[TOOL] CacheDump - Recovering Windows Password Cache Entries
From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 19 May 2005 16:28:02 +0200
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CacheDump - Recovering Windows Password Cache Entries
CacheDump will create a CacheDump NT Service to get SYSTEM right and make
his stuff on the registry. Then, it will retrieve the LSA Cipher Key to
decrypt (rc4/hmac_md5 GloubiBoulga) cache entries values. A John The
Ripper module has been developed to attack the hashed values that are
retrieved ( timing equivalent to MD4( MD4( password|U(username) ) ).
* The tool's source can be obtained from:
http://www.cr0.net:8040/misc/cachedump-1.1.zip and at:
* The <http://www.cr0.net:8040/misc/john-1.6.37-bigpatch-11.diff.gz>
john bigpatch adds support for a wide range of password hashes to John the
Ripper 1.6.37. Among other, it allows offline brute forcing of Windows
Cache (mscash) password entries.
Users authenticate themselves on a Domain Controller (DC) using
NTLM/NTLMv2. However the DC sometimes goes offline or the network cable is
unplugged; in this situation, the Local Security Authority System Service
(LSASS) uses password cache entries from the registry to perform offline
Description of the Authentication Process:
The WINLOGON process displays the msgina dialog and prompts for the
username, password and domain. The authentication process itself is
handled by LSASS:
WinLogon ---> LSASS ---> LSASRV -> MSV1_0 -> [Registry Cache Entries]
The most important part of the authentication process happens in
MSV1_0.dll. LSASS calls the LSAApLogonUserEx2 function which first checks
if the DC is unavailable; in this case, it attempts to match the password
entered by the user against the cached password.
The cache entries do not include the authentication credentials in the
an LSA key is used to decrypt them. Credentials are stored in:
HKLM\SECURITY\CACHE\NL$n with n ranging between 1 and 10. The default ACL
does not allow Administrators to read these registry values, which can
only be accessed with SYSTEM privileges.
The size of these values may differ but they are roughly composed of 4
MD CH T EDATA
NL$ = [ metadata in the clear ][ Text ][ Text ][ Encrypted Data ]
64 bytes 16 Bytes 16 bytes > 100 bytes
* MD contains several informations about elements of the cache entry
structure, such as the username size in the first 2 bytes.
* CH is an array of 16 random(?) bytes used to generate a RC4 key.
* EDATA contains encrypted authentication credential: username (unicode),
domain name (unicode), NT-hash, LM-hash (optional). It can be decrypted
using the decrypted LSA secret NL$KM. specific to each computer.
EDATA is decrypted by performing these steps:
0. LSA keyB = DES( NL$KM, static in-memory LSA keyA )
1. RC4 keyC = HMAC_MD5( LSA keyB, CH )
2. DATA = RC4( EDATA, RC4 keyC );
DATA contains the following informations:
* [ 96, 102 ] : MSCASH = MD4( MD4(password ) || lowercase(username) )
* [ 168, 168 + username_length * 2 ] : username
* [ 168 + username_length * 2 + 2, ... ] : domain name
The password hash is salted with the unicode username.
The CacheDump Tool:
CacheDump, licensed under the GPL, demonstrates how to recover cache entry
information: username and MSCASH. Administrators or security consultants
are welcomed to use this program; malicious users can't do anything with
long as they do not have Administrator privileges.
CacheDump does not rely on the dll-injection method used in pwdump or
lsadump2; it creates a NT service on the fly in order to read the static
LSA key from LSASS.EXE's process memory, and deciphers the cache entries
to expose the MSCASH values.
CacheDump's output is similar to pwdump's, with of course a different hash
function; a plugin for john the ripper password cracker has been developed
for offline dictionnary and bruteforce cracking.
John The Ripper plugin:
1 - Prerequisites
This plugin for John the Ripper should work on all architectures supported
by the cracker. It will run on most unices. Under Microsoft Windows, it
will only work under Cygwin.
2 - Installation
Patch John the Ripper version 1.6.37:
tar xfz john-1.6.37.tar.gz
gunzip -c john-1.6.37.mscash.x.gz | patch -p0
Then build john as usual:
Installing John is a bit tricky. Version 1.6.37 of John does not include
documentation and charset files. Configuring John is beyond the scope of
this document. However, you can apply the patch from:
It features numerous additionnal hashes, and the produced binary should
"play nice" with other John packages from the Debian distribution or other
3 - Usage
John expects the CacheDump output file format. Usernames and hashed
passwords should be separated by ':', and there should only be one
username/password couple by line. The format MUST be specified on the
/john -format:mscash file.txt
4 - Technical details
This patch is invasive. John's current framework does not provide support
for hashes algorithms that rely on the username to salt the password
hashes. Many core files have been patched and there could be various side
effects; this patch has only been tested on Linux/i686.
5 - Example
Copy the result in mscash.txt
Service not found. Installing CacheDump Service (C:\cachedump.exe -s)
CacheDump service successfully installed.
Service currently active. Stopping service...
Service successfully removed.
$ ./john -format:mscash ./mscash.txt
Loaded 1 password hash (M$ Cache Hash [mscash])
In order to prevent a malicious user from recovering cached passwords, we
Revoke local administrator privileges from all users;
Reduce the number of cached password. Change to 1 the following registry
The information has been provided by <mailto:pilon[@]off-by-one.net>
To keep updated with the tool visit the project's homepage at:
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