Modify Authentication Process: Multi-Factor Authentication

Created the Friday 10 February 2023. Updated 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

Adversaries may disable or modify multi-factor authentication (MFA) mechanisms to enable persistent access to compromised accounts.

Once adversaries have gained access to a network by either compromising an account lacking MFA or by employing an MFA bypass method such as Multi-Factor Authentication Request Generation, adversaries may leverage their access to modify or completely disable MFA defenses. This can be accomplished by abusing legitimate features, such as excluding users from Azure AD Conditional Access Policies, registering a new yet vulnerable/adversary-controlled MFA method, or by manually patching MFA programs and configuration files to bypass expected functionality.

For example, modifying the Windows hosts file (C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) to redirect MFA calls to localhost instead of an MFA server may cause the MFA process to fail. If a "fail open" policy is in place, any otherwise successful authentication attempt may be granted access without enforcing MFA.

Depending on the scope, goals, and privileges of the adversary, MFA defenses may be disabled for individual accounts or for all accounts tied to a larger group, such as all domain accounts in a victim's network environment.

Additional Resources

External Links

The resources provided below are associated links that will give you even more detailed information and research on current evasion technique. It is important to note that, while these resources may be helpful, it is important to exercise caution when following external links. As always, be careful when clicking on links from unknown sources, as they may lead to malicious content.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Don't miss out on the latest and greatest updates from us! Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about exciting content and future updates.