Alert: Microsoft Security Bulletin - MS03-013

From: Russ (Russ.Cooper@RC.ON.CA)
Date: 04/16/03

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    Date:         Wed, 16 Apr 2003 13:40:08 -0400
    From: Russ <Russ.Cooper@RC.ON.CA>

    Buffer Overrun in Windows Kernel Message Handling could Lead to Elevated Privileges (811493)

    Originally posted: April 16, 2003


    Who should read this bulletin: Administrators of Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0, Windows® 2000 and Windows® XP systems.

    Impact of vulnerability: Local Elevation of Privilege

    Maximum Severity Rating: Important

    Recommendation: Customers should install the patch at the earliest opportunity.

    Affected Software:
    - Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
    - Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server, Terminal Server Edition
    - Microsoft Windows 2000
    - Microsoft Windows XPEnd User Bulletin: An end user version of this bulletin is available at:

    Technical description:

    The Windows kernel is the core of the operating system. It provides system level services such as device and memory management, allocates processor time to processes and manages error handling.

    There is a flaw in the way the kernel passes error messages to a debugger. A vulnerability results because an attacker could write a program to exploit this flaw and run code of their choice. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take any action on the system including deleting data, adding accounts with administrative access, or reconfiguring the system.

    For an attack to be successful, an attacker would need to be able to logon interactively to the system, either at the console or through a terminal session. Also, a successful attack would require the introduction of code in order to exploit this vulnerability. Because best practices recommends restricting the ability to logon interactively on servers, this issue most directly affects client systems and terminal servers.

    Mitigating factors:
    - A successful attack requires the ability to logon interactively to the target machine, either directly at the console or through a terminal session.
    - Properly secured servers would be at little risk from this vulnerability. Standard best practices recommend only allowing trusted administrators to log onto such systems interactively; without such privileges, an attacker could not exploit the vulnerability.

    Vulnerability identifier: CAN-2003-0112

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    Russ - Surgeon General of TruSecure Corporation/NTBugtraq Editor

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