HomeCyber BalkansEliminating NTLM from your network

Eliminating NTLM from your network

Published on

spot_img

NTLM, or NT LAN Manager, has long been known for its lack of robust password security. Its simple unsalted hashing system has made it a prime target for hackers looking to easily break and decode passwords. But beyond this glaring flaw, NTLM also has several other behaviors that make it an attractive option for cybercriminals.

One of the key weaknesses of NTLM is that it does not require any local connection to a Windows Domain. This means that it can be used with a local account and even when the intended target server is unknown. This lack of dependency on specific network configurations makes it a versatile tool for attackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities in various systems.

Furthermore, NTLM was developed before modern cryptographic techniques were widely adopted. This means that it lacks the sophisticated security features found in newer authentication protocols like Kerberos. The outdated nature of NTLM’s design makes it relatively easy for adversaries to compromise systems that still rely on it for authentication.

In comparison, Kerberos has emerged as a more secure alternative to NTLM. Microsoft has been pushing for the adoption of Kerberos as the default authentication protocol since Windows Server 2000. Unlike NTLM, which relies on a three-way handshake for authentication, Kerberos uses a ticket granting service or key distribution center to securely authenticate users.

Despite the security benefits of Kerberos, NTLM continues to be widely used due to its ease of implementation. In cases where Kerberos fails to authenticate a user or application, NTLM often serves as a fallback option. This flexibility has made NTLM especially prevalent in environments with workgroups and local user accounts, where Kerberos may not be compatible.

Microsoft has acknowledged that a significant portion of NTLM usage comes from local users and legacy systems. The protocol is also commonly employed in Remote Desktop Services, where it can be difficult to fully replace with more secure alternatives. As a result, Microsoft has been slow to phase out NTLM support, despite the inherent security risks associated with the outdated protocol.

In light of these challenges, cybersecurity experts have emphasized the importance of transitioning away from NTLM in favor of more secure authentication mechanisms like Kerberos. While NTLM may have served its purpose in the past, its continued use poses a significant security risk for organizations that fail to upgrade to newer, more secure protocols. As cyber threats evolve, it is crucial for businesses to prioritize the adoption of modern authentication technologies to protect their systems and data from potential breaches.

Source link

Latest articles

India and Estonia Form Cyber Security Partnership to Address Risks Posed by Chinese Hackers

India and Estonia, two countries with different strengths in the field of cybersecurity, are...

93% of vulnerabilities remain unanalyzed by NVD since February

The recent slowdown at the National Vulnerability Database has caused a backlog of 93%...

CyberArk Embraces Machine Identity with Venafi Deal

The recent trend in cyber attacks has shifted to targeting machine identities in addition...

ShrinkLocker: Turning BitLocker into ransomware – Source: securelist.com

In a recent incident response engagement, a clever technique involving the misuse of the...

More like this

India and Estonia Form Cyber Security Partnership to Address Risks Posed by Chinese Hackers

India and Estonia, two countries with different strengths in the field of cybersecurity, are...

93% of vulnerabilities remain unanalyzed by NVD since February

The recent slowdown at the National Vulnerability Database has caused a backlog of 93%...

CyberArk Embraces Machine Identity with Venafi Deal

The recent trend in cyber attacks has shifted to targeting machine identities in addition...
en_USEnglish