Conti Privilege Escalation and Persistence

Using facts from the previous Conti chain, this release exploits the PrintNightmare vulnerability to gain local admin privileges on our initial foothold. Using the ZeroLogon exploit, overwrite a Domain Controller machine account and execute a dcsync attack against it to dump the krbtgt NTLM hash.

TTP Tuesday: Conti (Release 3)

Gain privileges and persist

Theme Overview

We're releasing the third instalment of our Conti ransomware theme with new TTPs focused on Windows service exploitation. To date, our Conti theme now contains the following kill-chains:

1. Recon and Initial Access
2. Local and Remote Discovery
3. Gain privileges and persist (Current Release)
4. Move to remote systems
5. Data collection and exfiltration
6. Deploy ransomware

Gain privileges and persist

Conti is considered Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and has an elaborate chain of events from initial access to execution of the ransomware. For this week, we are focusing on privilege escalation and persistence techniques leaked in the Conti affiliate manual. This chain starts with information gathered from last week’s chain, specifically the AD domain name and Domain Controller hostnames, and proceeds to attain local and domain admin credentials via two exploits and a dcsync attack. The first exploit in the chain is PrintNightmare for escalation to a local Administrator. This technique, when successful, will create a new local admin account for use in subsequent chains. Next is ZeroLogon, which allows an unauthenticated user to set the machine account password on a Windows Domain Controller. From there, we leverage the new DC credentials to execute a dcsync attack via mimkatz and obtain the DC’s krbtgt NTLM hash. With this hash we’re now positioned to create golden tickets granting ourselves unrestricted access to the domain.

Watch a demonstration: Conti Privilege Escalation & Persistence

Staying up to date

Thanks for reading our latest TTP Tuesday release! Please subscribe and reach out with any feedback. We love to hear from our community!

There are several ways to follow us and learn more about Prelude and our team members:

Get our products

Download Prelude Operator:
See the latest kill chain and TTP Releases:
See our open-source repositories:

Join our community


Read, watch, and listen

Listen to our Podcast:
Read our blog:
Watch our live streams:
Watch our pre-recorded content:

Follow our team

David: privateducky
Alex: khyberspache
Kris: Xanthonus
Octavia: VVX7
Sam: wasupwithuman

Read more

Execute this chain

Download Operator (1.7.1)
Learn about Operator


Mimikatz dcsync
Exploit ZeroLogon vulnerability to gain Domain Admin
Exploit PrintNightmare vulnerability to add local administrator