DACL abuse


Access privileges for resources in Active Directory Domain Services are usually granted through the use of an Access Control Entry (ACE). Access Control Entries describe the allowed and denied permissions for a principal (e.g. user, computer account) in Active Directory against a securable object (user, group, computer, container, organizational unit (OU), GPO and so on)

DACLs (Active Directory Discretionary Access Control Lists) are lists made of ACEs (Access Control Entries) that identify the users and groups that are allowed or denied access on an object. SACLs (Systems Access Control Lists) define the audit and monitoring rules over a securable object.

When misconfigured, ACEs can be abused to operate lateral movement or privilege escalation within an AD domain.


If an object's (called objectA) DACL features an ACE stating that another object (called objectB) has a specific right (e.g. GenericAll) over it (i.e. over objectA), attackers need to be in control of objectB to take control of objectA. The following abuses can only be carried out when running commands as the user mentioned in the ACE (objectB) (see impersonation techniques).


DACL abuse potential paths can be identified by BloodHound from UNIX-like (using the Python ingestor bloodhound.py) and Windows (using the SharpHound ingestor) systems.

Other tools like, Get-DomainObjectAcl and Add-DomainObjectAcl from Powersploit's Powerview, Get-Acl and Set-Acl official Powershell cmdlets, or Impacket's dacledit.py script (Python) can be used in order to manually inspect an object's DACL. ⚠️ At the time of writing, the Pull Request (#1291) offering that dacledit is still being reviewed and in active development. It has the following command-line arguments.


In order to navigate the notes, testers can use the mindmap below.

All of the aforementioned attacks (red blocks) are detailed in the child notes, except:


ACE inheritance

If attacker can write an ACE (WriteDacl) for a container or organisational unit (OU), if inheritance flags are added (0x01+ 0x02) to the ACE, and inheritance is enabled for an object in that container/OU, the ACE will be applied to it. By default, all the objects with AdminCount=0 will inherit ACEs from their parent container/OU.

Impacket's dacledit (Python) can be used with the -inheritance flag for that purpose (PR#1291).


In April 2024, Synacktiv explained that if GenericAll, GenericWrite or Manage Group Policy Links privileges are available against an Organisational Unit (OU), then it's possible to compromise its child users and computers with adminCount=1 through "gPLink spoofing".

This can be performed with OUned.py.

With enough permissions (GenericAll, GenericWrite) over a disabled object, it is possible to enable it again (e.g. set-aduser "user" -enabled 1)

BloodHound ACE edges

BloodHound has the ability to map abuse paths, with some that rely on DACL abuse. The following edges are not includes in the mindmap above:

  • AddKeyCredentialLink, a write permission on an object's Key-Credential-Link attribute, for Shadow Credentials attacks

  • WriteSPN, a write permission on an object's Service-Principal-Name attribute, for targeted Kerberoasting and SPN jacking attacks

  • AddSelf, similar to AddMember. While AddMember is WriteProperty access right on the target's Member attribute, AddSelf is a Self access right on the target's Member attribute, allowing the attacker to add itself to the target group, instead of adding arbitrary principals.

  • AddAllowedToAct, a write permission on an object's msDS-Allowed-To-Act-On-Behalf-Of-Other-Identity attribute, for Kerberos RBCD attacks

  • SyncLAPSPassword, both DS-GetChanges and DS-GetChangesInFilteredSet, for synchronizing LAPS password domain-wise

  • WriteAccountRestrictions, which refers to the User-Account-Restrictions property set, which contains enough permissions to modify the msDS-Allowed-To-Act-On-Behalf-Of-Other-Identity attribute of the target objects, for Kerberos RBCD attacks

Permisssions index

The following table should help for better understanding of the ACE types and what they allow.

Common namePermission value / GUIDPermission typeDescription



Access Right

Edit the object's DACL (i.e. "inbound" permissions).



Access Right

Combination of almost all other rights.



Access Right

Combination of write permissions (Self, WriteProperty) among other things.



Access Right

Edit one of the object's attributes. The attribute is referenced by an "ObjectType GUID".



Access Right

Assume the ownership of the object (i.e. new owner of the victim = attacker, cannot be set to another user).

With the "SeRestorePrivilege" right it is possible to specify an arbitrary owner.



Access Right

Perform "Validated writes" (i.e. edit an attribute's value and have that value verified and validate by AD). The "Validated writes" is referenced by an "ObjectType GUID".



Access Right

Peform "Extended rights". "AllExtendedRights" refers to that permission being unrestricted. This right can be restricted by specifying the extended right in the "ObjectType GUID".



Control Access Right (extended right)

Change the password of the object without having to know the previous one.



Control Access Right (extended right)

One of the two extended rights needed to operate a DCSync.



Control Access Right (extended right)

One of the two extended rights needed to operate a DCSync.



Validate Write

Edit the "member" attribute of the object.



Validate Write

Edit the "servicePrincipalName" attribute of the object.

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