Skip to main content

Beyond Net User - Part 2: DS Commands

In the previous post we discussed some of the limitations of Net commands. Most notably, the output limitation (doesn't show all groups) and it doesn't allow for flexible searching. In this post we'll discuss the DS commands to get around these limitations.

DSGet, DSQuery, DS*

While these tools are useful, they aren't always available. As a pen tester and red teamer, I have to live with what I can find on the systems I come across. I find that these tools are still more widespread than the latest PowerShell Active Directory cmdlets, at least on non-system administrator systems. Here is a useful Stack Overflow post on the subject.

Recursive Searches

In the last post, we discussed a limitation in net group in that it doesn't show groups in other groups. The DS commands do! As a reminder, let's take a look at what we saw with net group when looking at the list of domain administrators.


Now let's do the same search, but use the dsquery and dsget.

dsquery group -name "Domain Admins" | dsget group -expand -members


This shows us all the good stuff in the group, including the groups and users in those groups no matter how far down they are! Recursion FTW!

Flexible Searches

Some organizations will append or prepend text to the username or display name for administrative, privileged, or service accounts. The dsquery command allows us to search for these accounts using a more flexible seach. The command below will search for users with "(admin)" in the display name.

dsquery user -name *(admin)*


We can also search based on the username with -samid.
dsquery user -samid *admin*



You can find more search methods by looking at: dsquery user /?

These searches are MUCH better than what we get with just "net user".

Pipeline

One of the nicest features of the DS commands is that they work well together on the pipeline. I can take the previous "(admin)" search and pipe it into dsget user to get a better look at the user information.

We can get the memberships of each by them add two options: -memberof -expand

As you can see these commands are quite powerful and are a significant upgrade from net user.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Extracting Users from LinkedIn via Burp

We do a lot of pen tests and red teaming at Red Siege. Part of reconnaissance includes gathering a list of employees from a target organization. Typically, those usernames will be used in either phishing or password spray attacks (trying a few passwords across a long list of users). LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information! I'm going to use my good friends at Black Hills Information Security as my guinea pigs (sorry, and thanks!). The tool is here. First, let's look at what the data from LinkedIn looks like a response.



After performing a search for "Black Hills Information Security" we can look at the requests and responses. LinkedIn includes all the user information in responses to "/voyager/api/mux".

We can click the "Next" button a few times in our search to load multiple pages of info. Now, for the extraction. First, select everything in the "HTTP history" with Ctrl+A or Command+A on macOS. Second, right click in the top portion. …

Beyond Net User - Part 1: Limitations of the "Net" commands

I've had a number of cases where the Windows "net user", "net group", and "net localgroup" have failed me. I've had SQLMap fail to give the last line of "net user" output, I've had "net group /domain" not give me the full names (I still don't get how that failed!). On top of that, the commands don't support wildcards. Also, the output of those commands is a pain to parse due to the columns. I'd much prefer to use the AD PowerShell cmdlets, but those aren't always available. I set to find other ways to get the same data. First, let's look at the limitations of the "net" commands.
Net command limitations Hiding Groups in Groups Often when pen testing and red teaming, we would like to figure out information about the domain, most notably the members of the Domain Admins group. Output of the net group "domain admins" command as shown below.

It shows three members: Administrator, sqlagent,…