It’s Complicated: The Special Risks of Password Spraying to AD and Azure AD and How to Prevent and Detect

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At first glance password spraying would seem hardly worth the effort for an attacker against an organization with decent security. In a perfect world password spraying wouldn’t be so effective. But in the world we live it’s quite the opposite.

Password spraying is effective for a number or reasons:

  • Humans don’t usually pick good passwords
  • The audit events you need to monitor are fragmented across multiple systems and clouds
  • The signal to noise ratio of password spraying is low

But password spraying takes an exponential leap higher in effectiveness when you can’t even get the audit events which is a potential problem with Azure Active Directory as reported by Ars Technica and SecureWorks. Moreover, a bad password in on-prem AD exposes lots of other stuff in the cloud thanks to the coupled security risks of today’s hybrid environment.

In this real training for free event, we’ll explain:

  • how password spraying works and distinguish it from other attacks like credential stuffing
  • various ways that AD and AAD interact from a password standpoint (password hash sync, passthrough, ADFS)
  • why AD is attractive for password sprays
  • risks arcane to hybrid AD and AAD environments
  • the importance of Azure’s new Azure Password Protection for on-prem AD
  • why password spraying is difficult to detect

This will be a technical and practical session and the very knowledgeable Matthew Vinton, Strategic Systems Consultant, from our sponsor Quest Software will talk about what makes it difficult to detect, how it gets more useful the bigger the target, what can be done with regular credentials. (at minimum, recon). Matthew will also demonstrate how Quest On Demand Audit provides a single audit plane across AD and AAD, and can perform anomaly detection at scale across those two platforms.

To prevent AD password sync from making the cloud vulnerable, we will discuss:

  • Enforce MFA across all users
  • Eliminate external AD auth points
  • Deploy Azure AD Password Protection on-prem
  • Perform login anomaly detection against AD to detect unusual rises in unsuccessful sign-in activities

Please join us for this real training for free session.

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