SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Blog: Tag - WMIC

Protecting Admin Passwords During Remote Response and Forensics


PsExec has been a great tool for remotely executing processes on a Windows machine. It has been around for years and is one of many useful tools from Mark Russinovich (formerly of SysInternals, now with Microsoft). As described on PsExec's webpage, "PsExec is a light-weight telnet-replacement that lets you execute processes on other systems, complete with full interactivity for console applications, without having to manually install client software."

That said, there is a significant drawback to PsExec's default behavior, as described in the last sentence of the description on PsExec's webpage: "Note that the password is transmitted in clear text to the remote system."

This is something that needs to be seriously considered and accounted for when using PsExec. Corporate incident responders typically have domain administrator rights for response purposes. The idea of