Many organisations “lock-down” their desktop environments to reduce the impact that malicious staff members and compromised accounts can have on the overall domain security. Many desktop restrictions can slow down an attacker but it’s often possible to “break-out” of the restricted environment. Both assessing and securing these desktop environments can be tricky, so I’ll run you through how I assess them here, highlight some of the tricks and the methodology that I use with the intention that both breakers and defenders can get a better look at their options.
Pre-Execution Boot, or PXE, is a method of booting a workstation machine by loading an operating system across the network. If PXE boot can be enabled (often it is enabled by default, even when machines are restricted from booting CDs or USB Devices) then an stripped down Linux operating system can be loaded over the network and used to compromise the target.