Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services” is a setting in the Windows operating system that controls whether or not the system generates audit events when a certificate is requested or used for authentication purposes. The setting is located in the Local Security Policy editor (secpol.msc) under “Advanced Audit Policy Configuration” > “Object Access” > “Certification Services.”
When this setting is enabled, the system will generate an audit event in the security log each time a certificate is requested or used for authentication purposes. This can include events such as certificate enrollment, certificate renewal, and the use of a certificate for secure communication (such as SSL/TLS). This information can be used to track which certificates are being used in the organization and by whom, which can be useful for security and compliance purposes.
It’s worth noting that enabling this setting can result in a large number of audit events being generated, which can have an impact on the performance of the system and the size of the security log. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carefully consider the potential impact on your system before enabling this setting and consider tuning it accordingly.
What type of attacks happened on Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services?
Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services setting in Windows controls the generation of security audit events related to certification services and is not directly related to the security of those services.
Certification services are generally considered a critical component of a secure network, and as such, they may be targeted by various types of attacks. These can include:
- Certificate Spoofing: This is a type of attack in which an attacker creates a fraudulent certificate that appears to be from a trusted authority. This can be used to impersonate another user or website, and to intercept or manipulate network traffic.
- Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks: This is a type of attack in which an attacker intercepts network traffic between a user and a website, and then modifies or redirects the traffic.
- CA Compromise: This is a type of attack in which an attacker gains unauthorized access to a certification authority and issues fraudulent certificates. This can be used to impersonate other users and websites, and to intercept or manipulate network traffic.
- Certificate Misissuance: This is a type of attack where a malicious or negligent CA issues a certificate to a attacker due to mistakes or lack of proper vetting.
What are the major vulnerabilities on Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services?
Certification services and the infrastructure they rely on may be vulnerable to certain types of attacks. If a vulnerability is found in the certification service, this can be exploited to impersonate legitimate users or websites, intercept or manipulate network traffic, or to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.
What is the potential impact of Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services?
The potential impact of the “Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services” setting in Windows depends on how it is configured. This policy controls whether Windows generates security audit events when certain actions are taken in relation to certification services.
When enabled, this policy will cause Windows to log events such as when a certificate is requested, issued, or denied by a certification authority (CA). This can be useful for troubleshooting and auditing purposes, as it can help you to track and understand the use of certificates on your network.
The downside of this policy is that it can generate a large number of security events, which can make it more difficult to identify and investigate important security incidents. Additionally, it can also have a negative impact on system performance, as generating and storing all of these audit events can consume a significant amount of system resources.
Why is it important to harden Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services?
It’s important to keep all software and services up-to-date and by automating your hardening, you will save time and money while securing your network and infrastructure. This will help to protect your systems from vulnerabilities and to minimize the risk of successful attacks.
The Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services is not vulnerable itself but it should be part of the overall security strategy and it could give you more visibility on any suspicious activities happening to your certification services.
What are the best practices for Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services?
It’s important to configure the Audit Policy: Object Access: Certification Services setting in Windows according to best practices for several reasons:
- Compliance: Depending on your industry and the regulations you must comply with, you may be required to keep detailed logs of events related to certification services.
- Security: By logging events related to certification services, you can gain visibility into how these services are being used on your network. This can help you to detect and investigate suspicious or malicious activity, such as certificate spoofing or man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Troubleshooting: Keeping detailed logs of events related to certification services can also be useful for troubleshooting issues related to these services
- Audibility: Security audit events are critical for understanding the state of the system in a certain point of time and can help in incident response and forensic analysis.
Configuring this policy improperly or without understanding the potential impact on performance and data storage, could lead to overwhelming amount of data, affecting the system’s performance and making it harder to identify relevant events. This is why it’s important to be selective on what to audit, have a plan on how to analyze and store the data generated by the Audit Policy.