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  Microsoft Windows kernel multiple security vulnerabilities

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:14.10.2008
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-061 – Important Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (954211)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-061 – Important
Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (954211)
Published: October 14, 2008

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves one publicly disclosed and two privately reported vulnerabilities in the Windows kernel. A local attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. The vulnerabilities could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by correcting window property validation passed during the new window creation process, correcting the manner in which system calls from multiple threads are handled, and correcting validation of parameters passed to the Windows Kernel from user mode. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

Known Issues. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 954211 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when installing this security update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues.
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Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software
Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update

Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows XP Service Pack 2


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows XP Service Pack 3


Elevation of Privilege


Important


None

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Elevation of Privilege


Important


MS08-025

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation affected. For supported editions of Windows Server 2008, this update applies, with the same severity rating, whether or not Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see Server Core. Note that the Server Core installation option does not apply to certain editions of Windows Server 2008; see Compare Server Core Installation Options.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
The file information details can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 954211.

Why does this update address several reported security vulnerabilities?
This update contains support for several vulnerabilities because the modifications that are required to address these issues are located in related files. Instead of having to install several updates that are almost the same, customers need to install this update only.

What are the known issues that customers may experience when installing this security update?
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 954211 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when they install this security update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues.

I am using an older release of the software discussed in this security bulletin. What should I do?
The affected software listed in this bulletin have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. To determine the support life cycle for your software release, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities. For more information about the Windows Product Lifecycle, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle. For more information about the extended security update support period for these software versions or editions, visit Microsoft Product Support Services.

Customers who require custom support for older releases must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an Alliance, Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, visit Microsoft Worldwide Information, select the country, and then click Go to see a list of telephone numbers. When you call, ask to speak with the local Premier Support sales manager. For more information, see the Windows Operating System Product Support Lifecycle FAQ.
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Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers
Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2250 Windows Kernel Unhandled Exception Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2251 Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2252 Aggregate Severity Rating

Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important
Elevation of Privilege


Important

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation affected. For supported editions of Windows Server 2008, this update applies, with the same severity rating, whether or not Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see Server Core. Note that the Server Core installation option does not apply to certain editions of Windows Server 2008; see Compare Server Core Installation Options.
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Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2250

An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists because the Windows kernel does not properly validate properties of a window passed during the new window creation process. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2250.

Mitigating Factors for Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2250

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:


An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to a vulnerable system in order to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
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Workarounds for Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2250

Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.
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FAQ for Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2250

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is an elevation of privilege vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
The Windows kernel improperly processes input passed from a parent to a child window when a new window is created.

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

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to the system. An attacker could then run a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerability and take complete control over the affected system.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

What does the update do?
The update addresses the vulnerability by correctly validating window properties passed during the new window creation process.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this security bulletin was originally issued.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.
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Windows Kernel Unhandled Exception Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2251

An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists due to a possible "Double Free" condition in the Windows kernel. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to run code with elevated privileges. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2251.

Mitigating Factors for Windows Kernel Unhandled Exception Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2251

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:


An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to a vulnerable system in order to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
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Workarounds for Windows Kernel Unhandled Exception Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2251

Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.
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FAQ for Windows Kernel Unhandled Exception Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2251

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is an elevation of privilege vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability is cause by the Windows kernel not properly handling certain system calls from multiple threads.

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

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to the system. An attacker could then run a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerability and take complete control over the affected system.

What is a "double free"condition?
An attacker could cause an affected system, while processing a specially crafted program, to try to release or "free" memory that may have been set aside for use multiple times. Releasing memory that has already been freed could lead to memory corruption. An attacker could add arbitrary code to memory that is then executed when the corruption occurs. This code could then be executed at a system level of privilege.

Typically, this vulnerability will cause a denial of service to occur. However, in some circumstances, code execution could occur. Because of the unique layout of the memory on each affected system, exploiting this vulnerability on a mass scale could be difficult.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

What does the update do?
The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the manner in which system calls from multiple threads are handled.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
Yes. This vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this security bulletin was originally issued. It has been assigned the Common Vulnerability and Exposure number CVE-2008-2251.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.
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Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2252

An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists due to the Windows kernel improperly validating input passed from user mode to the kernel. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to run code with elevated privileges. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2252.

Mitigating Factors for Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2252

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:


An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to a vulnerable system in order to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
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Workarounds for Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2252

Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.
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FAQ for Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2252

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is an elevation of privilege vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability is due to the Windows kernel improperly validating input passed from user mode to the Kernel.

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

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to the system. An attacker could then run a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerability and take complete control over the affected system.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

What does the update do?
The update addresses the vulnerability by correctly validating parameters passed to the Windows Kernel from user mode.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this security bulletin was originally issued.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Other Information
Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:


Paul Caton of iShadow for reporting the Windows Kernel Window Creation Vulnerability - (CVE-2008-2250)


Thomas Garnier of SkyRecon for reporting the Windows Kernel Memory Corruption Vulnerability - (CVE-2008-2252)

Support


Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates.


International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions


V1.0 (October 14, 2008): Bulletin published.

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