Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-561: Windows Admin Shares with Stolen Credentials (Version 3.3)  

CAPEC-561: Windows Admin Shares with Stolen Credentials

Attack Pattern ID: 561
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary guesses or obtains (i.e. steals or purchases) legitimate Windows administrator credentials (e.g. userID/password) to access Windows Admin Shares on a local machine or within a Windows domain. Windows systems within the Windows NT family contain hidden network shares that are only accessible to system administrators. These shares allow administrators to remotely access all disk volumes on a network-connected system and further allow for files to be copied, written, and executed, along with other administrative actions. Example network shares include: C$, ADMIN$ and IPC$. If an adversary is able to obtain legitimate Windows credentials, the hidden shares can be accessed remotely, via server message block (SMB) or the Net utility, to transfer files and execute code. It is also possible for adversaries to utilize NTLM hashes to access administrator shares on systems with certain configuration and patch levels.
+ Relationships

The table below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.653Use of Known Windows Credentials
CanPrecedeMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.151Identity Spoofing
CanPrecedeMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.165File Manipulation
CanPrecedeStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.545Pull Data from System Resources
CanPrecedeMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.549Local Execution of Code
CanFollowDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.16Dictionary-based Password Attack
CanFollowStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.49Password Brute Forcing
CanFollowStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.50Password Recovery Exploitation
CanFollowStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.55Rainbow Table Password Cracking
CanFollowDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.70Try Common or Default Usernames and Passwords
CanFollowDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.565Password Spraying
CanFollowDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.568Capture Credentials via Keylogger

The table below shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.

+ Execution Flow
Explore
  1. Acquire known Windows administrator credentials: The adversary must obtain known Windows administrator credentials in order to access the administrative network shares.

    Techniques
    An adversary purchases breached Windows administrator credentials from the dark web.
    An adversary leverages a key logger or phishing attack to steal administrator credentials as they are provided.
    An adversary conducts a sniffing attack to steal Windows administrator credentials as they are transmitted.
    An adversary gains access to a Windows domain system/files and exfiltrates Windows administrator password hashes.
    An adversary examines outward-facing configuration and properties files to discover hardcoded Windows administrator credentials.
Experiment
  1. Attempt domain authentication: Try each Windows administrator credential against the hidden network shares until the target grants access.

    Techniques
    Manually or automatically enter each administrator credential through the target's interface.
Exploit
  1. Malware Execution: An adversary can remotely execute malware within the administrative network shares to infect other systems within the domain.

  2. Data Exfiltration: The adversary can remotely obtain sensitive data contained within the administrative network shares.

+ Prerequisites
The system/application is connected to the Windows domain.
The target administrative share allows remote use of local admin credentials to log into domain systems.
The adversary possesses a list of known Windows administrator credentials that exist on the target domain.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Once an adversary obtains a known Windows credential, leveraging it is trivial.
+ Resources Required
A list of known Windows administrator credentials for the targeted domain.
+ Indicators
Data is being transferred and/or removed from administrative network shares.
Suspicious or Malicious software is executed within administrative network shares.
Suspicious or Malicious software is downloaded/installed on systems within the domain.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Access Control
Authentication
Gain Privileges
Confidentiality
Authorization
Read Data
Integrity
Modify Data
+ Mitigations
Do not reuse local administrator account credentials across systems.
Deny remote use of local admin credentials to log into domain systems.
Do not allow accounts to be a local administrator on more than one system.
+ Example Instances
APT32 has leveraged Windows' built-in Net utility to use Windows Administrative Shares to copy and execute remote malware. [REF-579]
In May 2017, APT15 laterally moved within a Windows domain via Windows Administrative Shares to copy files to and from compromised host systems. This further allowed for the remote execution of malware. [REF-578]
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Relevant to the ATT&CK taxonomy mapping
Entry IDEntry Name
1021.002Remote Services:SMB/Windows Admin Shares
+ References
[REF-577] "Overview of problems that may occur when administrative shares are missing". Microsoft Corporation. 2020-05-07. 2017-03-13. <https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/842715/overview-of-problems-that-may-occur-when-administrative-shares-are-mis>.
[REF-578] Rob Smallridge. "HAPT15 is alive and strong: An analysis of RoyalCli and RoyalDNS". NCC Group. 2020-05-07. 2018-03-10. <https://www.nccgroup.trust/uk/about-us/newsroom-and-events/blogs/2018/march/apt15-is-alive-and-strong-an-analysis-of-royalcli-and-royaldns/>.
[REF-579] Assaf Dahan. "Operation Cobalt Kitty: Cybereason Labs Analysis". CyberReason. 2020-05-07. 2017. <https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3354902/Cybereason%20Labs%20Analysis%20Operation%20Cobalt%20Kitty.pdf>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2019-04-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Weaknesses
2020-07-30CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Consequences, Description, Example_Instances, Execution_Flow, Indicators, Mitigations, Prerequisites, References, Related_Attack_Patterns, Related_Weaknesses, Resources_Required, Skills_Required, Taxonomy_Mappings
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 30, 2019