Ransomware attacks every type of organization from every angle and Active Directory remains the common target. Stop privilege escalation by fixing these key AD and group policy misconfigurations.
Ransomware has struck every type of organization around the world. It's changed dramatically, too, entering the enterprise from nearly every angle, with attackers leveraging stolen data by posting it on the internet to force victims to pay. In most cases (see SolarWinds and XingLocker), Active Directory (AD) is targeted so the attacker can easily distribute the ransomware after obtaining domain privileges. There are, however, ways to help secure Active Directory to prevent ransomware from succeeding.
Distinct areas within Active Directory can be secured, which will increase the overall security of the enterprise and reduce the security risk at the same time. Specifically, the following settings around AD objects can be secured. Here's how:
Misconfigurations of user attributes need to be fixed
Misconfigurations of groups need to be fixed
Privileged groups need to be cleaned up
AD processes need to have correct configurations (e.g. SDProp)
Service principal names (SPNs) need to be secured (shown in Figure 1)
Trust relationships need to be correct and secured
SidHistory attribute needs to be cleaned up for users
In addition, AD itself and group policy can be secured to ensure the attacker can't leverage misconfigurations and areas where privilege escalation can be achieved. Here's how:
AD trusts need to be verified and secured (shown in Figure 2)
AD delegations need to be cleaned up
Group policy delegations need to be cleaned up
Group policy structural components need to be secured
Security settings deployed by group policy objects need to be enabled
Finally, attackers want to gain privileges. Once privileges are obtained, they want to create backdoors. Being able to detect these types of AD attacks is essential. Below are some of the actions AD admins and security pros can take to disrupt attack paths:
Ensure privileged group membership is monitored
Detect DCShadow and DCSync attack
Golden Ticket attacks (illustrated in Figure 3)
Detect lateral movement attacks
Detect dangerous SIDHistory and PrimaryGroupID settings
Technology is available to continuously and automatically analyse and detect AD security and attack paths. Contact Satisnet today to find out more about Tenable.ad!