Active Directory Hacking

What does Active Directory mean?

The Active Directory infrastructure is a critical infrastructure in most organizations, and it forms the backbone of the organization’s computing infrastructure. The Active Directory infrastructure provides all the directories, objects, values ​​and resources with which we work on a daily basis. Such as: Users, Groups and Resources for the purpose of managing permissions and access

For that matter, any access, authorization or query in the computing environment requires the involvement of the Active Directory environment, and because of this need, its infrastructure is critical.

In addition to this, even in the days when we are making a digital transformation and moving to working with Cloud, it can still be seen that the Active Directory configuration is becoming a hybrid mode, such as for example a local Active Directory environment configured against Azure AD, still requires that the objects be managed from a local Active Directory environment.

Why should someone try to hack it?

  • Active Directory enables us to manage and control the computing resources in the organization. An attacker could exploit this by overloading/deleting the resources, which would create a DoS type of attack.
  • It also enables the application of corporate policies using GPO (Group Policy) tools. Imagine a situation where an “outsider” could change the rules and the way things are done.
  • We can use it to set permissions for users using NTFS permissions and remote software installation. That will allow the attacker to install malicious softwares into workstations and other devices.
  • And what if the attack is competitively motivated? Correct use of AD saves costs and allows for optimizing the IT management in the organization. An attacker could harm it.

How could we prevent Active Directory Hacking?

  • Deleting Inactive Accounts – though these accounts are not in use they can be dangerous. They usually hold administrative privileges and can be used as a platform by an hacker to gain access to your infrastructure. Make sure that unused accounts are deleted in order to reduce the chances of such incidents.
  • Bad / Weak Passwords – three-quarters of attacks on AD systems are caused due to such mistakes.
  • Number of Accounts with Administrator Privileges – if you have a long list of employees who possess accounts with administrator access privileges, make sure you minimize that. The less – the better.
  • Implementing Zero Trust Policies – make sure that you have defined in advance a list of rules and policies according to which everything from logging in to dealing with networks and so on will be dictated.
  • Monitoring – do your best to always track users activities. Pay attention to logins at unusual hours, administrators who perform strange actions on networks and other activities that shouldn’t be made.

Hai Nardy, who works as a Head of an IT team in the Israeli Ministry of Defense said:

“With the help of the system, it’s possible to control all the components that exists in the network. From the Network Users, through the Endpoints, the Servers and even the Network’s Structure (Forests). AD systems must be secured using the highest level of security, without taking shortcuts or any thoughts of financial savings. Since taking over AD, means taking over the entire network, the users and the resources within it.”

In short, make sure your Active Directory is secured.

Stay safe, choose Kayran.

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