Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 and prior and Windows Server 2008 SP2 and prior contain a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.
This vulnerability exists due to errors when handling input contained within TCP/IP packets. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a malicious network packet to the vulnerable system. If the exploit is successful, the attacker could execute code resulting in a complete system compromise.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates that correct it.
Indicators of Compromise
Systems running the following versions of Microsoft Windows are vulnerable:
Windows Vista SP2 and prior
Windows Vista x64 Edition SP2 and prior
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
This vulnerability exists due to errors in handling input contained within TCP/IP packets. Windows may treat data as a function pointer when a field contains other data that is potentially supplied by the user. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malicious TCP/IP packets to the affected system. The processing of data contained within the network packets could cause memory corruption that the attacker could leverage to execute arbitrary code.
Attackers only need to send malicious TCP/IP packets to a vulnerable system in order to accomplish an exploit, which would render all Internet-facing servers potentially vulnerable to external exploitation. Because technical details have not yet been released publicly, the development of exploits may be delayed. Administrators are advised to apply available patches immediately.
The update available from Microsoft corrects this vulnerability by changing the way Windows processes TCP/IP packets.
Administrators are advised to apply the available software updates.
Administrators are advised to restrict network access to affected systems.
Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.
Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-048
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.
THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR USE. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE DOCUMENT OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM
THE DOCUMENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE ALERTS AT ANY TIME.
A standalone copy or paraphrase of the text of this document that omits the distribution URL is an uncontrolled copy and may lack important information or contain factual errors. The information in this document is intended for end users of Cisco products
Cisco Multivendor Vulnerability Alerts respond to vulnerabilities identified in third-party vendors' products. These alerts contain information compiled from diverse sources and provide comprehensive technical descriptions, objective analytical assessments, workarounds and practical safeguards, and links to vendor advisories and patches.