Event 4693: A Key Recovery Attempt Unveiled

Estimated read time 3 min read

Hello, cyber guardians! Today, we’re entering the world of cryptographic keys as we explore Event 4693. This one’s about an attempt to recover a data protection master key. Sounds intriguing, right? Let’s dive in!

What is it?

Event 4693 is the code name for when someone tries to recover a data protection master key. Think of it as a secret key that’s used to protect data. When someone attempts to recover this key, it’s like they’re trying to crack open a safe.

Event Properties showing Event 4693
Event Properties showing Event 4693

What does it mean?

An attempt to recover a data protection master key could be a routine IT operation, like recovering encrypted data. But it could also be a cybercriminal trying to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. Either way, it’s something that needs to be monitored closely.

What is Expected?

As the custodians of cybersecurity, it’s your job to investigate these key recovery attempts. You need to figure out who tried to recover the key, why they did it, and whether it was a legitimate operation or a potential security threat.


Mimikatz is a post-exploitation tool that’s often used to extract plaintext passwords, hash, PIN code, and Kerberos tickets from memory. It can also perform pass-the-hash, pass-the-ticket, and build Golden tickets. In essence, it’s a treasure trove for anyone looking to exploit security vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access to systems.

Mimikatz and Event 4693

So, you might be wondering, “How does Mimikatz relate to Event 4693?” Well, Mimikatz has a feature that enables the extraction of Windows data protection API (DPAPI) master keys. These master keys are used to protect sensitive data. If an attacker can recover these keys using Mimikatz, they can decrypt the sensitive data that the keys were protecting.

This means an attempt to recover a data protection master key (which triggers Event 4693) could potentially be an attacker using Mimikatz or a similar tool to gain access to sensitive data.

How Mimikatz can be used to dump hashes | Video by HackerSploit

Things to Search For

Here are some things you should look for when a data protection master key recovery attempt is made:

  1. Who made the attempt: Was it a trusted IT administrator, or was it an unknown user? This could help you determine whether the attempt was legitimate or suspicious.
  2. When the attempt was made: The timing of the attempt could provide valuable clues. Was it made during regular working hours, or was it in the middle of the night?
  3. What was the result of the attempt: Was the attempt successful, or did it fail? A successful attempt could mean that the user now has access to sensitive data.
  4. What actions followed the attempt: Check for any unusual activities after the attempt. This could indicate whether the recovered key was used maliciously.

Remember, guardians, knowledge is power. The more you know about these key recovery attempts, the better you can protect your digital realm. So stay alert, stay curious, and keep up the great work!

Reza Rafati https://cyberwarzone.com

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of Cyberwarzone.com. An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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