Mimikatz is an open-source tool used for obtaining account information from operating systems and software. It’s one of the most prominent dangers to Windows security to date.
More than a proof of concept
Benjamin Delpy developed Mimikatz as proof of concept for Microsoft, showing that security protocols were vulnerable. Posting it on Github made the program explode, becoming one of the most-used hacking tools out there.
Mimikatz isn’t a virus, but it can help create viruses. It lets developers think of more powerful, comprehensive ways to protect Windows networks. However, hackers use it just as much.
When it first launched, Mimikatz showed how it’s possible to exploit singular vulnerabilities in the authentication system of Windows devices. It grew since, and today, it demonstrates various weaknesses in 32-bit/64-bit systems.
Primary functions include pass-the-hash and pass-the-ticket, serving to steal credentials on older and newer systems. It can also over-pass the hash/key to more authentically impersonate accounts.
More modern features incorporate Kerberos Golden and Silver Ticket for hacking into hidden accounts. Pass-the-Cache performs the same attacks on Mac, Linux, and UNIX systems.
Uses and combinations
By stealing account login and password data, Mimikatz lets hackers access restricted information on people’s profiles. Its primary purposes include attacking Windows clients and extracting data.
Hackers can add two additional components to the programme and make it even more powerful. Mimidrv is a driver that interacts with the Windows kernel. Mimilib is a bypass system for app lockers, authentication packages, and a password filter.
Luckily, using this programme requires access to a physical computer. Many new Windows updates deal with vulnerabilities Mimikatz seeks to exploit, such as it not shutting down correctly.
Running Mimikatz requires clicking the ‘Run as Administrator’ function, even if you’re logged into an Admin Account. Once launched, it shows you a console where you can enter commands in real-time.
Mimikatz is a dangerous tool that made its way to the most fatal, global ransomware worms. Even if it helps make systems more risk-proof, it’s a powerful hacking utility.