Fun with DLL’s — Part 1 — DLL Search Order Hijacking

  • DLL Search Order Hijacking — T1574.001
  • DLL Injection — T1055.001
  • DLL Side-Loading — T1574.002
  1. Application Directory. (i.e. C:\Program Files\MyApp)
  2. System Directory. (i.e. C:\Windows\System32)
  3. 16-bit System Directory. (i.e. C:\Windows\System)
  4. Windows Directory. (i.e. C:\Windows)
  5. Current Directory.
  6. Directories listed in the PATH variable.
  1. MyDLL.dll (legit)
  2. MyDLL.dll (evil)
  3. MyApplication.exe
  • Add and Enable the SafeDLLSearchMode Registry Key described above.
  • Disable Remote Loading of DLLs with the following Keys: HKLM\SYSTEM\CCS\Control\Session Manager\CWDIllegalInDllSearch HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MyApplication.exe\CWDIllegalInDllSearch
  • See here ( for instructions on which values to set!
  • Create a rule in Application Control Policies\AppLocker via the Local Policy Editor that only allows signed DLLs to run (Caution: This should be strictly tested and may not be suitable for Large Enterprise use! Consider implementing as a rule with an exception system.)
  • Add critical DLLs to KnownDLLs key. (Caution: There is a performance impact to this and I have not tested it personally.)




Cloud, Security and IT Consulting Services based out of Augusta, GA.

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Phantom Byte Consulting, LLC

Phantom Byte Consulting, LLC

Cloud, Security and IT Consulting Services based out of Augusta, GA.

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