Search for Certificates on Windows Systems

xrayspx's picture

Nine Inch Nails - Broken

Here are a lot of words about what's essentially a one-line CMD + Powershell script...

I've recently run into a situation where a trusted root certificate authority certificate was missing from several Windows systems in multiple locations and domains. This was causing an issue with automation which reached out to a site which had a certificate signed by that CA. I can see a good use case for this if an organization has their own CA and needs to verify that all endpoints have that CA certificate in their trust store for example.

It turns out I couldn't quickly find a way to deal with this with a CMD based tool, but I did find a powershell command to list installed certificates which worked great, so I wrapped it in some ugly FOR loops and that was about it.

A couple of pre-reqs:

  • This won't run well from Cygwin + bash, it's best to use CMD on the scanning host. In fact even writing the script in cygwin + vi is probably not the best idea with whitespace issues and such. If you edit either the .bat file or hosts list in vi/Cygwin, run unix2dos against that file before running.
  • Likely needs to run as "The" domain administrator account rather than "A" domain administrator account to avoid any permissions issues.
  • Requires psexec on the machine running the scan
  • Requires Powershell on the machines being scanned. This hasn't been a problem for me, I'm pretty sure you can rely on PowerShell being installed globally now?
  • Replace the example thumbprint "3B1EFD3A66EA28B16697394703A72CA340A05BD5" with the thumbprint of whatever certificate you're looking for. In Windows you can find this in IE -> Settings -> Internet Options -> Content -> Certificates.

    For example, here is a Microsoft Root CA Certificate Thumbprint

    If you manually browse for the certificate on a known-good machine as above, you can get the thumbprint here. You need to take that string and uppercase all the letters and remove any whitespace, so it will look like "3B1EFD3A66EA28B16697394703A72CA340A05BD5"

    An easy way to change the thumbprint formatting is:

    xrayspx@pro:~$ echo "‎3b 1e fd 3a 66 ea 28 b1 66 97 39 47 03 a7 2c a3 40 a0 5b d5" | sed 's/ //g' | tr [:lower:] [:upper:]


    At any rate, stupidly simple script:

    @echo  off
         FOR  /F  "tokens=1"  %%G  IN  (%1)  DO  (
             FOR  /F  "tokens=1  USEBACKQ"  %%F  IN  (`psexec.exe  -nobanner  \\%%G  powershell.exe  -Command  "dir  cert:LocalMachine\Root  |  findstr  3B1EFD3A66EA28B16697394703A72CA340A05BD5"`)  DO  (
                 echo  %%G  %%F  >>  tstout.txt

    First, create a list of hosts to scan and save the file as hosts.txt or whatever.

    run the scan with "certcheck.bat hosts.txt"

    Your output will be in the "tstout.txt" file. That will output a space-separated list of hostnames + thumbprint if it exists on that host. If it doesn't it'll be blank. So you can "grep -v "3B1EFD3A66EA28B16697394703A72CA340A05BD5" tstout.txt" and get a list of hosts which don't have the cert installed.