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During penetration tests we sometimes encounter servers running software that use sensitive information as part of the underlying process, such as Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS). TFS can be used for developing code, version control and automatic deployment to target systems. This blogpost provides two tools to decrypt sensitive information that is stored in the TFS database.
Decrypting TFS secrets
Within Team Foundation Server (TFS), it is possible to automate the build, testing and deployment of new releases. With the use of variables it is possible to create a generic deployment process once and customize it per environment.1 Sometimes specific tasks need a set of credentials or other sensitive information and therefor TFS supports encrypted variables. With an encrypted variable the contents of the variables is encrypted in the database and not visible for the user of TFS.
However, with the correct amount of access rights to the database it is possible to decrypt the encrypted content. Sebastian Solnica wrote a blogpost about this, which can be read on the following link: https://lowleveldesign.org/2017/07/04/decrypting-tfs-secret-variables/
Fox-IT wrote a PowerShell script that uses the information mentioned in the blogpost. While the blogpost mainly focused on the decryption technique, the PowerShell script is built with usability in mind. The script will query all needed values and display the decrypted values. An example can be seen in the following screenshot:
The script can be downloaded from Fox-IT’s Github repository: https://github.com/fox-it/Decrypt-TFSSecretVariables
It is also possible to use the script in Metasploit. Fox-IT wrote a post module that can be used through a meterpreter session. The result of the script can be seen in the screenshot below.
There is a pull request pending and hopefully the module will be part of the Metasploit Framework soon. The pull request can be found here: https://github.com/rapid7/metasploit-framework/pull/9930
I would like to clear some things regarding the user password.
If Telegram Desktop user has a local passcode installed (that is asked each time he launches the app) then it will be hard to steal his session and gain access to the cloud chats and contacts.
Those local files that are encrypted contain only images cache and (the most important) keys for the cloud API access. If the local passcode was not set, then they will just give you the access if you manage to steal them. But if the local passcode was installed, it was used to encrypt all local files, including the API keys.
Brute-force of course is an option here, but it won't be that easy. The final key that is used to encrypt data is derived from the passcode and has 256 bytes (2048 bits) in it, so brute-forcing the key itself is a bad idea, it will take too long.
Brute-forcing a strong local passcode will take a long time as well, because the key (which you can test for validity) is derived using PKCS5_PBKDF2_HMAC_SHA1 with a random salt and uses 4000 iterations (and the documentations states that "RFC 2898 suggests an iteration count of at least 1000.") so each attempt on the password will take a lot of resources even though everything is done locally.