It’s a Zero-day? It’s Malware? No! It’s Username and Password

It’s a Zero-day? It’s Malware? No! It’s Username and Password

In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, adversaries employ an array of tools to breach security defenses and gain access to sensitive data. Strikingly, one of the most formidable weapons in their arsenal is not malicious code but rather stolen or weak usernames and passwords. This article delves into the gravity of compromised credentials, the obstacles they pose to security solutions, and the significance of implementing robust measures to safeguard Active Directory (AD) environments. Furthermore, we introduce Silverfort Unified Identity Protection, a comprehensive solution designed to bolster security within AD environments and thwart the abuse of compromised credentials.

The Power of Stolen Credentials: Full Access to Any Resource 

In the realm of cyberattacks, stolen usernames and passwords serve as an exceptionally effective means for unauthorized access to networks and systems. These pilfered credentials provide adversaries with an initial point of entry, subsequently granting them access to critical on-premises and cloud-based resources. Compromised credentials represent a formidable threat because the detection of cyber threats largely relies on identifying anomalies within various activities, including processes, network traffic, and user behavior. Anomalies act as warning signs, signaling potential security breaches or malicious activities. However, the malicious use of compromised credentials closely mimics legitimate authentication performed by genuine users. Current security and identity management solutions lack the capability to differentiate between these two scenarios, potentially leading to the blocking of genuine access while allowing malicious actors to proceed unnoticed.

Obtaining Compromised Credentials Has Never Been Easier

Attackers utilize various techniques to obtain compromised credentials, such as purchasing them from Dark Web marketplaces or acquiring them through the use of keyloggers or memory dumps on already-compromised machines. Therefore, it is imperative to acknowledge that many of an organization’s usernames and passwords will eventually be compromised, underscoring the critical need for proactive security measures.


Unified Identity Protection Attackers have thrived due to the historical absence of active identity protection in Active Directory environments. The encouraging news is that you no longer need to accept this vulnerability. Silverfort provides accessible, comprehensive, and straightforward Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solutions for Active Directory, ensuring that your organization remains highly resilient against cyberattacks like never before. Begin your security journey today.

Active Directory Can’t Prevent Malicious Authentications in Real Time

Although modern web and Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms typically incorporate built-in multi-factor authentication (MFA) capabilities to enhance security by introducing an additional layer of authentication, this heightened level of protection is often missing within Active Directory (AD) environments. The authentication protocols employed in AD, specifically NTLM and Kerberos, do not natively support MFA. As a result, AD environments are significantly susceptible to attacks that exploit compromised credentials.

Lateral Movement Attacks in AD Environments

Adversaries frequently exploit the limitations of Active Directory (AD) security, which primarily relies on basic username and password matching. This vulnerability allows them to carry out lateral movement attacks effectively. Because AD cannot distinguish between legitimate and malicious authentication attempts involving compromised credentials, adversaries can stealthily navigate within the AD environment, progressively elevating their privileges and gaining access to critical resources without detection.


Empowering Active Directory Security with Silverfort Unified Identity Protection

In order to effectively address the potential misuse of compromised credentials within Active Directory (AD) environments, organizations require a comprehensive security solution that encompasses continuous monitoring, risk assessment, and proactive response mechanisms. Silverfort Unified Identity Protection offers a robust defense strategy by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for every authentication instance within AD, including legacy applications, command-line access to workstations and servers, file shares, and various authentication methods such as NTLM, Kerberos, and LDAP.

By harnessing the capabilities of Silverfort Unified Identity Protection, organizations can significantly enhance their ability to mitigate the risks associated with compromised credentials. This solution actively monitors all authentication attempts, conducts real-time risk analysis, and responds promptly by either blocking unauthorized access or enforcing MFA protocols. With Silverfort, organizations can fortify their AD environments, ensuring the protection of critical assets against malicious exploitation of compromised credentials.


Compromised credentials pose a significant and challenging threat in the landscape of cyberattacks. Their ability to appear legitimate can bypass traditional security measures, facilitating lateral movement attacks within Active Directory (AD) environments. With the implementation of Silverfort Unified Identity Protection, organizations can enhance their AD security posture and take proactive measures to thwart the misuse of compromised credentials.


Are you concerned about the potential risks associated with compromised credentials within your AD environment? Schedule a consultation with one of our experts.

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Team: Nsytechportal/Bwkreators 


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