LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy accessing the C$ with a local account

Just a quick post on the LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy setting. What it is why we have it. As a pentester and administering windows systems I’m bumping into this all the time. The classic scenario being your trying to access the C$ of machine with a local account, and being blocked. You check all the usuals; firewall, creds etc and are banging your head against a brick wall. Its more than likely to be the Remote User Account Control (UAC) LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy setting in Windows that is stopping you. Depending on what type of account you are connecting with ie Domain or Local depends on whether the UAC access token filtering will take affect, it will not affect domain accounts in the local Administrators group, only Local accounts. Even if the Local account is in the Administrators group, UAC filtering means that the action being taken will run as a standard user until elevated. Think of when you launch CMD or PowerShell logged in as an Admin account, its run in the context of standard user until you elevate, or re launch as an Admin. So when we try to connect to the C$ with a Local account that is in the Administrator group we are blocked by UAC. Disabling LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy will allow us to connect.

When the Remote User Account Control (UAC) LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy value is set to 0, Remote UAC access token filtering is enabled. When it is set to 1, remote UAC is disabled. We can set this with the following one liner:

cmd /c reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\system /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

The same scenario can be said for running a credentialed or authenticated Nessus scan with a local account that is part of the Administrators group. For Nessus to enumerate the system it will connect to the C$.  It will fail unless the LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy is set to 1. There are other pre-requisites, these are out of scope of this post however.

Well hope this helps!

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Problems with VirtualBox Guest Additions in Kali – Quick Tip!

Problems with VirtualBox Guest Additions in Kali. This post serves more of a reminder to myself however this might also serve as help to others. Troubleshooting problems/issues with VirtualBox Guest Additions. I think its safe to say I use VirtualBox a lot, I will be lucky if a day goes by where I’m not in VirtualBox using a VM. I also therefore use and rely on Guest Additions working correctly features such as, mapped drives back to the host, USB, display options are all useful to name a few. It can be frustrating sometimes when Guest Additions breaks, either a mapped network drive disappears or your display has shrunk. Once all the usual checks have been done to troubleshoot I normally move on to VirtualBox Guest Additions. I also use Kali, where its also fair to say I have the most issues, now this might be because I probably use it the most in terms of a VirtualBox VM or that Kali 2.0 is rolling and thus based on Debian Testing. As such we have a multitude of updates happening constantly both to packages and underlying operating system. The following is my usual check list and 99% of the time sorts out the issue for Kali 2:

  1. Update VirtualBox to the latest version.
  2. Then update VirtualBox Guest Additions to also the latest edition.
  3. Update Kali; apt-get update & apt-get upgrade -y
  4. Update kali; apt-get dist-upgrade -y
  5. Update the Kernel headers: apt-get update && apt-get install -y linux-headers-$(uname -r)
  6. Re-install VirtualBox Guest Additions directly from VirtualBox:

cp -r /media/cdrom0/ /tmp/
cd /tmp/cdrom0

Make the VBoxLinuxAdditions.run file executable:

chmod u+x VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

Install it:
./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

If successfully your output should be similar to this:

VirtualBox Guest Additions Installtion Kali

If you get errors in the installation you will need to work back through the errors ensuring the above steps have been executed and are successful.

Well I hope this helps someone out in a jam.

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Automatic Updates in Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 LTS with Apt and unattended-upgrades package

In this post we look at how we can automate our security updates and packages that can be updated for a Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 LTS including scheduled reboots. Automatic Updates in Ubuntu Server are a real win.

This is a fairly straight forward affair, we will be working in the unattended-upgrades package, this can used to automatically install updates to the system. We have granular control, being able to configure updates to all packages or just security updates, blacklisting packages, notifications and auto reboot. A very useful set of features.

Lets look at the main configuration file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades.

A couple of key lines in this file will want our attention. Firstly this will depending on what type of updates you want to automate. If you know the software that runs on the server well enough, and depending on the criticality of the service it provides you have the following options for the type of updates to automate, uncommenting ‘//’ the various lines will give you those type of updates:

Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
        "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}";
        "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-security";
//      "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-updates";
//      "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-proposed";
//      "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-backports";
};

This next section of the file dictates what packages should not be upgraded, ie if you have a certain set of dependencies and don’t want to the software to upgrade due to comparability issues list them here:

// List of packages to not update (regexp are supported)
Unattended-Upgrade::Package-Blacklist {
// "vim";
// "libc6";
// "libc6-dev";
// "libc6-i686";
};

To get notifications for any problems or package upgrades add your email address to the below section:

// Send email to this address for problems or packages upgrades
// If empty or unset then no email is sent, make sure that you
// have a working mail setup on your system. A package that provides
// 'mailx' must be installed. E.g. "user@example.com"
Unattended-Upgrade::Mail "email@email.com";

The next two sections dictate when the server should be rebooted and without confirmation. Here we have the Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot option set to ‘true‘, and unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot-Time set to ‘02:00‘ am.

// Automatically reboot *WITHOUT CONFIRMATION*
// if the file /var/run/reboot-required is found after the upgrade
Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot "true";

// If automatic reboot is enabled and needed, reboot at the specific
// time instead of immediately
// Default: "now"
unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot-Time "02:00";

To then enable the automatic updates edit the file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades. Create the file if it doesn’t exist, add the below text, the frequency of the update procedure is dictated by the number in quotes next to each item. For example everything with a 1 in it will happen everyday and the 7 represents once a week.

APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists "1";
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";
APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval "7";
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";

A couple of useful log files to keep an eye on are: /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log. This will give you information about the updates and whether a reboot is required. /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades-shutdown.log and also issuing the command last reboot will also give you information about any restarts that are required or have happened.

I hope this been helpful and keeps you current with your patching!

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Bionic Beaver – Setting a static IP address in Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

Setting a static IP address in Ubuntu 18.04.1. Oh boy where to start. The name Bionic Beaver or netplan.

OK lets concentrate on netplan, and what’s happened with networking in Ubuntu 18.04.1. Setting a persistent static IP address has changed a little in the new release of Ubuntu, where as before we would have modified the interfaces file we now modify a .yaml file in /etc/netplan directory. Netplan is the new kid on the block for configuring networking in your Beaver. Its not all that different, or difficult once you know how. However the standard is pretty precise in terms of how we configure the file. If you look in your netplan directory you may have a 50-cloud-init.yaml file this is where the configuration is stored. Lets go ahead and modify the netplan directory  to set a static IP address:

This is how our standard /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml file looks like:

To set a static IP address I’m going to copy the current config into a new file called 01-netcfg.yaml for further configuration.

Take care of the spacing within the yaml file. It will not take tab completion, and will require spaces for the indentation, the number of spaces will not matter, as long as each section is appropriately indented with spaces.

For example you could use this:


Indenting each section with 1 space also works:

All that’s left to do is to apply the netplan config with:

sudo netplan apply

If you do get errors you can use the debug feature:

sudo netplan --debug generate

Well hope this helps.

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Linux Password Policy – Using PAM, pam_unix and pam_cracklib with Ubuntu Server 18.04.1

Linux Password Policy is often overlooked. This post is to raise awareness how we can up our game in terms of password complexity for Linux systems. Setting up password complexity in Linux specifically Ubuntu Server more specifically 18.04.1 is achieved through Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). To authenticate a user, an application such as ssh hands off the authentication mechanism to PAM to determine if the credentials are correct. There are various modules that can be modified within PAM to set-up aspects like password complexity and account lockout and other restrictions. We can check what modules are installed by issuing:

sudo man -k pam_

By default Ubuntu requires a minimum of 6 characters. In Ubuntu this is controlled by the module pam_unix which is used for traditional password authentication, this is configured in debain/ubuntu systems in the file /etc/pam.d/common-password (RedHat/Centos systems its/etc/pam.d/system-auth). Modules work in a rule/stack manner processing one rule then another depending on the control arguments. An amount of configuration can be done in the pam_unix module, however for more granular control there is another module called pam_cracklib. This allows for all the specific control that one might want for a secure complex password.

A basic set of requirements for password complexity might be:

A minimum of one upper case
A minimum of one lower case
A minimum of least one digit
A minimum of one special character
A minimum of 15 characters
Password History 15

Lets work through on a test Ubuntu 18.04.1 server how we would implement this. First install pam_cracklib, this is a ‘pluggable authentication module’ which can be used in the password stack. ‘Pam_cracklib’, will check for specific password criteria, based on default values and what you specify. For example by default it will run through a routine to see if the password is part of a dictionary and then go on to check for your specifics that you may have set like password length.

First lets install the module, it is available in the Ubuntu repository:

sudo apt install libpam-cracklib

The install process will automatically add a line into the /etc/pam.d/common-password file that is used for the additional password control. I’ve highlight it below:

Password complexity in Linux

We can then further modify this line for additional complexity. working on the above criteria we would add:

ucredit=-1 : A minimum of one upper case
lcredit=-1 : A minimum of one lower case
dcredit=-1 : A minimum of least one digit
ocredit=-1 : A minimum of one special character
minlen=15 : A minimum of 15 characters.

note the -1 number represents a minimum value to subtract from the minlen value. There is nothing to stop you incresing this, for example ocredit=-3 would require the user to add 3 special characters.

Password history is actually controlled by pam_unix so we will touch on this separately.

Default values that get added are:

retry=3 : Prompt user at most 3 times before returning an error. The default is 1.
minlen=8 : A minimum of 15 characters.
difok=3 : The amount of character changes in the new password that differentiate it from the old password.

Our new arguments would be something like this:

password requisite pam_cracklib.so retry=3 minlen=15 difok=3 ucredit=-1 lcredit=-1 dcredit=-1 ocredit=-1

For password history first we need to create a new file for pam_unix to store old passwords (hashed of course). Without this password changes will fail.

touch /etc/security/opasswd
chown root:root /etc/security/opasswd
chmod 600 /etc/security/opasswd

Add the ‘remeber=15‘ to the end of the pam_unix line and your done, at least for now. Both lines should look like this:

These changes are instant, no need to reboot or restart any service.

Now all that is left to do is test your new password policy. Whilst this does provide good password complexity I would always suggest you use a public/private key pair for SSH access and disable password authentication specifically for this service.

I hope this helps.

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Traffic Shaping in Linux – controlling your bandwidth

In certain scenarios whilst pentesting there may be a requirement to control your bandwidth from your testing device, otherwise known as traffic shaping. In this post I will walk through how we can do some Traffic Shaping in Linux. All testers should be accountable for the amount of traffic they generate while testing. This is easily achievable in a few different ways, some better than others. I’ll walk through how we can achieve this in this post. It is always a good idea to log and monitor the amount of traffic you are sending and receiving. I will typically do this with ‘iftop’, I will open this before sending any traffic.

iftop looks like this:

Here we can see sent, received and total accumulation in the bottom left.  In the bottom middle are the peak rates. Over to the right hand side we can see the transmission rates for 2, 10 and 40 second intervals. Couple of interesting toggle switches you can use while iftop is open being ‘h’ for help, ‘p’ to display port and ‘s’ and ‘d’ to hide/show source and destination.

On to the traffic shaping.  In most Linux distros Tc (traffic control) is available, this can be used to configure traffic manipulation at the Linux kernel level. Tc is packaged with iproute2 the shiny new(ish) tool set for configuring networking in Linux.

In my view Tc is reasonably complex to configure if you simply need to reduce your bandwidth for an interface. Enter Wondershaper. Wondershaper allows you to limit your bandwidth in a simple manner. It does this using Tc. Wondershaper is available through the Apt repository where Apt is being used.

You can limit your traffic on an interface to 10Mbps upload and download like below. Values are in bits.

wondershaper [interface] [downlink] [uplink]

wondershaper  eth2 10000 10000

To clear the limits set:

wondershaper clear

To see the limits set use:

wondershaper eth2

Testing…

Using iPerf we can test the bandwidth reduction by wondershaper. The setup that I am using for this test is two virtual machines with two cheap physical USB 10/100 Ethernet adapters passed through to each virtual machine and physically connected via an Ethernet cable. Interfaces are set to 100 Full. Running iperf with no restrictions give us the following results:

I’m not surprised by the 55.5Mbits/sec rate.

Throttling our connection to 10Mbits/sec with wondershaper:

Great, we see a distinct change in bandwidth running consistently across 10 seconds lower than 10 Mbits/sec.

Throttling the connection further to 1 Mbit/sec:

And again we see our bandwidth dropping further to less than 1Mbit/sec.

Other ways I have seen been offered up as solutions are turning auto-negotiate off and setting your link speed and duplex. However I would argue this is not traffic shaping. It may work in certain circumstances, however I have had mixed success with virtual machines. This doesn’t give you the granular control of Tc and wondershaper.

Conclusion: A very useful tool for controlling your bandwidth in Linux. For a quick fix use wondershaper for either more granular control dive in and configure Tc manually.

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Hardening Microsoft IIS 8.5 Security Headers

In this post we will walk through how to implement some of the most common security headers that crop up in Microsoft IIS 8.5 web application testing. Typically Burp, zap nikto will highlight missing security headers. I have covered some of these for Apache in earlier posts here. Now its time for the same treatment in IIS. Some of the headers I will look at in this session are:

X-Frame-Options header – This can help prevent the clickjacking vulnerability by instructing the browser not to in bed the page in an iframe.
X-XSS-Protection header – This can help prevent some cross site scripting attacks.
X-Content-Type-Options header – This will deny content sniffing.
Content-Security-Policy – This can help prevent various attacks by telling the browser to only load content from the sources you specify. In this example I will only specify the source, ie my webpage however if you have content being pulled from youtube for example you will want to add this site also.
HTTP Strict Transport Security header – This will tell the browser to only ever load https only, once the site has been visited.

Corresponding values for the above headers are described below.

In order to lab this up we will use a vanilla Windows Server 2012 R2 server that has had the IIS role installed and configured and is serving just a simple single page running over HTTPS (only with a self signed cert for testing purposes), which looks like this:

With completely standard configuration output from Nikto would give us the following results:

OWASP Zap would give us similar results (I did this whilst still on http, however you get the idea):

Granted there is next to nothing to actually scan on this pages, however this is really only designed to demonstrate how to implement the security headers.

In the IIS console we will want to select the ‘HTTP Response Headers’, you can do this at the site level as I have done or at the webserver level which will affect all sites.

Next select Add from the left hand side:

First we will add X-XXS-Protection security header, here we can use the value of ‘1;mode=block’, this essentially means we will turn the feature on and if detected block it. Other basic options consist of ‘1’ to enable or ‘0’ to set the header however disable the feature :

Next the X-Frame-Options security header, here we can use the value of ‘DENY’ to prevent any content embedding, however this maybe too strict otherwise there is ‘SAMEORIGIN’ to allow content from your site, another option is to use ‘ALLOW-FROM’ to allow content framing from another site:

Next the X-Content-Type-Options security header, here we can use the value of ‘nosniff’:

The content security policy header, here we are specifying a very basic policy to only load content from the source:

The HTTP Strict Transport Security header, here we are setting the max age the browser should honour the header request, to include all subdomains and the preload essentially means that if HTTP site is available only load via HTTPS so on a second visit load the config first before hitting the site:

Re-running nikto gives us the following output, much better!

Hopefully this has helped harden your IIS web server just that little bit more!

 

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Securing Domain Admins Groups in Active Directory

This is just a quick post to raise awareness of one way we can help protect our Domain Admins Group in Active Directory. I have talked previously about privilege separation and the need within the Enterprise to reduce the credential foot print of high privilege accounts. As Microsoft describes in this particular article discussing best practices, Domain Admin accounts should only be used for build and disaster recovery scenarios and should not be used for day to day activities. By following this simple rule you are mitigating against having Domain Admin credentials being cached on workstations or member servers, and therefore less likely to be dumped out of memory should the box become compromised.

We can secure the Domain Admins group for both member workstations and member servers with the following Group Policy Objects from the following user rights policy in Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Settings\User Rights Assignments:

  • Deny access to this computer from the network
  • Deny log on as a batch job
  • Deny log on as a service
  • Deny log on locally
  • Deny log on through Remote Desktop Services user rights

Lets take a closer look and create the policy:

In our Group Policy Management console we will start off with a new policy:

Right click on the policy and click edit. Find the first policy ‘Deny access to this computer from the network’. Open it up and add the Domain Admins group to the list. Click ‘OK’.

Rinse and Repeat for the remaining policies:

Link the policy through to your computers and member workstations. Remember if your using ‘Jump boxes’ to administer your domain controllers you will need to create an exception for these and  with a different policy.

This is one small piece in a massive jigsaw of securing AD. However I hope this helps, for further reading visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-ds/plan/security-best-practices/appendix-f–securing-domain-admins-groups-in-active-directory .

 

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