authentic, so he injects the UNC path inside the document file by hyperlinking the file inside. But as we mention, Outlook removed the option “link to file” or “insert as a link” to prevent attackers from sending malicious documents.

There is an alternative technique that allows an attacker to inject the UNC Path into the attachment. We have written the HTML code in a text file containing the UNC Path link in the src image as shown in the html image.

Now open a Word Document and link the html file as object, thus we move to “insert > Object > Text from file”.

Now insert the HTML file and select the option “insert as Link” as shown the image.

Now use the Word Document that contains a link to the HTML file to be sent as an attachment and sent the mail to the victim, and wait for the victim to respond by putting the responder in the back door.

Now, when the victim opens the mail and clicks on the text or opens a new tab, his / her NTLM hashes have been stolen without his/her knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

Conclusion: So we saw how the attacker cleverly injected the UNC path into an image or text file or Word document and masquerade the victim by sending Phishing mail.

Lateral Movement: Pass the Cache

In this post, we’ll discuss how an attacker uses the ccache file to compromise kerberos authentication to access the application server without using a password. This attack is known as Pass the cacche (Ptc).

Table of Content

Credential Cache

Ccache Types

Walkthrough Pass the Ccache attack

  • Method 1:Mimikatz
  • Method 2: KRB5CCNAME

Credential Cache

A credential cache (or “ccache”) contains the Kerberos credential although it remains valid and, typically, while the user’s session lasts, so that multiple service authentication (e.g. connecting to a web or mail server more than once) does not involve contacting the KDC at every time.

A credential cache usually contains one initial ticket which is obtained using a password or another form of identity verification. If this ticket is a ticket-granting ticket, it can be used to obtain additional credentials without the password. Because the credential cache does not store the password, less long-term damage can be done to the user’s account if the machine is compromised.

A credentials cache stores a default client principal name, set when the cache is created. This is the name shown at the top of the klist

Ccache Types

There are several kinds of credentials cache supported in the MIT Kerberos library. Not all are supported on every platform.

FILE caches: These are the simplest and most portable. A simple flat file format is used to store one credential after another. This is the default ccache type.

API: It is only implemented on Windows. It communicates with a server process that holds the credentials in memory for the user, rather than writing them to disk.

DIR points:  To the storage location of the collection of the credential caches in FILE: format. It is most useful when dealing with multiple Kerberos realms and KDCs.

KEYRING: It is Linux-specific, and uses the kernel keyring support to store credential data in unswappable kernel memory where only the current user should be able to access it.

MEMORY caches: These are for storage of credentials that don’t need to be made available outside of the current process. Memory ccaches are faster than file ccaches and are automatically destroyed when the process exits.

MSLSA: It is a Windows-specific cache type that accesses the Windows credential store.

Read More about  MIT Kerberos Credenial Cache from here:

Walkthrough Pass the Ccache attack

Pass the ccache attack uses ticket granting ticket to access the application server without go by kerberos Authentication, here we will try to store Kerb5_tgt in form of ccache and use or pass this ccache file to service application server.

Method 1:Mimikatz

So we have use impacket python script which will use a password, hash or aesKey, it will request a TGT and save it as ccache.

with the help of above command, you will be able to request Kerberos authorized ticket in the form of ccache whereas with the help of the following command you will be able to inject the ticket to access the resource.

Once you have the ccache, use mimikatz to pass the ccache file and try to access the resource, thus you need to execute following commands:


Note: Here we first generated the ccache and then used mimiktaz, but you can also drag the ccache file from the memory using Klist-c, which will list all the ccache stored in the memory and then use mimikatz to access the resource.

And so a new command prompt will be triggered, which will be the CMD of the requested resource service. You can see how we access the resource without using the password or ticket.kirbi file to access the resource.

Method 2: KRB5CCNAME

Similarly we have use getTGT to to generate the ccache and used KERB5CCNAME pass the ccahe file for the requested service. This is completely remote attack without using local system of compromised victim, but you need to compromise NTLM hashes for that, type following to conduct pass the ccache  attack remotly.

Author: Pavandeep Singh is a Technical Writer, Researcher and Penetration Tester. Can be Contacted on Twitter and LinkedIn