PowerShell "Remoting" is a feature that holds a lot of promise for incident response. "Remoting" is the ability to run PowerShell commands directly on remote systems and have just the results sent back to the querying machine. From an IR standpoint, this is like a built-in agent ready and waiting to answer your investigative questions--at scale. As I'll discuss shortly, Remoting provides us the ability to query a thousand machine in just minutes!
Before I get to the details of Remoting though, let me kickoff the discussion by going through the basics of PowerShell and Windows Remote Management (WinRM), which provides the foundation for the PowerShell "Remoting" feature. After covering this background information, I'll go over the significant performance benefits of Remoting and then cover the authentication details and implications for privileged account use (fortunately there's a lot of good news on this front too).
PowerShell is the ...
It's been a busy time in digital forensics and incident response (DFIR). Every summer, for over 20 years, infosec and forensicators and old school hackers have gathered in Las Vegas. A mixture of very deep tech talks, trainings, and technology oriented distractions "flood the zone" in Las Vegas. Close to 15-20,000 people were in Las Vegas this summer for what has now evolved into three separate conferences, all in the same week.
July 27th was the start of Black Hat atCaesars Palace in Las Vegas. The conference kicks off with training in the last weekend of the month, and finishes onWednesday, July 31st and Thursday, August 1st, with lectures and technical demonstrations, called "Black Hat Briefings." This year, in the wake of the NSA/Snowden rowe, NSA Director, General Keith Alexander gave the opening keynote. Black Hat was more corporate than ever, with more sponsor banners, and sponsor-generated talks (disclosed by the organizers, and placed in a separate area, bravo!)
A key component of any investigation is the type of data exfiltrated. If sensitive data is on a compromised machine, risk is increased significantly. Also, there is a patch work of legislation covering various types of data which is considered sensitive (http://www.reyrey.com/regulations/). In general, social security and credit card numbers are at the top of the concern list. Since many states have encryption exemptions, a forensicator needs to know, does any media storage in the case have sensitive data in the clear?
Data can be encrypted by system administrators/DBAs or by attackers. Attackers usually encrypt data as part of the staging process prior to data exfiltation. Attackers commonly password protected and compressed the data as a .rar file. With strong passwords (32+ character pass-phrases) .rar files can be difficult to almost impossible to open with normal computing power.
Using a cross
As incident responders, we are often called upon to not only supply answers regarding "Who, What, When, Where, and How" an incident occurred, but also how does the organization protect itself against future attacks of a similar nature? In other words, what are the lessons learned and recommendations based on the findings?
A new paper from Microsoft titled "Best Practices for Securing Active Directory" provides a wealth of information and guidance that responders can use to answer these types of questions. The paper can be found at the following link: http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/06/03/microsoft-releases-new-mitigation-guidance-for-active-directory.aspx.
I've reviewed the paper and it is an excellent document in my opinion. As the foreword by Microsoft's CISO explains, the paper provides a "practitioner's
There are numerous ways of concealing sensitive data and code within malicious files and programs. Fortunately, attackers use one particular XOR-based technique very frequently, because offers sufficient protection and is simple to implement. Here's a look at several tools for deobfuscating XOR-encoded data during static malware analysis.