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Active Directory Flaw Lets Attackers Change Passwords
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ericmorales
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ericmorales,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/23/2014 | 6:31:33 AM
Active Directory Password
If the attackers have physical access to your domain controller, they can use the PCUnlocker Live CD to boot off the machine and change Active Directory admin password quickly, without knowing the original one. This can be done in minutes while it's impossible to obtain the original password in a short time.
kobrien82
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50%
kobrien82,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/23/2014 | 6:39:06 AM
Time to move on?
At some point, perhaps it makes sense to simply move on from Active Directory itself? Even as more companies are moving to the cloud and starting to build out new environments in some combination of AWS/Azure/Rackspace/whatever, there still seems to be a de facto approach of shoehorning in AD to attempt to manage authentication and authorization. 

One perspective (previously written about on DR) is that this flaw is indicative of how Active Directory is simply not designed to deal with the new infrastructure stack that many companies are moving to. The combination of poor design choices and thinly supported logging creates a threat surface that AD struggles to address, especially as authn and authz becomes more distributed. Active Directory is a legacy tool, and vulnerabilities like this are good reason to reconsider replacing it, especially as it becomes less essential and more of a holdover from a different generation of on-premise architecture.
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
7/18/2014 | 10:00:15 AM
Re: Microsoft: "not a vulnerability, but a part of Active Directory's design"
I believe they view this as a non-issue because it requires physical access in order to pull it off.  If I have physical access I can do pretty much anything I want, this is just another drop in the bucket.  At least that is my way of looking at it.  It could also be that they are unable to fix the issue if doing so meant unravelling large portions of Active Directory foundations.
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/17/2014 | 3:59:01 PM
Re: Microsoft: "not a vulnerability, but a part of Active Directory's design"
Physical access = all bets are off. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
7/17/2014 | 1:05:17 PM
Re: Microsoft: "not a vulnerability, but a part of Active Directory's design"
Strongly agree, @securityaffairs!
securityaffairs
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50%
securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
7/17/2014 | 12:49:59 PM
Re: Microsoft: "not a vulnerability, but a part of Active Directory's design"
Hi Marilyn, the security issues related to the NTLM are well known, but I disagree the statement 

"not a vulnerability, but a part of Active Directory's design" 

if an attacker could impersonate a user and changes its password it is a critical security issue!
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2014 | 11:21:17 AM
Re: NTLM Authentication Bypass
Yes, Interesting. Client machines do not need to be booted form the devices, for servers we can just manage that as needed basis.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2014 | 11:17:17 AM
Re: Active Directory
Agree, if the domain is compromised, there is nothing else left to compromise. Most organizations do not encrypt the data at rest, it is free way to the data. We would think there is layered approach to security and each time you pass one layer it gets harder to pass the next layer, that is not the case, it gets easier one you pass the firewall.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2014 | 11:13:31 AM
Person in the chair
 

There would always be weaknesses if the person in the chair would not pay enough attention to the security. If she/he left the computer unlock he/she most likely posted the password to the monitor or under the keyboard too, nothing would help after that point forward. Security is a journey and everybody needs to be on board for it to succeed.
GonzSTL
50%
50%
GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/15/2014 | 4:00:17 PM
Active Directory
Speaking of Active Directory, there's this Network World coverage about Black Hat 2014:

ABUSING MICROSOFT KERBEROS


Here's the abstract for this session by researchers Alva "Skip" Duckwall and Benjamin Delpy: "Microsoft Active Directory uses Kerberos to handle authentication requests by default. However, if the domain is compromised, how bad can it really be? With the loss of the right hash, Kerberos can be completely compromised for years after the attacker gained access. Yes, it really is that bad." They'll demonstrate such a compromise in real-world conditions.
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