Feeds

IIS bug gives attackers complete server control

Linux and Chrome flaws too

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A hacker has uncovered a previously unknown bug in Microsoft's Internet Information Services webserver that in some cases gives attackers complete control of vulnerable machines.

Proof-of-concept code published Monday has been confirmed to give remote root access to servers running version 5 of IIS on Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4. And according to Nikolaos Rangos, the hacker who released the exploit, IIS6 is also vulnerable, even when a memory stack mechanism known as cookie protection is enabled.

The vulnerability appears to be triggered only in limited circumstances, specifically when IIS is set to enable the file transfer protocol and there is a writable folder. While that suggests the majority of IIS installations aren't vulnerable, the universe of affected systems is still big enough to give the security conscious pause.

"I have customers who have Windows 2000 servers and I scold them frequently." said Rodney Thayer, CTO of security research firm Secorix. "I think that's pretty bad, because if Microsoft says it's end of life and they're claiming it's not supported, then you shouldn't be running any software that the vendor says is not supported."

According to Microsoft's website here, mainstream support for IIS5 expired in 2005, but extended support remains in effect until July 2010. Support for Windows 2000 SP4 ends "24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first," according to this page.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said company researchers are looking in to the report and will issue a public statement when they're finished. There are no reports of any such vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild, she added.

In May, Rangos disclosed another serious bug in IIS that left the popular web server vulnerable to a simple attack that exposed password-protected files and folders. Microsoft has since fixed it.

The claim of a bug in IIS is just one of three security advisories that greeted IT professionals on Monday morning. A separate vulnerability affecting a wide range of Linux kernels allows unprivileged local users to read parts of kernel memory that may contain sensitive information. While problematic, the bug - unlike like a critical NULL pointer dereference flaw published two weeks ago - doesn't directly lead to privilege escalation.

The hole has been plugged in Linux 2.6.31-rc7, but there appears to be no fix in the more stable 2.6.30.x series yet, Jon Oberheide, the security researcher who published Monday's disclosure, told The Register.

A third vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Google's Chrome browser and could be used in some cases by malicious websites to track web users. More about the bug is available here (PDF). ®

This article was updated to reflect the official dates support expires for IIS and Windows 2000.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.