Adversaries may gather information on Group Policy settings to identify paths for privilege escalation, security measures applied within a domain, and to discover patterns in domain objects that can be manipulated or used to blend in the environment. Group Policy allows for centralized management of user and computer settings in Active Directory (AD). Group policy objects (GPOs) are containers for group policy settings made up of files stored within a predicable network path
Adversaries may use commands such as
gpresult or various publicly available PowerShell functions, such as
Get-DomainGPOLocalGroup, to gather information on Group Policy settings. Adversaries may use this information to shape follow-on behaviors, including determining potential attack paths within the target network as well as opportunities to manipulate Group Policy settings (i.e. Domain Policy Modification) for their benefit.
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
|ID||Data Source||Data Component|
|DS0026||Active Directory||Active Directory Object Access|
|DS0029||Network Traffic||Network Traffic Content|
System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities based on the information obtained.
Monitor for suspicious use of
gpresult. Monitor for the use of PowerShell functions such as
Get-DomainGPOLocalGroup and processes spawning with command-line arguments containing
Monitor for abnormal LDAP queries with filters for
groupPolicyContainer and high volumes of LDAP traffic to domain controllers. Windows Event ID 4661 can also be used to detect when a directory service has been accessed.