Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

7/23/2019
05:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Penetration Test Data Shows Risk to Domain Admin Credentials

But gaining a foothold on the LAN via vulnerabilities on Internet-facing assets is becoming harder, Rapid7 found in its real-world pen tests.

A new analysis of data from 180 real-world penetration tests in enterprise organizations suggests that cybercriminals who manage to get a foothold on an internal network have an opportunity to then gain domain administrator access in more than three in four cases.

But attacks on Internet-facing assets actually result in some kind of internal access only about 20% of the time because of the security controls that many organizations have implemented at the network perimeter. Attacks on Web applications are likely to result in site-wide compromise even more rarely (3%) of the time, the study by security vendor Rapid7 showed.

"Organizations are already doing an okay job of shoring up that porous border between internal and external networks," says Tod Beardsley, research director at Rapid7. Many companies have moved out their external infrastructure to cloud-hosting providers - creating a gap of sorts between their internal and external assets, he says.

"Companies are spending less on their own rack space, so this separation is creating a pretty good boundary," Beardsley notes. "It's unlikely, now, that an external Web application compromise will lead directly to an internal LAN compromise."

Rapid7's report is based on an analysis of data from internal and external penetration tests the company conducted at client sites between Sept 2018 and May 2019.  

For the external tests, Rapid7's researchers probed an organization's Internet-exposed assets including Web applications, VPN concentrators, and file transfer systems. Internal tests were focused on finding vulnerabilities in things like Active Directory domains, printers, and IoT integrations. The analysis included data from electronic and physical social engineering exercises aimed at gaining access to an organization's IT assets.

Rapid7's research showed that penetration testers are almost always (96%) able to find at least one major vulnerability that impacts data confidentiality or data integrity. Seventy-two percent of the tests resulted in at least one password being compromised—often because the passwords were known defaults or easily guessed ones.

Most of the flaws on the internal LAN tend to be Microsoft-centered and have an impact on data integrity. The biggest problems here have to do with SMB relaying: a failure to apply critical patches and credentials being stored in cleartext. In 11% of the client sites, Rapid7 found organizations had not deployed patches even for very old vulnerabilities and for extremely critical flaws like EternalBlue, which was exploited in the WannaCry ransomware attacks of 2017.

Unlike prior years, penetration testers were able to use SMB relaying as a viable attack only about 15% of the time, suggesting organizations are much more aware of the need for SMB signing and are getting rid of SMB clients that don't support signing, Beardsley says.

Rapid7's penetration testers discovered that certain Windows remote administration technologies like Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and PsExec continue to provide attackers with avenues for lateral movement. PowerShell restrictions are becoming increasingly common in enterprises, however, making it harder for attackers to misuse the long-abused feature.

"There's a lot of incident management around PowerShell and a lot of endpoint security solutions are optimized to spot suspicious PowerShell usage," Beardsley says.

External Vulnerabilities

Meanwhile, the most common external network vulnerabilities the 

[Continued on Next Page]

 

 
Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7245
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
Incorrect username validation in the registration processes of CTFd through 2.2.2 allows a remote attacker to take over an arbitrary account after initiating a password reset. This is related to register() and reset_password() in auth.py. To exploit the vulnerability, one must register with a userna...
CVE-2019-14885
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
A flaw was found in the JBoss EAP Vault system in all versions before 7.2.6.GA. Confidential information of the system property's security attribute value is revealed in the JBoss EAP log file when executing a JBoss CLI 'reload' command. This flaw can lead to the exposure of confidential information...
CVE-2019-17570
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
An untrusted deserialization was found in the org.apache.xmlrpc.parser.XmlRpcResponseParser:addResult method of Apache XML-RPC (aka ws-xmlrpc) library. A malicious XML-RPC server could target a XML-RPC client causing it to execute arbitrary code. Apache XML-RPC is no longer maintained and this issue...
CVE-2020-6007
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
Philips Hue Bridge model 2.X prior to and including version 1935144020 contains a Heap-based Buffer Overflow when handling a long ZCL string during the commissioning phase, resulting in a remote code execution.
CVE-2012-4606
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
Citrix XenServer 4.1, 6.0, 5.6 SP2, 5.6 Feature Pack 1, 5.6 Common Criteria, 5.6, 5.5, 5.0, and 5.0 Update 3 contains a Local Privilege Escalation Vulnerability which could allow local users with access to a guest operating system to gain elevated privileges.