Microsoft warns of credential-stealing NTLM relay assaults versus Home windows area controllers

To ward off the assault known as PetitPotam, Microsoft advises you to disable NTLM authentication on your Home windows domain controller.

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Microsoft is sounding an warn about a threat versus Windows area controllers that would make it possible for attackers to seize NTLM (NT LAN Manager) qualifications and certificates. In an advisory introduced previous Friday, the corporation warned of an attack dubbed PetitPotam, which could be employed against Home windows domains controllers and other Windows servers.

SEE: Checklist: Securing Windows 10 programs (TechRepublic Quality)

Uncovered and examined by a French researcher named Gilles Lionel (recognised on Twitter as @topotam), according to tech information site The Record, PetitPotam exploits a security hole in Windows through which an attacker can drive a Home windows server to share NTLM authentication aspects and certificates.

Dubbed a vintage NTLM relay attack by Microsoft, the course of action operates by abusing a Home windows protocol recognised as MS-EFSRPC, which lets pcs do the job with encrypted facts on remote methods, The History reported.

By sending Server Information Block (SMB) requests to the MS-EFSRPC interface on a distant program, an attacker can trick the qualified server into sharing credential authentication specifics. From there, the attacker can result in an NTLM relay attack to achieve access to other desktops on the similar community.

As earlier described in a Microsoft assist document from 2009, NTLM relay assaults have been close to for a amount of years. This sort of attacks consider advantage of the security vulnerabilities in NTLM as a process for authentication. Although Microsoft has been urging customers to jettison NTLM for the reason that of its flaws, lots of corporations still depend on it, if only for legacy applications, prompting the firm to proceed to patch each individual gap as it pops up.

Most variations of Home windows server are afflicted by this flaw, which include 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019. In a assistance document, Microsoft explained that your group is most likely vulnerable to PetitPotam if NTLM authentication is enabled on your domain and you use Energetic Directory Certificate Products and services (Ad CS) with Certificate Authority World wide web Enrollment or Certification Enrollment Web Assistance. If you match that category, Microsoft delivers a couple of tips.

The favored solution is to disable NTLM authentication on your Windows area, a course of action you can put into practice by following the actions explained on this Microsoft network protection website page.

If you cannot disable NTLM on your area because of to compatibility factors, Microsoft implies disabling it on any Advertisement CS Servers in your domain, which you can do through Team Policy. If essential, you can include exceptions to this plan. Alternatively, disable NTLM for Internet Data Services (IIS) on Ad CS Servers in your domain that operate Certificate Authority Website Enrollment or Certification Enrollment Web Provider products and services.

“To avoid NTLM Relay Assaults on networks with NTLM enabled, area directors ought to assure that solutions that allow NTLM authentication make use of protections these types of as Extended Security for Authentication (EPA) or signing options this kind of as SMB signing,” Microsoft claimed. “PetitPotam usually takes gain of servers wherever Active Directory Certification Solutions is not configured with protections for NTLM Relay Assaults.”

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