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Vulnerability Alert

Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Connection ActiveX Control Heap Overflow Vulnerability

 
Threat Type:CWE-94: Code Injection
IntelliShield ID:18768
Version:1
First Published:2009 August 11 19:01 GMT
Last Published:2009 August 11 19:01 GMT
Port: Not available
CVE:CVE-2009-1929
Urgency:Unlikely Use
Credibility:Confirmed
Severity:Moderate Damage
CVSS Base:9.3 CVSS Calculator
CVSS Version 2.0
CVSS Temporal:6.9
 
Version Summary:

Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Connection ActiveX control contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to gain complete control over an affected system. Updates are available.

 
 
Description

Microsoft Windows contains a vulnerability in the Remote Desktop Connection ActiveX control that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to gain complete control over an affected system.

The vulnerability exists because of a heap overflow vulnerability in the Remote Desktop Connection ActiveX control.  If an attacker can convince a user to connect to a malicious website, the attacker can execute arbitrary code on the client machine with the privileges of the user.

Microsoft has acknowledged this vulnerability in a security bulletin and has released software updates that correct it.

 
Warning Indicators

The following Microsoft systems are affected:

  • Windows XP SP2 and SP3
  • Windows Vista SP1 and SP2
  • Windows Vista x64 Edition SP1 and SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems SP2 and prior
  • Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems SP2 and prior
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems SP2 and prior

The following systems are affected if the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Connection out-of-band download has been installed on the system:

  • Windows 2000 SP4 and prior, when using RDP Connection 6.0 or 6.1
  • Windows XP SP2 and prior, when using RDP Connection 6.0 or 6.1
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 and prior when using RDP Connection 6.0 or 6.1
  • Windows Vista SP1 when using RDP Connection 6.1
 
IntelliShield Analysis

This vulnerability requires an attacker to convince a user to connect to a malicious system.  An attacker might exploit this vulnerability by convincing an administrator that the malicious system is instead a system that requires remote assistance via the web, employing a man-in-the-middle attack between the user and a legitimate system, or using a web-based attack through the Remote Desktop ActiveX control.  It is also possible for an attacker to use SQL injection or other "drive-by" attack methods to include malicious code on sites that users trust.

The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created an Applied Mitigation Bulletin to address vulnerabilities that Microsoft disclosed in the August 2009 security bulletin release.  This Cisco bulletin, which assists administrators in identifying or mitigating these vulnerabilities using Cisco devices, is available at the following link: Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletin: Microsoft Security Bulletin Release for August 2009

Microsoft has corrected this vulnerability by improving the handling of unexpected parameters by the methods in the ActiveX control.

 
Vendor Announcements

Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-044

 
Impact

An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.  The attacker can execute code with the privileges of the user who is running the Remote Desktop Connection.  If the user holds Administrator privileges, the attacker could gain complete control over the affected system.

 
Technical Information

The vulnerability exists because the Remote Desktop Connection ActiveX control on affected systems does not properly handle memory when it receives parameters from a malicious website.  An attacker can use a malicious site to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user's account.

The victim may be enticed to follow a link to a malicious page through an e-mail message, instant messenger conversation, social networking site, or other web-enabled medium.

This vulnerability does not affect Remote Desktop Connection server code, only client code.

 
Safeguards

Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

Users are advised not to open e-mail messages from suspicious or unrecognized sources. If users cannot verify that links or attachments included in e-mail messages are safe, they are advised not to open them.

Administrators are advised to implement an intrusion prevention system (IPS) or intrusion detection system (IDS) to help detect and prevent attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.

Administrators may consider configuring Internet Explorer to prompt users before running Active Scripting or ActiveX controls by setting the Internet and Local Intranet security zone settings to High.  Alternately, administrators could disable Active Scripting and ActiveX controls in these security zones.

Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.

 
Patches/Software

Microsoft customers can obtain updates directly by using the links in the security bulletin. These updates are also distributed by Windows automatic update features and available on the Windows Update website. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server, and System Center Configuration Manager can assist administrators in deploying software updates.


Signatures
 
Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) 6.0
Signature IDSignature NameReleaseLatest Release Date
20120/0Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol RCES4482009 Nov 13 
20120/1Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol RCES4482009 Nov 13 
20120/2Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol RCES4242009 Aug 11 
 
Alert History
 

Initial Release



Product Sets
 
The security vulnerability applies to the following combinations of products.

Primary Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Windows 2000 Advanced Server Base, rev.2031, rev.2072, rev.2195, SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4 | Datacenter Server Base, SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4 | Professional Base, SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4 | Server Base, SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4
Microsoft, Inc.Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Datacenter Edition, 64-bit (Itanium) Base, SP1, SP2 | Datacenter Edition x64 (AMD/EM64T) Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Edition, 64-bit (Itanium) Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Edition x64 (AMD/EM64T) Base, SP1, SP2 | Standard Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Standard Edition, 64-bit (Itanium) Base, SP1, SP2 | Standard Edition x64 (AMD/EM64T) Base, SP1, SP2 | Web Edition Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Datacenter Edition, 64-bit Base, SP1, SP2 | Itanium-Based Systems Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Edition, 64-bit Base, SP1, SP2 | Essential Business Server Standard Base, SP1, SP2 | Essential Business Server Premium Base, SP1, SP2 | Essential Business Server Premium, 64-bit Base, SP1, SP2 | Standard Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Standard Edition, 64-bit Base, SP1, SP2 | Web Server Base, SP1, SP2 | Web Server, 64-bit Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Windows Vista Business Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise Base, SP1, SP2 | Ultimate Base, SP1, SP2 | Business x64 Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Enterprise x64 Edition Base, SP1, SP2 | Ultimate x64 Edition Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Windows XP Professional Edition SP2, SP3 | Professional Edition, 64-bit (Itanium) SP1, SP2 | Professional x64 (AMD/EM64T) SP2

Associated Products:
N/A




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