Study Reveals Cybersecurity Risks from Misconfigured Microsoft SCCM Systems


At the SO-CON security conference, researchers from SpecterOps, Chris Thompson and Duane Michael, introduced a groundbreaking initiative named Misconfiguration Manager. This repository serves as a comprehensive knowledge base for understanding and addressing security vulnerabilities stemming from improperly configured Microsoft Configuration Manager (MCM), formerly known as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

MCM, a stalwart presence in Active Directory environments since 1994, facilitates the management of servers and workstations on Windows networks. However, its intricate setup often leaves gaps that adversaries can exploit to gain administrative privileges within a Windows domain.

The Misconfiguration Manager repository compiles attack and defense techniques tailored to the nuances of MCM configurations. It transcends mere documentation of known adversarial tactics, incorporating insights from penetration testing, red team operations, and broader security research.

Chief among the security concerns highlighted by the researchers is the prevalence of network access accounts (NAA) endowed with excessive privileges. In several instances encountered during their investigations, the misconfiguration of NAAs proved instrumental in enabling attackers to escalate privileges, compromise SharePoint accounts, and even assume control over domain controllers.

The repository elucidates 22 distinct attack techniques, encompassing credential access, privilege escalation, reconnaissance, and hierarchical takeover within MCM environments. To counter these threats, the researchers delineate defensive strategies categorized into prevention, detection, and canary deployment measures.

While Misconfiguration Manager equips defenders with invaluable insights and actionable guidance, the researchers underscore the importance of thorough testing before implementing defensive measures in production environments. Given MCM's widespread adoption and pivotal role in Active Directory domains, diligent configuration management is imperative to bolstering overall security posture.