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WMI Attacks and Defense

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) has been used by Windows administrators for various system management operations since Windows NT. As WMI is often used to automate administrative tasks, it is of equal use for attackers as it is for defenders. It is very helpful to understand WMI and its working to be able to fully utilize its power both for Red and Blue teams.


In this training through demonstrations and hands-on, we will discuss how WMI and CIM can be utilized for offensive as well as defensive security. Different utilities like PowerShell built-in cmdlets, PowerShell scripts, native windows tools and Linux tools will be discussed. Various attacks like enumeration and information gathering, lateral movement, persistence, backdoors, modifying security descriptors etc. will be executed by utilizing WMI. We will also discuss how WMI can be used for agentless monitoring, detection of above mentioned attacks and more.

Nikhil Mittal

Nikhil Mittal is a hacker, infosec researcher, speaker and enthusiast. His area of interest includes penetration testing, attack research, defence strategies and post exploitation research. He has 6+ years of experience in Penetration Testing for his clients which include many global corporate giants. He is also a member of Red teams of selected clients.

He specializes in assessing security risks at secure environments which require novel attack vectors and “out of the box” approach. He has worked extensively on using Human Interface Device in Penetration Tests and PowerShell for post exploitation. He is creator of Kautilya, a toolkit which makes it easy to use HIDs in penetration tests and Nishang, a post exploitation framework in PowerShell. In his spare time, Nikhil researches on new attack methodologies and updates his tools and frameworks.

Nikhil has held trainings and boot camps for various corporate clients (in US, Europe and SE Asia), and at the world’s top information security conferences.He has spoken at conferences like Defcon, BlackHat USA, BlackHat Europe, RSA China, Troopers, DeepSec, PHDays, BlackHat Abu Dhabi, Hackfest, ClubHack, EuSecWest and more. He blogs at Lab of Penetration Tester.