Microsoft Entra ID Vulnerability: A Comprehensive Analysis of Privilege Escalation Threats

Microsoft Entra ID Vulnerability: A Comprehensive Analysis of Privilege Escalation Threats

Experts continuously unearth vulnerabilities that could potentially compromise infrastructure. One such recent revelation pertains to Microsoft Entra ID, previously known as Azure Active Directory. This article delves deep into the specifics of this vulnerability and its potential implications.

The Abandoned Reply URL: A Gateway for Cyber Adversaries

Researchers have identified a significant flaw in the Microsoft Entra ID application, stemming from an overlooked reply URL. This dormant URL presents a unique opportunity for cyber adversaries.

“By exploiting this unused URL, malicious actors can redirect authorization codes to their own servers. Once in possession of these unauthorized codes, they can be exchanged for access tokens,” stated the technical report from Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU).

This unauthorized access allows threat actors to interface with the Power Platform API through an intermediary service, subsequently gaining elevated system privileges.

Swift Response and Mitigation to Microsoft Entra ID Vulnerability

Upon the responsible disclosure of this vulnerability on April 5, 2023, Microsoft promptly addressed the issue by releasing an update the following day. In addition, Secureworks has provided an open-source tool, enabling organizations to scan for and identify any abandoned reply URLs.

For clarity, a reply URL, or redirect URI, is the designated location to which the authorization server redirects the user post successful app authorization, granting either an authorization code or access token.

Microsoft’s official documentation emphasizes the importance of registering the correct redirect URI during the app registration phase, stating, “The authorization server dispatches the code or token to the redirect URI.”

Further investigations by Secureworks CTU unveiled an abandoned reply URL linked to the Dynamics Data Integration app. This URL was associated with the Azure Traffic Manager profile, allowing potential tampering with environment configurations via the Power Platform API.

Potential Attack Scenarios and Implications

Figure 2. Legitimate traffic pattern, omitting the Azure AD steps. (Source: Secureworks)

In a theoretical attack framework, malicious actors could exploit this vulnerability to obtain the system administrator role for a pre-existing service principal. This would enable them to send deletion requests for specific environments and misuse the Azure AD Graph API to extract target-specific information, setting the stage for subsequent malicious activities.

However, the success of such an attack hinges on a victim inadvertently clicking on a deceptive link. This would result in the authorization code, issued by Microsoft Entra ID upon user login, being redirected to a URL under the control of the threat actor.

This disclosure coincides with Kroll’s findings, which highlighted a surge in phishing campaigns themed around DocuSign, employing open redirects. These campaigns craft URLs that, upon being clicked, reroute potential victims to malevolent sites.

“Crafting a misleading URL that exploits a reputable website allows malicious entities to more effectively persuade users to engage with the link. This also potentially deceives network technologies designed to scan and identify malicious links,” commented Kroll’s cybersecurity expert, George Glass.

The endgame for these cyber adversaries is to redirect victims to malevolent sites meticulously designed to pilfer sensitive data, ranging from login credentials and credit card information to personal details.

Read also: Netcomm and TP-Link Routers at Risk: Critical Security Vulnerabilities Exposed


The digital landscape is rife with evolving threats, and the Microsoft Entra ID vulnerability serves as a testament to the importance of continuous vigilance and proactive cybersecurity measures. By staying informed and adopting robust security protocols, organizations can mitigate potential risks and safeguard their digital assets.

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