By Joel Scambray
It is senseless that the writer are charging an analogous expense for this digital model as their print edition...except for greed.
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Additional resources for Hacking Exposed Windows: Microsoft Windows Security Secrets and Solutions, Third Edition
Thus, if you can authenticate to Windows as an authorized user, you will have access to all the resources and data relevant to that user. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to authenticate as an administrative user, you will likely have access to the resources and data for all the users on the system. The access control gatekeeper for user mode data and resources is the Local Security Authority (LSA), a protected subsystem that works across user and kernel mode to authenticate users, authorize access to resources, enforce security policy, and manage security audit events.
Other popular risk quantification approaches include Microsoft’s DREAD system (Damage potential, Reproducibility, Exploitability, Affected users, and Discoverability), as well as the simplified system used by the Microsoft Security Response Center in their security bulleting severity ratings. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is a somewhat more complex but potentially more accurate representation of common software vulnerability risks. ” We encourage you to tinker with each of these approaches and determine which one is right for you and your organization.
Here’s the kicker: Non-SYSTEM service account passwords are stored in cleartext in a portion of the Registry called the LSA Secrets, which is accessible only to LocalSystem. We highlighted this sentence because it leads to one of the major security failings of the Windows OS: If a malicious hacker can compromise a Windows NT family system with Administrator-equivalent privileges, he or she can extract the cleartext passwords for service accounts on that machine. ” Here’s where things get sticky: Service accounts can be domain accounts or even accounts from other trusted domains.