Windows information gathering using Powershell: a brief cheatsheet

During a penetration test, once you get a local access to a target, you should start a local assessment of the machine in order to plan a correct tactic for privileges escalation and lateral movement.

So, today l’d like to share my own cheatsheet of useful powershell commands.


Basic System Information

Start-Process "systeminfo" -NoNewWindow -Wait;

Environment Variables

Get-ChildItem Env: | ft Key,Value;

Network Information

Get-NetIPConfiguration | ft InterfaceAlias,InterfaceDescription,IPv4Address;

DNS Servers

Get-DnsClientServerAddress -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft;

ARP cache

Useful for discover other assets suitable for lateral movement

Get-NetNeighbor -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft ifIndex,IPAddress,LinkLayerAddress,State;

Routing Table

Useful for understand routing and internet exposition of the target

Get-NetRoute -AddressFamily IPv4 | ft DestinationPrefix,NextHop,RouteMetric,ifIndex;

Network Connections

Start-Process "netstat" -ArgumentList "-ano" -NoNewWindow -Wait;

Connected Drives

Get-PSDrive | where {$_.Provider -like "Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem"};

Firewall Config

Start-Process "netsh" -ArgumentList "firewall show config" -NoNewWindow -Wait

Current User

Write-Host $env:UserDomain\$env:UserName;

User Privileges

Information required to define a privileges escalation tactic

start-process "whoami" -ArgumentList "/priv" -NoNewWindow -Wait

Local Users

Get-LocalUser | ft Name,Enabled,LastLogon;

Logged in Users

Start-Process "qwinsta" -NoNewWindow -Wait

Credential Manager

start-process "cmdkey" -ArgumentList "/list" -NoNewWindow -Wait

User Autologon Registry Items

Get-ItemProperty -Path "Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" | select "Default*"

Local Groups

Get-LocalGroup | ft Name

Local Administrators

Get-LocalGroupMember Administrators | ft Name, PrincipalSource

User Directories

Get-ChildItem C:\Users | ft Name

Searching for SAM backup files

A SAM backup file may be cracked in order to recover users credentials

Test-Path %SYSTEMROOT%\repair\SAM ; Test-Path %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config\regback\SAM;

Running Processes

gwmi -Query "Select * from Win32_Process" | where {$_.Name -notlike "svchost*"} | Select Name, Handle, @{Label="Owner";Expression={$_.GetOwner().User}} | ft -AutoSize

Installed Software Directories

Get-ChildItem "C:\Program Files", "C:\Program Files (x86)" | ft Parent,Name,LastWriteTime

Software in Registry

Get-ChildItem -path Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE | ft Name

Folders with Everyone Permissions

Writable folders in sensitive location are useful for persistance

Get-ChildItem "C:\Program Files*", "C:\Program Files (x86)*" | % { try { Get-Acl $_ -EA SilentlyContinue | Where {($_.Access|select -ExpandProperty IdentityReference) -match "Everyone"} } catch {}}

Checking registry for AlwaysInstallElevated

Windows provide a group policy setting which allows a regular user to install a MSI package with system privileges: this can be abused by an attacker in order to escalate his privileges to SYSTEM

Test-Path -Path "Registry::HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer"

Unquoted Service Paths

When a service is created whose executable path contains spaces and isn’t enclosed within quotes, leads to a vulnerability known as Unquoted Service Path: Windows would handle the space as a break and pass the rest of the service path as an argument.
This misconfiguration may be exploited by an attacker in oder to execute commands with target service’s privileges (usually SYSTEM).

gwmi -class Win32_Service -Property Name, DisplayName, PathName, StartMode | Where {$_.StartMode -eq "Auto" -and $_.PathName -notlike "C:\Windows" -and $_.PathName -notlike '"'} | select PathName, DisplayName, Name

Scheduled Tasks

Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.TaskPath -notlike "\Microsoft*"} | ft TaskName,TaskPath,State;

Get-ChildItem C:\Windows\Tasks

Startup Commands

Get-CimInstance Win32_StartupCommand | select Name, command, Location, User

Searching for useful files containing sensitive information

Unattend and Sysprep files

Get-Childitem –Path C:\ -Include unattend,sysprep -File -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | where {($_.Name -like ".xml" -or $_.Name -like ".txt" -or $_.Name -like "*.ini")}

web.config files

Get-Childitem –Path C:\ -Include web.config -File -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

Files with credentials

Get-Childitem –Path C:\ -Include password,cred,vnc -File -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

Files with passwords

Get-ChildItem c:* -include .xml,.ini,.txt,.config -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Where-Object {$_.PSPath -notlike "C:\temp" -and $_.PSParentPath -notlike "Reference Assemblies" -and $_.PSParentPath -notlike "Windows Kits"}| Select-String -Pattern "password"

Various config files

Get-Childitem –Path C:\ -Include php.ini,httpd.conf,httpd-xampp.conf,my.ini,my.cnf -File -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

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