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Windows “PetitPotam” network attack – how to protect against it

July 26, 2021

French researcher Gilles Lionel, who goes by @topotam77, recently published proof-of-concept code that attackers could use to take over a Windows network.

The hack, which he has dubbed PetitPotam (which is a nod to the endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus, as far as we can tell), involves what’s known as an NTLM relay attack, which is a form of manipulator-in-the-middle (MitM) attack against Microsoft’s NTLM authentication system.

Microsoft has been advising everyone to avoid NTLM, short for NT LAN Manager, for more than a decade, because it doesn’t meet modern cryptographic security standards.

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