DeepSec 2019 Talk: Well, That Escalated Quickly! – A Penetration Tester’s Approach to Windows Privilege Escalation – Khalil Bijjou

Since the early stages of operating systems, users and privileges were separated. Implemented security mechanisms prevent unauthorized access and usage of data and functions. These security mechanisms have been circumvented a number of times, which has led to steady improvements. Nevertheless, attackers find new vulnerabilities and security holes.

Security experts often encounter Mirosoft® Windows endpoints or systems and gain low privileged access. To fully compromise the system, privileges have to be escalated. Windows contains a great number of security concepts and mechanisms. These render privilege escalation attacks difficult. Penetration testers should have a sound knowledge base about Windows components and security mechanisms in order to understand privilege escalation concepts profoundly and to apply them properly.

Khalil’s presentation at DeepSec 2019 imparts knowledge on Windows required to understand privilege escalation attacks. It describes the most relevant privilege escalation methods, techniques and names suitable tools and commands. These methods and techniques have been categorized, included into an attack tree and have been tested and verified in a realistic lab environment. Based upon these results, a systematic and practical approach for security experts on how to escalate privileges was developed.

 

Khalil Bijjou is a passionate penetration tester and team leader with a big curiosity for technical topics, especially in the field of IT security. He performs security assessments in the field of web, infrastructure and SAP security. Placed 2nd in the German Post IT Security Cup 2015 and carries the Mint award 2016 in the field of Cybersecurity. Publisher of the open-source tool WAFNinja which is used by security experts world-wide.

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