Microsoft Windows contains a vulnerability that could allow a local attacker to gain elevated privileges on the affected system.
This vulnerability exists due to insufficient validation on data contained within system calls sent to the Win32k.sys kernel driver.† A local attacker could exploit this vulnerability by executing a program designed to submit malicious input to the kernel.† If successful, the attacker could execute arbitrary code in the elevated security context of the Windows Kernel, granting the attacker escalated privileges.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
Indicators of Compromise
The following Microsoft systems are affected:
Windows 2000 SP4 and prior
Windows XP SP3 and prior
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems SP2 and prior
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 insufficient validation on data contained within system calls sent to the Win32k.sys kernel driver.† A local attacker could exploit this vulnerability by running a custom program designed to submit malicious input to the Windows Kernel.† Processing of the malicious system call could trigger an error condition that could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code within the Windows Kernel security context.
An attacker must be able to log on locally to an affected system and run a custom program in order to exploit this vulnerability, limiting the source of potential exploits.
Multi-user workstations, terminal servers, and shared hosting platforms may be at greatest risk, as users with limited privilege accounts may attempt to gain additional privileges to gain access to other users' files. An exploit on an end-user system has little practical impact, as dedicated, single-user hosts are typically only accessed by the single administrative owner.
Administrators are advised to apply the available software updates.
Administrators are advised to only grant local system access to trusted users.
Administrators are advised to monitor critical 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.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-065
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.
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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.