Skip to main content

Virtual Secure Mode (VSM) in Windows 10 Enterprise

Virtual Secure Mode (VSM) in Windows 10 Enterprise
In Windows 10 Enterprise (only in this edition), a new Hyper-V component has appeared – VirtualSecure Mode (VSM). VSM is a protected container (virtual machine) run on a hypervisor and separated from host Windows 10 host and its kernel. Crucial from the security point of view system components run inside this protected virtual container. No third-party code can be executed in the VSM, and code integrity is constantly checked for modification. This architecture allows to protect data in the VSM, even if the kernel of the host Widows 10 is compromised, because even the kernel cannot access the VSM directly.
VSM container cannot be connected to the network and nobody can get administrative privileges in it. Encryption keys, user authentication data and other crucial information from the compromise point of view can be stored in Virtual Secure Mode container. Thus, a hacker won’t be able to penetrate the corporate structure using locally cached data of the domain user accounts.
Virtual Secure Mode (VSM) in Windows 10
The following system components can work inside the VSM:
  1. LSASS (Local Security Subsystem Service) is a component responsible for authentication and isolation of local users. (Thus, the system is protected from the attacks of “pass the hash” type and such tools, like mimikatz –link1link2.) It means that the passwords (and/or hashes) of user registered in the system cannot become available even for a user with local administrator privileges.
  2. Virtual TPM (vTPM) is a synthetic TPM device for guest machines necessary for encryption of disk contents
  3. The system for monitoring the OS code integrity protects the code against modification
Note. Such security technologies, like Shielded Virtual Machines and Device Guard also work in VSM. A host and a guest OSs can also interact with Virtual Secure Mode container using API interfaces.
To use VSM, the environment has to meet the following hardware requirements:
  • UEFISecure Boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support for secure key storage
  • Hardware virtualization support (VT-x, AMD-V or later)

How to Enable Virtual Secure Mode (VSM) in Windows 10

Let’s see how to enable Virtual Secure Mode Windows 10.
  • UEFI Secure Boot must be enabled.
  • Windows 10 has to be included in the domain. (VSM protects only domain user accounts, not local ones.)
  • Hyper-V role has to be installed in Windows 10. (In our case, we had to install Hyper-V Platform first, and then we installed Hyper-V Management Tools)Hyper-V role  on  Windows 10
  • Virtual Secure Mode (VSM) has to be enabled in a special policy in the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc): Computer Configuration -> Administrative templates -> System -> Device Guard -> Turn on Virtualization Based SecurityEnable this policy and select Secure Bootoption in Select Platform security level. Also check Enable Credential Guard (LSA isolation) here. Turn on Virtualization Based Security
  • And the last thing to do is to configure BCD to start Windows 10 in the VSM:
    bcdedit /set vsmlaunchtype auto
  • Restart your computer

How to Make Sure That the VSM Is On

You can make sure that the VSM is active if Secure System process is present in the Task Manager.
Secure System process in Task Manager
Or if there is the event “Credential Guard (Lsalso.exe) was started and will protect LSA credential” in the system log.
Credential Guard (Lsalso.exe) was started and will protect LSA credential

How to Test VSM Security

Log in with a domain account to the machines with the VSM enabled and run the following mimikatz command with the local administrator privileges:
mimikatz.exe privilege::debug sekurlsa::logonpasswords exit
We can see that LSA is running in an isolated environment and user password hashes cannot be obtained.
mimikatz sekurlsa logonpasswords
If you do the same on a machine with the VSM disabled, we can get NTLM hash of a user password, which can be used in pass-the-hash attacks.

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden Wiki

Welcome to The Hidden WikiNew hidden wiki url 2015 http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion Add it to bookmarks and spread it!!!
Editor's picks Bored? Pick a random page from the article index and replace one of these slots with it.
The Matrix - Very nice to read. How to Exit the Matrix - Learn how to Protect yourself and your rights, online and off. Verifying PGP signatures - A short and simple how-to guide. In Praise Of Hawala - Anonymous informal value transfer system. Volunteer Here are five different things that you can help us out with.
Plunder other hidden service lists for links and place them here! File the SnapBBSIndex links wherever they go. Set external links to HTTPS where available, good certificate, and same content. Care to start recording onionland's history? Check out Onionland's Museum Perform Dead Services Duties. Introduction - Clearnet search engine for Tor Hidden Services (allows you to add new sites to its database). DuckDuckGo - A Hidden S…


Good News [May 08, 2015]: IDM developers got smarter, but the crackers are always a step ahead. Follow this article and send an email to if you are desperate. I can NOT post any crack here for legal reasons. Happy Downloading with IDM. ;) *********** first tip is to use latest crack for idm from idm universal web crack and make sure u are using all latest vers I am sure many of us are too much dependent on Internet Download Manager a.k.a. IDM. The main reason didn’t permanently switch to linux was IDM. I mainly use it for batch downloading and download streaming videos. Till yesterday, IDM was working fine with me (of course with fake serial numbers, keygen, crack, patch etc. which could be found with little effort). But few days ago, with the latest update version 6.18 build 7 (released on Nov 09, 2013) Internet Download Manager was literally had a breakthrough and crushed all the serial numbers, …

DoubleAgent Attack Turns Your Antivirus Into Malware And Hijacks Your PC

Short Bytes: Cybellum security researchers have uncovered a new attack mechanism that can be used to take control of your antivirus and turn it into a malware. Called DoubleAgent, this attack exploits an old and undocumented vulnerability in Windows operating system. This Zero Day code injection technique affects all major antivirus vendors and has the power to hijack permissions. The security researchers from Cybellum have found a new technique that can be used by the cybercriminals to hijack your computer by injecting malicious code. This new Zero-Day attack can be used to take full control over all the major antivirus software. Instead of hiding from the antivirus, this attack takes control of the antivirus itself. Called DoubleAgent, this attack makes use of a 15-year-old legitimate feature of Windows (read vulnerability)–that’s why it can’t be patched. It affects all versions of Microsoft Windows. Cybellum blog mentions that this flaw is still unpatched by most antivirus v…