Research and Development


When attempting to gain a foothold into a Windows Domain, an attacker will often attempt one or two likely passwords against every user in the Active Directory, a so-called horizontal password guessing attack. A small number of failed logons per user will usually not trigger a user account lockout policy and can be very effective. This post will provide an example solution to detecting such attacks in near real time, using only native Windows tools. Continue reading

Sophos provide Anti-Virus solutions for a number of platforms, including Windows, Mac and various flavors of Linux and Unix. This blog post however details a potential privacy concern when the “Web Protection” component is enabled within the Sophos Endpoint Security and Control software, which features within Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows (version 10.3.x). Continue reading

Alternate Data Streams (ADS) have been present in modern versions of Windows for a long time. If you are using a NTFS filesystem, you can bet that you are using them. As penetration testers, we can use that OS-specific feature in our advantage. In the following posts information required to understand and identify potential ADS-related issues will be provided. This post will provide the required background to understand some common scenarios that could be useful during the penetration testing engagements. Continue reading

There are many third-party tools in the security industry that can perform a security audit of your Windows system. Some are standalone executable, some are frameworks, some are free and some you have to shell out money for. But what if you these tools are not available to you, you are stuck with a Windows servers and essentially what Windows has given you. This article will look at executable programs under Windows that can be use audit services. Continue reading

Windows system objects are one of the interesting areas of binary application assessments that are often ignored or misunderstood. Many people don’t realise that abstract Windows application programming concepts such as mutexes, events, semaphores, shared memory sections, and jobs all come together under the purview of the Windows Object Manager. These objects, like those in the filesystem and registry namespaces, have all sorts of interesting security impacts when not properly managed. Continue reading

Inspired by GRSecurity‘s analysis of the Linux capabilities model, I thought I’d take a quick look at how Windows fares. The following is a brief analysis of the threats associated with each Se* privilege. Continue reading

The purpose of this document is to present a technical report of the CVE-2013-5065 vulnerability. A few days ago, FireEye identified a 0 day kernel exploit embedded within a PDF document actively used in the wild. The vulnerability itself is present in the NDProxy kernel driver. Whilst this is present in all versions of Windows, the vulnerability itself is only present in Windows 2003 and XP. The NDProxy driver is responsible for interfacing NDISWAN and CoNDIS WAN drivers to the TAPI services. Continue reading

Windows 2008 Server introduced a new feature known as Group Policy Preferences that allows administrators to deploy specific configurations that affect computers/users within a domain. This post details a serious problem associated with the use of Group Policy Preferences, specifically when a policy includes a username and encrypted password, which can result in a normal user being able to escalate their level of privilege on their local desktop/laptop and potentially compromise the security of the entire domain. Continue reading