Microsoft Windows contains a vulnerability that could allow a local attacker to gain elevated privileges on a targeted system.
The vulnerability exists because the affected software improperly handles objects in memory. A local attacker could exploit this vulnerability by running a crafted application. Successful exploitation could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code in kernel mode, which could result in a complete system compromise.
Microsoft has confirmed the vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
Indicators of Compromise
The following Microsoft products are affected:
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 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
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
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems SP1 and prior
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems SP1 and prior
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems SP1 and prior
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems SP1 and prior
The vulnerability exists because the affected software improperly handles objects in memory, resulting in a use-after-free memory error.
A local attacker could exploit this vulnerability by running a crafted application. When the software processes the application, a use-after-free memory error condition may occur that the attacker could use to gain elevated privileges and execute arbitrary code on the system with these privileges, resulting in a complete compromise of the system.
To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker must be able to log in locally to a targeted system. As a result, trusted users with limited privileges may use this type of vulnerability as part of an insider attack.
Microsoft has corrected this vulnerability by correcting the way Windows kernel-mode drivers handle objects in memory.
Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.
Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to access local systems.
Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to have network access.
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: MS12-075
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 Microsoft Update service. 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.