Windows tools for investigating an attack

Use this list of Windows tools when investigating an attack against a Web server.

by Michael Cobb

This checklist is a companion to the primer, Web site attacks and how to defeat them, part of's Intrusion Defense School lesson, Web attack defense and prevention.

 Windows tools for investigating an attack
Run event viewer to look at logs:
C:\> eventvwr.msc
Look for suspicious events:
"Event log service was stopped."
"Windows File Protection is not active on this system."
"The MS Telnet Service has started successfully."
Look for a large number of failed logon attempts or locked out accounts.
Look at file shares, and make sure each has a defined business purpose:
C:\> net view
Look at who has an open session with the machine:
C:\> net session
Look at which sessions the machine has opened with other systems:
C:\> net use
Look at NetBIOS over TCP/IP activity:
C:\> nbtstat –S
Look for unusual listening TCP and UDP ports:
C:\> netstat –na
Look for unusual scheduled tasks on the local host, especially those that run as a user in the Administrators group, as SYSTEM, or with a blank user name by running:
C:\> at
Look for new, unexpected accounts in the Administrators group:
C:\> lusrmgr.msc
Look for unusual/unexpected processes:
Run Task Manager
Look for unusual network services:
C:\> net start
Check file space usage to look for sudden major decreases in free space:
C:\> dir

Security School

Download the primer: Web site attacks and how to defeat them.

Return to Intrusion Defense School.

This was first published in June 2007
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