This guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to effectively use Mimikatz for hacking purposes. Mimikatz is a widely-used hacking tool that is considered an industry standard for penetration testing and red team engagements. It is featured in top hacking certifications such as Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT), and Certified Red Team Operator (CRTO). This guide will teach you how to use Mimikatz to extract passwords, dump credentials, create golden tickets, and perform various attacks like pass-the-hash and over-pass-the-hash. What is Mimikatz? Mimikatz is an open-source hacking tool created by Benjamin Delpy. It was initially developed as a proof of concept to highlight the vulnerabilities of Microsoft authentication protocols, particularly Windows New Technology LAN Manager (NTLM). Over time, it has become the go-to post-exploitation tool for penetration testing and red team engagements. Hackers use Mimikatz in the post-exploitation phase of an attack, where they gather information, escalate privileges, and create persistence mechanisms. Mimikatz can extract credential data from memory or on-disk password stores, including plaintext passwords, pin codes, Kerberos tickets, and NTLM password hashes. This stolen credential data can then be used for lateral movement and targeting other machines within the local network. Key Features of Mimikatz:

•        Credential dumping from memory and on-disk

•        Kerberos attacks, such as golden ticket and over-pass-the-hash

•        NTLM attacks like pass-the-hash

•        Token impersonation

•        Privilege escalation by exploiting vulnerabilities like Print Spooler

•        Defense evasion by clearing Windows event logs or injecting into legitimate processes

Mimikatz consists of 17 modules, each providing specific functionality for post-exploitation activities. These modules allow you to steal credentials, escalate privileges, and perform lateral movement. Running Mimikatz as a privileged process, such as Administrator or system user, is often necessary to unlock most of its features. While Mimikatz is a powerful tool, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when using it. For example, running Mimikatz in-memory can help avoid on-disk detections like anti-virus scans. Disabling the Windows Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI) can evade memory scanning. Bypassing application whitelisting by injecting the Mimikatz process into a legitimate process is another technique. Additionally, evading behavioral detections can be achieved through parent process spoofing. To learn more about Mimikatz and prepare yourself, you can take courses offered by InfoSec. They provide access to labs, study groups, mentorship, and a custom certification roadmap. In conclusion, Mimikatz is a powerful hacking tool used for post-exploitation activities. It allows hackers to extract credentials and perform lateral movement within a network. Understanding its features and modules is crucial for both offensive and defensive security professionals.

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