How to perform an offline audit of your Active Directory NTLM hashes

It’s read-only Friday so I decided to perform a offline audit of our Active Directory passwords.

I found this great tool: which in turn is a fork of this tool:

What I’m going to write here is mostly a repeat of these two Gitrepos with a few tweaks and corrections.

To perform this procedure you will need to be able to login to a Domain Controller. You’re also going to want a secure location to perform all of this work so the dumped list of usernames and hashes doesn’t escape your control.

The secure location should be a workstation or server running the same or a newer version of Windows than your Domain Controller. For example if you’re running AD 2012R2 you can’t complete this on a 2008R2 box. You’re secure workstation or server will need to be running PowerShell 5.0 or newer.

Step 1 – Export NTDS.dit and the SYSTEM hive

  1. Login to a domain controller
  2. Open a Command Prompt window
  3. Type “ntdsutil”
  4. Click ‘Yes’ if the UAC prompts you
  5. Run the following commands:
  6. Transfer “C:\Temp\<DOMAINNAME>-audit” to the secure location you’ll work on it. I do not recommend performing the rest of these steps on your Domain Controllers

Step 2 – Download the latest Have I Been Pwned Offline NTLM password list

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll to the bottom and download the “ordered by prevalence” NTLM link
  3. Once downloaded, transfer the password list to your secure location in the audit directory and extract it

Step 3 – Covert the hashes in the NTDS.dit file to Hashcat formatting

  1. On your secure workstation/server launch PowerShell as an administrator (right click, run as administrator on the PowerShell shortcut)
  2. Install the DSInternals tools by running
  3. Go into the audit directory
  4. Convert the hashes

Step 4 – Compare your hashes to HIBP

The code in the Git Repos I linked at the beginning of the article are written as functions. For myself I just wanted a script I could execute with the appropriate parameters instead of futzing around with importing the function.

I also tweaked the original script for formatting (I like a bit more white space personally), added CSV headers, removed the spaces between commas, had the script append it’s execution time to the end of the CSV file and allowed for relative filenames as parameters instead of requiring absolute paths.

Here is my version of the script:

To execute it, copy/paste it into notepad and save it as ‘myAudit.ps1’ or what ever file name you’d like.

Now perform your audit:

The final result will be a CSV file you can dig through.

Step 6 – Clean it all up

The output may or may not surprise you but what ever the outcome, when you’re done you want to get rid of the <DOMAINNAME>-hashes.txt and the NTDIR.dis file as soon as possible. If someone snags a copy of that you’ll likely get in some serious trouble.

Head on over to SysInternals and grab SDelete


List/Audit all folder delegate permissions on an Exchange mailbox

We recently needed a way to see what delegate permissions a client had given across the vastness that is their mailbox and it’s folder structure.

Digging around online I found this script from John Hopkins which got me 90% of the way there.

Their script was missing three things for my use case:

  • Delegate permissions on the root folder of the mailbox
  • Exclude the actual user from the report
  • Little tidier formatting of the output

This script has been tested against Exchange 2016 only.



Accessing a Pi-Hole behind an Apache reverse proxy

Update 2019-09-15: Finally got around to looking into this and it turns out all I had to change was “ProxyPreserveHost Off” to “ProxyPreserveHost  On” to get things working. I’ve updated the original post to reflect the changes. I also didn’t note in my original host that I purposely restricted access to the apache virtual host to and (my internal networks). You’ll want to update the “Allow from” lines to reflect your internal networks OR remove the “<Location /></Location>” all together to make it accessible from anywhere (not recommended).

Update 2019-08-19: I just recently found out that this proxy configuration only allows read-only access to the Pi-Hole UI. I was attempting to white-list a domain and it was failing when accessing my Pi-Hole via the proxy. I had to go directly to the box’s FQDN to white-list a domain. I will leave this post for reference and update it when I figure out a fix to this problem.


Original Post

Today I got tired of accessing my Pi-Hole over HTTP, having to remember to put /admin/ in the URL and having to load up a browse that wasn’t Vivaldi or Firefox because they don’t have an easy way to ignore Strict-Transport-Security for my domain.

I checked out some documentation about adding SSL to the Pi-Hole directly but have concerns that future updates will wipe out all the custom configuration to lighttpd. According to this you also have to be careful when enabling SSL on your Pi-Hole as it could interfere with blocking.

I already have an Apache webserver running so configuring it to reverse-proxy seemed like an easier task, plus if for some reason I wanted to access my Pi-Hole from the general internet (without VPN) it would be simple to enable that.

Here is the reverse proxy configuration I used with a restriction to my two internal networks and a redirect from HTTP to HTTPS:

I am aware that my SSL configuration is not the best. I’m waiting for CentOS 8 to come out before migrating off my existing CentOS 6 server.

To find the best SSL configuration for your OS and Web Server I recommend checking out Mozilla’s SSL Configuration Generator:

Some Microsoft Storage Spaces Benchmarks

My backup server has a ASRock H370M-ITX/AC motherboard in it and at the time of these benchmarks 3x6TB Seagate Ironwolf SATA disks.

I run Veeam and used the SATA disks as my backup repository.

My original configuration was 2x6TB Ironwolfs in a RAID0 (using Microsoft Storage Spaces) with Bitlocker enabled. This worked perfectly fine and I had no performance issues.

A project I was working on required me to add some redundancy to my backup storage so I purchased the 3rd disk and re-configured the Microsoft Storage Space as a RAID5 and re-enabled Bitlocker. Since then I had nothing but performance issues. When two backup jobs ran at the same time the server became nearly unresponsive. The jobs still ran and completed but it was very difficult to use the server and jobs took longer with the RAID5 configuration than the RAID0 configuration. A performance difference makes sense but this amount seemed abnormal.

I ended up with a spare LSI MegaRAID 9270-8i I couldn’t sell so I decided to throw it into my backup server and try running the above configuration with hardware RAID but before I did that, I ran some benchmarks.

As you can see BitLocker has a huge negative impact on this configuration even though the server is running a Intel Core i3-8100 which has hardware acceleration built in for encryption.

You can probably guess how this is all going to end now.

First a 3 disk RAID0:

Last but not least, a 3 disk RAID5:

It’ still a ~70% hit on sequential writes but the server is completely usable and backup jobs run at the speeds I would expect over 1GBe.

How to install pfSense in DigitalOcean

Inspired by this post, I’m basically re-creating it with copy/paste commands instead of images of the commands and updating the partitioning portion as I found some steps the original author took are no longer required.

Create your droplet

  1. Login to your DigitalOcean Dashboard and create a new droplet
  2. Select ‘FreeBSD 11.1 x64’ as your droplet image
  3. Select the data center region of your choice
  4. Check mark ‘Private Networking’ and ‘IPv6’ if you want it
  5. Add your SSH key
  6. Enter a hostname
  7. Click ‘Create’

Once the droplet has been created boot it up, grab the public IP and SSH into it as root.

Note: If you don’t SSH in as root put “sudo” in front of all of the commands after step 7

  1. Go to
  2. Select ‘AMD64 (64-bit)’ as the architecture
  3. Select ‘USB Memstick Installer’ as the installer
  4. Select ‘VGA’ for the console
  5. Pick which ever mirror you want
  6. Right click the ‘Download’ button and choose ‘Copy Link Location’
  7. On your SSH connection to your droplet run the following command:
  8. Disable SWAP
  9. Enable debug mode for GEOM, more info on why here
  10. Write the ISO of pfSense to /dev/vtbd0

  11. You can now reboot the droplet and the the pfSense installer will start

Go back to the DigitalOcean interface, select your droplet and open the console window

  1. Once the installer starts hit <ENTER> to accept the copy right notice
  2. Choose ‘Install’
  3. Choose ‘>>> Continue with default keymap’
  4. Choose ‘Manual’
  5. Delete everything listed EXCEPT for vtbd0, vtbd0s2 and vtbd0s2a
  6. Highlight vtbd0 and press ‘C’ and choose ‘OK’
  7. Select vtbd0s1 and press ‘C’
  8. Change the mount point to “/” and choose ‘OK’
  9. Choose ‘Finish’
  10. Choose ‘Commit’
  11. The installation will now progress, once complete choose ‘No’ and ‘Reboot’

Once the droplet reboots you’ll be at the initial configuration wizard for setting up pfSense. Since this is deployment specific I will leave it to you to configure.