Red Team Ops with Cobalt Strike

20 April 2023 4 minutes Author: Cyber Witcher

Acquaintance with the methodologies of Red Team operations

Red Team operations are an effective approach to identifying and correcting potential vulnerabilities in your company’s systems and processes. This methodology involves creating a team of specialists who act as a hostile intrusion to test the infrastructure’s strengths and weaknesses. Conducting Red Team operations includes a thorough analysis of potential threats, development of attack strategies, implementation of practical scenarios and further analysis of the results. This process allows you to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities that can be used by attackers to gain illegal access to your system. The advantages of conducting Red Team operations are obvious. You get the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of your security measures, identify potential problems and deficiencies, and take appropriate measures to eliminate them. In addition, such operations help train your team to respond to hazards and unusual situations, increasing the overall security level of your business. Turning to professionals in the field of conducting Red Team operations is an important step for the successful implementation of this methodology.

After the operation is completed, it is necessary to compare the developed attack vectors with recorded incidents to improve the infrastructure protection system. The Red Team approach is most closely related to a targeted attack, the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). The Red Team should consist of experienced professionals with extensive experience in compromising systems. Cobalt Strike is enemy simulation software and Red Team operations. Cobalt Strike provides you with a post-exploitation agent and covert channels to simulate a silent long-term actor on your customer’s network. Malleable C2 allows you to change network indicators each time to look like different malware. These tools complement Cobalt Strike’s robust social engineering process, its powerful collaboration capabilities, and unique reports designed to aid in blue team training. Adversary simulations and Red Team operations are security assessments that reproduce the tactics and methods of an advanced network adversary. While penetration tests focus on unpatched vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, these assessments benefit security and incident response operations.


1. Operations

This video introduces the Red Team Operations course with Cobalt Strike and kicks off its first lecture. The operations lecture begins with an overview of the Cobalt Strike project, command server setup, and a deep dive into the Cobalt Strike model.

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2. Infrastructure

This lecture covers managing listeners and how to configure different Beacon options. A lot of time is spent on redirectors, domain fronting, DNS beacon setup and infrastructure issues. SMB and TCP peer beacons are described here.

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3. C2

This video introduces Malleable C2, Cobalt Strike’s domain-specific language for configuring Beacon network indicators. It addresses egress and network layer evasion, as well as infrastructure OPSEC. This lecture concludes with a discussion.

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4. Weaponization

Weaponization is a combination of a payload and an exploit. Ways to arm the Beacon Cobalt Strike payload. Payload in a secure context.

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5. Initial Access

This lecture covers the client-side attack process, phishing, and the trade involved in delivering phishing. This lecture also discusses credential.

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6. Post Exploitation

It videos like manage Beacons, pass sessions, run commands, exfiltrate data, log keystrokes, crab pins, and has a very solid look.

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7. Privilege Escalation

Elevation of privileges is an increase from standard user rights to full control over the system. This lecture introduces the Elevate Kit, describes how to use SharpUp to find misconfigurations, and how to level up with credentials. Other topics include Kerberoasting, how to bypass User Account Control, and how to upgrade to SYSTEM.

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8. Lateral Movement

Lateral traffic abuses trust relationships to attack corporate network systems. This video covers host and user enumeration, remote system management without malware, and remote code execution using the Beacon payload. You’ll also learn how to steal tokens, exploit credentials, transmit a hash, and generate Kerberos golden tickets.

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9. Pivoting

This video shows how to find targets using port scanning, tunnel Metasploit® Framework and other tools through a SOCKS proxy. Here, the reverse composite TCP listeners are demonstrated. You will also learn how to access and manage UNIX targets using Cobalt Strike SSH sessions. The lecture concludes with an innovative session-stealing attack.

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