What is Impacket?
Impacket is a collection of Python classes for working with network protocols. It is specifically designed for developing network-based tools and applications, with a focus on providing low-level access to the inner workings of network protocols. Impacket allows developers and security professionals to interact with and manipulate network protocols at various layers, making it a powerful tool for tasks such as network analysis, penetration testing, and security research.
Why do we use Impacket for endpoint inventory?
In our technical exploration of agentless discovery processes, we employ a methodology designed to extract an exhaustive network inventory. Our approach utilizes a variety of remote connectivity options, including WMI, RPC, SMB, and the upcoming WinRM and OMI protocols. Complementing these avenues, we integrate the versatile Impacket toolset.
Impacket, renowned for its support across a broad spectrum of protocols, plays a pivotal role in our strategy. Our primary focus centers on exploiting its capabilities to navigate WMI and DCOM, facilitating the seamless, agentless collection of resource usage and server application configuration data. This sophisticated utilization of Impacket enhances our ability to conduct in-depth assessments and gather comprehensive insights into network assets.
Why does Defender 365 flag Impacket as malicious activity?
Impacket itself is a legitimate tool used by security professionals and researchers for various network-related tasks, including penetration testing and network analysis. However, its capabilities can be misused by attackers for malicious purposes, such as credential theft or lateral movement within a network.
Microsoft Defender 365 currently flags Impacket as malicious, due to its association with certain attack techniques, specifically HackTool:Win32/HackGT and its usage in real-world cyber attacks. Security solutions often rely on behavioral analysis, heuristics, and threat intelligence to identify potentially malicious activities. If you are encountering this issue, it's recommended to check for updates on Microsoft's official documentation or contact Microsoft support for the most accurate and up-to-date information on their threat detection policies.
How do I whitelist Impacket in Defender 365?
As of our current understanding and configuration, Microsoft Defender 365 does not provide a specific whitelisting mechanism for Impacket activity within your network. It's important to note that Impacket is a legitimate tool used for endpoint inventory and related tasks. While Microsoft Defender 365 may flag it due to its potential misuse in malicious activities, our use case is strictly limited to non-malicious purposes such as gathering endpoint information.
In environments where whitelisting poses a challenge, we acknowledge its absence as a viable option. Despite this limitation, we aim to empower users with alternative actions that can be taken to enhance security and mitigate potential risks. Here are some actions you can take.
Please Note: In the IP field, CIDR annotation is required
Incident Management / Classification
We acknowledge the security concerns and continue to monitor updates from Microsoft regarding their threat detection policies. At present, our utilization of Impacket is solely for legitimate and authorized activities related to maintaining an inventory of endpoints within your network.
We will stay informed about any changes or updates in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 policies and adapt our security configurations accordingly. If you have any specific concerns or recommendations regarding our current approach, please feel free to navigate to our Trust Centre or contact Block 64 Support