Domain Policy Modification

Adversaries may modify the configuration settings of a domain to evade defenses and/or escalate privileges in domain environments. Domains provide a centralized means of managing how computer resources (ex: computers, user accounts) can act, and interact with each other, on a network. The policy of the domain also includes configuration settings that may apply between domains in a multi-domain/forest environment. Modifications to domain settings may include altering domain Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or changing trust settings for domains, including federation trusts.

With sufficient permissions, adversaries can modify domain policy settings. Since domain configuration settings control many of the interactions within the Active Directory (AD) environment, there are a great number of potential attacks that can stem from this abuse. Examples of such abuse include modifying GPOs to push a malicious Scheduled Task to computers throughout the domain environment or modifying domain trusts to include an adversary controlled domain where they can control access tokens that will subsequently be accepted by victim domain resources. Adversaries can also change configuration settings within the AD environment to implement a Rogue Domain Controller.

Adversaries may temporarily modify domain policy, carry out a malicious action(s), and then revert the change to remove suspicious indicators.


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