Home Blog What are Kerberoasting attacks and how do you stop them?

What are Kerberoasting attacks and how do you stop them?

 2024/02/26   IT & Cyber-Security Solutions   310 visit(s)  4 min to read




Kerberoasting attacks are on the rise. How does this attack method work and what can firms do to protect themselves?

Kerberoasting attacks are becoming more common as hackers improve their skills in targeting organizations. A security firm observed a significant rise in Kerberoasting in the past year. This is alarming because these attacks can combine with ransomware to inflict serious damage. Kerberoasting is a technique that exploits the Kerberos authentication protocol used on Windows devices to access network resources based on service names. This type of attack is not new - it has been around since 2014. But many organizations today have vulnerable and complex systems that mix old and new technologies. This makes Kerberoasting more attractive to hackers. Also, Kerberoasting can be very profitable for attackers, because they can compromise an organization’s entire network if they succeed. So what is Kerberoasting, why are these attacks difficult to detect and prevent, and what can organizations do to protect themselves?

What is Kerberoasting?

Kerberoasting is a method of breaking into network systems. Kerberos is a protocol that Windows devices use to verify the identities of users and services on the network. It was developed by MIT in the 1980s. It allows users and services to prove their identities without exposing their passwords. Later, it became the standard way of authenticating users for operating systems. Hackers began to exploit the protocol, and Kerberoasting was a new way of doing that. The term was coined by a security researcher in 2014. That year, the first Kerberoasting attacks targeted government and financial institutions. Since then, hackers have used it in various sectors. It has been involved in espionage campaigns and recently, a foreign government used Kerberoasting in attacks that affected many organizations, as reported by a security leader.

Kerberoasting attacks are good at hiding and staying quiet on the network, so they are hard to detect and prevent. A security analyst explained that requesting a ticket is a normal activity, and smart hackers can avoid detection by making their requests look benign and infrequent. Kerberoasting attacks can be harmful inside the network, as they allow malicious users to escalate their privileges. A security tester warned that a publicly exposed Kerberos port can be extremely risky, potentially leading to the compromise of internal systems and data.

What is the impact of Kerberoasting attacks?

Kerberoasting attacks are getting worse as hackers use technology to be more efficient. A new trend is using cloud tools to perform Kerberoasting attacks. The security leader said that these tools make it easier, without requiring special knowledge or skills. The hackers are also using automation more to execute Kerberoasting attacks. The security leader added that they can target many accounts quickly and effectively. At the same time, Kerberoasting attacks often accompany other techniques, most of which exploit weak password security. The security leader gave an example of brute-forcing, and said that Kerberoasting helps identify accounts with weak passwords, which can then be cracked by brute-forcing. It’s a big problem, and experts agree that to stop Kerberoasting attacks, it’s important to know how to detect and prevent them. For this, a good security strategy is needed, according to a security analyst. The security analyst stated that the main issue is weak passwords, and advised to make sure both service and user accounts have strong passwords. Organizations should also look out for indicators of an attack. A security consultant said that the indicators of a Kerberoasting attack are not always obvious, but suggested some things to look for, such as unusual service ticket requests, login or access failures, and abnormal network traffic.

How to Detect and Prevent Kerberoasting Attacks?

With this in mind, organizations can monitor for excessive ticket requests and see if they match known hacking tools like Rubeus, according to the security analyst. The security analyst also recommended the use of fake accounts, which generate noise if used to request tickets, and monitoring ticket requests from unexpected user accounts, as ways to detect Kerberoasting.

Another way that companies can protect themselves from Kerberoasting is by encrypting their network traffic to prevent hackers from intercepting it. A security expert suggested this as a good practice. It’s also important to educate your workers about the risks of Kerberoasting attacks. The security leader explained that this means making them aware of how important strong passwords are for service accounts, using a zero-trust approach to secure endpoints. The security leader also advised not to allow password sharing and to be cautious when receiving emails from unknown sources.

As a premier Cisco Partner in Saudi Arabia, Ctelecoms can help Saudi organizations protect themselves from cyber threats and enhance their communication and collaboration. Ctelecoms has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and satisfying customers across the Kingdom. Whether you are looking to transform how you work, improve your efficiency and productivity, or reduce your costs and risks, Ctelecoms can help you find the best solutions that suit your business needs and goals. Contact us today!

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