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Coastal Network Status - Issue Detail
Security
Alert

Vulnerability in MS Remote Desktop Client Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Posted: April 11, 2013, 8:28 am
Last Updated: August 12, 2013, 2:43 pm

South Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center

 

SC INFORMATION SHARING AND ANALYSIS CENTER BULLETIN

 

DATE ISSUED:        4/9/2013

                                               

SUBJECT:                 Vulnerability in MS Remote Desktop Client Could Allow Remote Code Execution

 

OVERVIEW:

 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Remote Desktop Client that could allow for remote code execution.  Remote desktop client is installed on Microsoft Windows operating systems by default, and is used to remotely log in to systems hosting the remote desktop service.

 

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

 

DESCRIPTION:

 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Remote Desktop Client that could allow for remote code execution.  This vulnerability is caused when the Microsoft Remote Desktop ActiveX Control, mstscax.dll, attempts to access an object in memory that has been freed.  This leads to the corruption of memory in such a way as to allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user.

 

In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability. The attacker would need to convince the victim to actively visit their website. When the user visits the malicious website, the attacker’s code runs on the victim’s system with the user’s credentials.

 

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights

 

 

SYSTEM AFFECTED:

·         Windows XP

·         Windows Server 2003

·         Windows Vista

·         Windows Server 2008

·         Windows 7

·         Windows Server 2008 R2

 

 

RISK:

 

Government:

Large and medium government entities: High

Small government entities: High

 

Businesses:

Large and medium business entities: High

Small business entities: High

 

Home users: High

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

We recommend the following actions be taken:

 

  • Apply appropriate patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • If there is no business case, consider disabling or restricting access to the Microsoft Remote Desktop ActiveX Control (mstscax.dll).
  • In Internet Explorer, consider setting the Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to "High" to block ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.

 

REFERENCES:

 

Microsoft:

 

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms13-029

 

SecurityFocus:

 

http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/58874

 

CVE:

 

http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2013-1296

 

 

 Please feel free to contact the SC ISAC if you have any questions or need any additional information.

 

The SC ISAC will provide amplifying information as it becomes available.

 

SC-ISAC Contact Information

 

Email: SC-ISAC@cio.sc.gov

SC ISAC Security Line: 803-896-1650

24-hour hotline: +1 803-896-0001

Fax: +1 803-896-0375

 

Postal address:

 

SC-ISAC

DSIT Budget and Control Board

4430 Broad River Road

Columbia S.C. 29210

SC-ISAC is available via hotline 08:00-17:00 EST (GMT-5)/ EDT (GMT-4)

Monday through Friday

 

 

 

Using Encryption

 

We strongly urge you to encrypt sensitive information sent by email. Our

public PGP key is available from:

 

https://sc-isac.sc.gov/public.key

 

NO WARRANTY

 

Any material furnished by SC-ISAC is furnished on an "as is" basis.

 

SC-ISAC makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied as to

any matter including, but not limited to, warranty of fitness for a particular

purpose or merchantability, exclusivity or results obtained from use of the

material. SC-ISAC does not make any warranty of any kind with respect to

freedom from patent, trademark, or copyright infringement.

 

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