A growing number of threat actors use advanced persistent threat (APT) tactics to progress their attacks. More and more target Active Directory (AD), domain controllers, and flaws in Kerberos tickets to find weaknesses, steal credentials, and escalate privileges. By gathering this information, attackers can gain what they need to establish a foothold, move laterally through the network without detection, and secure administrator privileges.
More than 90 percent of businesses use AD as their identity management system, which serves as a master directory and the means to control access to enterprise services. Tools such as Bloodhound, Mimikatz, and Metasploit are useful for legitimate security research. However, they have also made it much easier for attackers to engage in credential-dumping, recovering plaintext or hashed passwords from systems, gaining Domain Admin privileges, and securing the “blueprint” of the network.
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