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  ZDI-10-147: Microsoft Windows MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:11.08.2010
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-052 - Critical Vulnerability in Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 Codecs Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2115168)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-052 - Critical
Vulnerability in Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 Codecs Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2115168)
Published: August 10, 2010

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted media file or receives specially crafted streaming content from a Web site or any application that delivers Web content. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (except supported Itanium-based editions). For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that the Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs handle the MPEG Layer-3 audio stream in specially crafted media files. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. The majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871.

For administrators and enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually, Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately using update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service.

See also the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, later in this bulletin.

Known Issues. None
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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

Windows XP Service Pack 3


Remote Code Execution


Critical


None

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Remote Code Execution


Critical


None

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Remote Code Execution


Critical


None

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Remote Code Execution


Critical


None

Non-Affected Software
Operating System

Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems and Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
Refer to the reference tables in the Security Update Deployment section for the location of the file information details.

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. For more information about the product lifecycle, visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.

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. To determine the support lifecycle for your software release, see Select a Product for Lifecycle Information. For more information about service packs for these software releases, see Lifecycle Supported Service Packs.

Customers who require custom support for older software 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 the Microsoft Worldwide Information Web site, select the country in the Contact Information list, 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 Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.
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Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the August bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.
Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-1882 Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows XP Service Pack 3


Critical
Remote Code Execution


Critical

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Critical
Remote Code Execution


Critical

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Critical
Remote Code Execution


Critical

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Critical
Remote Code Execution


Critical
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MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-1882

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that Microsoft DirectShow MP3 filter handles supported format files. This vulnerability could allow code execution if a user opened a specially crafted audio file. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could 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. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2010-1882.

Mitigating Factors for MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-1882

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 who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s Web site.


The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful, a user must open an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.
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Workarounds for MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-1882

Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality:


Unregister l3codecx.ax

On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems, run the following commands from a command prompt.

For 32-bit Windows:

Regsvr32.exe –u %WINDIR%\system32\l3codecx.ax

For 64-bit Windows:

Regsvr32.exe –u %WINDIR%\syswow64\l3codecx.ax

Impact of workaround. MPEG Layer-3 Parsing is disabled in applications that use DirectShow to play MPEG Layer-3 content.

How to undo the workaround.

On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems, run the following commands from a command prompt.

For 32-bit Windows:

Regsvr32.exe %WINDIR%\system32\l3codecx.ax

For 64-bit Windows:

Regsvr32.exe %WINDIR%\syswow64\l3codecx.ax


Deny access to l3codecx.ax

On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems run the following commands from a command prompt.

For 32-bit Windows:

cacls %WINDIR%\system32\l3codecx.ax /E /P everyone:N

For 64-bit Windows:

cacls %WINDIR%\syswow64\l3codecx.ax /E /P everyone:N

Impact of workaround. MPEG Layer-3 Parsing is disabled in applications that use DirectShow to play MPEG Layer-3 content.

How to undo the workaround.

On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems run the following commands from a command prompt.

For 32-bit Windows:

cacls %WINDIR%\system32\l3codecx.ax /E /R everyone

For 64-bit Windows:

cacls %WINDIR%\syswow64\l3codecx.ax /E /R everyone


Disable MPEG Layer-3 parsing in DirectShow

Removing the registry key specified below prevents MPEG Layer-3 parsing in applications that use DirectShow to play MPEG Layer-3 content.

Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

Using the Interactive Method

For 32-bit Windows systems:

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Locate the following subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-00A024CFEF6D}

3.


On the File menu, click Export.

4.


In the Export Registry File dialog box, enter MP3_Parser_Backup.reg and click Save.

Note This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.

5.


Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry key via the Confirm Key Delete dialog box, click Yes.

For 64-bit Windows systems:

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Locate the following subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-
00A024CFEF6D}

3.


On the File menu, click Export.

4.


In the Export Registry File dialog box, enter MP3_Parser_Backup1.reg and click Save.

Note This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.

5.


Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry key via the Confirm Key Delete dialog box, click Yes.

6.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

7.


Locate the following subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-
00A024CFEF6D}

8.


On the File menu, click Export.

9.


In the Export Registry File dialog box, enter MP3_Parser_Backup 2.reg and click Save.

Note This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.

10.


Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry key via the Confirm Key Delete dialog box, click Yes.

Using a Managed Deployment Script

1.


Create a backup copy of the registry keys by using a managed deployment script that contains the following commands:

For 32-bit Windows systems:

Regedit.exe /e MP3_Parser_Backup.reg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-00A024CFEF6D}


For 64-bit Windows Systems:

Regedit.exe /e MP3_Parser_Backup.reg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-
00A024CFEF6D}

2.


Next, save the following to a file with a .REG extension, such as Disable_MP3_Parser.reg:

For 32-bit Windows systems:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-00A024CFEF6D}]


For 64-bit Windows Systems:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{38BE3000-DBF4-11D0-860E-
00A024CFEF6D}]

3.


Run the above registry script on the target machine with the following command from an elevated command prompt:

Regedit.exe /s Disable_MP3_Parser.reg

Impact of workaround. MPEG Layer-3 Parsing is disabled in applications that use DirectShow to play MPEG Layer-3 content.

How to undo the workaround.

Using the Interactive Method

For 32-bit Windows systems:

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Click the File menu and select Import.

3.


In the Import Registry File dialog box, select MP3_Parser_Backup.reg and click Open.

For 64-bit Windows systems:

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Click the File menu and select Import.

3.


In the Import Registry File dialog box, select MP3_Parser_Backup1.reg and click Open.

4.


In the Import Registry File dialog box, select MP3_Parser_Backup2.reg and click Open.

Using a Managed Deployment Script

For 32-bit Windows systems:

Restore the original state by running the following command:

Regedit.exe /s MP3_Parser_Backup.reg

For 64-bit Windows systems:

Restore the original state by running the following command:

Regedit.exe /s MP3_Parser_Backup.reg
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FAQ for MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-1882

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

What causes the vulnerability?
The Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs do not properly handle specially crafted media files containing an MPEG Layer-3 audio stream.

What are Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs?
The vulnerable MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs are the MPEG Layer-3 Audio Codec for Microsoft DirectShow (l3codecx.ax). This MPEG Layer-3 audio codec is delivered as part of Windows Media and as a part of the Windows operating system.

What is DirectShow?
DirectX consists of a set of low-level Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) used by Windows programs for multimedia support. Within DirectX, the DirectShow technology performs client-side audio and video sourcing, manipulation and rendering.

Microsoft DirectShow is used for streaming media on Microsoft Windows operating systems. DirectShow is used for high-quality capture and playback of multimedia streams. It automatically detects and uses video and audio acceleration hardware when available, but also supports systems without acceleration hardware. DirectShow is also integrated with other DirectX technologies. Some examples of applications that you can create using DirectShow include DVD players, video editing applications, AVI to ASF converters, MP3 players, and digital video capture applications.

What is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3)?
MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 is a file format that uses lossy compression to compress audio information. Lossy compression is a technique in which decompressed data may be different from the data initially compressed, but similar enough to be parsed and represented. It is common in audio applications such as streaming media.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could 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.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted media file or receive specially crafted streaming content from a Web site or any application that delivers Web content.

In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web site that contains specially crafted content that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's site.

In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a media file with a specially crafted media file embedded in it to the user and by convincing the user to open the file.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if users who should not have sufficient administrative permissions are given the ability 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 issue by correcting the way that the Microsoft MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs handle the MPEG Layer-3 audio stream in specially crafted media files.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through coordinated vulnerability disclosure.

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 when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Other Information
Acknowledgments

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


Moritz Jodeit of n.runs AG, working with TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative, for reporting the MPEG Layer-3 Audio Decoder Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2010-1882)
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Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)

To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections Web sites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.
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Support


Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Security Support or 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates. For more information about available support options, see Microsoft Help and Support.


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 (August 10, 2010): Bulletin published.

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