Prevention and Detection of RDP Tunneling

What is RDP Tunneling?

Tunneling, also known as port forwarding, is the transport of data from a private network to a public network for usage solely within that network. It enables data to be transferred from one network to another. It use the encapsulation process to send communications from private networks to public networks. It reminds me of VPN because VPN is built on the concept of tunnelling, but they are not the same.”

Hackers that use RDP are increasingly employing network tunnelling to circumvent security measures.

“According to report, threat actors launching Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) assaults are increasingly relying on network tunnelling and host-based port forwarding to circumvent network defences.

Threat actors continue to choose RDP over non-graphical backdoors, which might leave undesirable artefacts on a system, due to its stability and functionality advantages. As a result, Researcher has observed threat actors exploiting native Windows RDP capabilities to connect laterally across devices in compromised settings, the security firm said. Threat actors can acquire persistence by gaining RDP access to a system, but the initial breach requires a distinct attack vector (such as phishing). Furthermore, actors are increasingly exploiting network tunnelling and host-based port forwarding to obtain access to non-exposed systems protected by a firewall and NAT rules.

These enable attackers to establish a connection with a remote server that is blocked by a firewall and then use that connection as a transport mechanism to tunnel local listening services via the firewall, allowing them to be accessed by the remote server.”

Host-Based Prevention:

Danger threat actors have a way to travel laterally and retain a position in the environment by tunneling or port forwarding if RDP is allowed. To reduce vulnerability to and track these forms of RDP attacks, organizations will rely on prevention and mitigation mechanisms focused on both the host and network.

Host-Based prevention is a device or software used to secure sensitive computer systems that contain vital data against viruses and other malware on the Internet.

Remote Desktop sessions:

Remote Desktop sessions run over an encrypted channel that prevents you from accessing your session by listening to the network
Remote Desktop services are the platform of choice to create virtualization solutions for any end-user requirement. Deactivate this virtual desktop service on all terminal workstations and systems or computers on which remote access does not allow the software.

Host-based Firewalls:

A host-based firewall is a part of firewall software that works on a networked personal computer or system. Provide host-based firewall methods expressly refusing inbound RDP connections.

Local Accounts:

Local Account is Prohibited from the usage of RDP from local workstation accounts by allowing Remote Desktop Services to protect a setting.

Network-Based Prevention:

Network-Based Protection is a method used for tracking a network and maintaining a network’s confidentiality, credibility, and availability.
Server Availability Cache
Jump Lists
System Events
CCM Recently Used Network-Based Protection

Remote Synchronization:

Remote Synchronization knows a range of phenomena by virtue of which two or more nodes in a dynamical network where RDP is needed for synchronization, enforce the link to be initiated from a specified jump box or centralized management server.

Server Accounts:

Using the protection configuration for privileged accounts (e.g. server administrators) and server accounts Deny sign in by Remote Desktop Services since these types of accounts are typically used by malicious actors to switch laterally to vulnerable devices in an area.

Network-Based Detection:

Network-based detection is a device or software that monitors a network and systems for malicious activity or unauthorized activity.

Firewall guidelines:

Examine firewall guidelines to find areas of port forwarding risk. In addition to the potential use of port forwarding, testing will be carried out in the area for internal communications between the workstations. Workstations do not normally need to connect easily with each other and Firewall rules kit is used to avoid such contact without need.

Web access:

Web access conducts a Network information material inspection. Not all traffic data at a given port seems to be as it is. Danger actors, for example, can use TCP ports 80 to build an RDP tunnel with a remote server. A deep network traffic analysis will potentially reveal that it is not HTTP or HTTPS, but entirely different traffic. Organizations should then track equally.

Snort Precepts:

When the RDP handshake has a chosen low source port typically used by another protocol, the key indicators of tunneled RDP occurs. Throughout their network traffic, security teams detect RDP tunneling by defining specified low source ports typically used by other protocols.


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