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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-0404
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
SAP Enable Now, before version 1911, leaks information about network configuration in the server error messages, leading to Information Disclosure.
CVE-2019-0405
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
SAP Enable Now, before version 1911, leaks information about the existence of a particular user which can be used to construct a list of users, leading to a user enumeration vulnerability and Information Disclosure.
CVE-2019-0395
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform (Fiori BI Launchpad), before version 4.2, allows execution of JavaScript in a text module in Fiori BI Launchpad, leading to Stored Cross Site Scripting vulnerability.
CVE-2019-0398
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Due to insufficient CSRF protection, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform (Monitoring Application), before versions 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3, may lead to an authenticated user to send unintended request to the web server, leading to Cross Site Request Forgery.
CVE-2019-0399
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
SAP Portfolio and Project Management, before versions S4CORE 102, 103, EPPM 100 and CPRXRPM 500_702, 600_740, 610_740; unintentionally allows a user to discover accounting information of the Projects in Project dashboard, leading to Information Disclosure.