Domain Policy Modification: Group Policy Modification


Adversaries may modify Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to subvert the intended discretionary access controls for a domain, usually with the intention of escalating privileges on the domain. Group policy allows for centralized management of user and computer settings in Active Directory (AD). GPOs are containers for group policy settings made up of files stored within a predicable network path \<DOMAIN>\SYSVOL\<DOMAIN>\Policies\.Like other objects in AD, GPOs have access controls associated with them. By default all user accounts in the domain have permission to read GPOs. It is possible to delegate GPO access control permissions, e.g. write access, to specific users or groups in the domain.Malicious GPO modifications can be used to implement many other malicious behaviors such as Scheduled Task/Job, Disable or Modify Tools, Ingress Tool Transfer, Create Account, Service Execution, and more.Since GPOs can control so many user and machine settings in the AD environment, there are a great number of potential attacks that can stem from this GPO abuse

Products, Sensors, and Dependencies

ProductDependenciesData sourceAccess requiredProtocolData CollectedNotes
Tenable Identity ExposureActive DirectoryStandard AD userLDAPUser, Groups, Group Policy and ACL

Attack Path Technique Details

Framework: MITRE ATT&CK

Family: Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation

Platform: Windows

Products Required: Tenable Identity Exposure

Tenable Release Date: 2022 Q2