I would like to know what the minimum access is to be able to dump from the lsass process on a Windows machine (any version) to try and grab LSA Secrets.

The reason I am asking is because I had thought it was restricted to admin and higher, but accross multiple penetration tests and different versions of windows, I have in the past been able to obtain LSA Secrets without getting local admin first, sometimes while logged in via RDP.

Now, is this because my user had admin access and I didn't realize it? Is that the only possibility? Or are earlier versions of Windows less restricted in allowing access to LSA Secrets?

  • What functions were you using to access the LSA data?
    – RoraΖ
    Jul 31, 2014 at 17:12
  • @raz, gsecdump, procdump of lsass.exe, pwdumpx etc... Jul 31, 2014 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


You can dump lassas direcly from task manager or use procdump,in this case you are a local administrator on machine but you have not full admin token,i.e task manager is not running as administrator on windows 7 and you did not invoke UAC (consent.exe),then you can use mimikatz to grab LSA secrets.Use this link it is useful https://forums.hak5.org/index.php?/topic/29657-payload-ducky-script-using-mimikatz-to-dump-passwords-from-memory/


LSASS is a System level process, so any kind of access to it will require Admin level privileges. I would guess that your user had admin access and you didn't realize it. You can check your level of access through a batch script to confirm. If you still have access to the machine you RDP'ed in to.

To the best of my knowledge LSASS has always been a protected process. It's needed for user login to for distributing access tokens so it definitely wouldn't be a user level process.

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