Feeds

Unpatched kernel-level vuln affects all Windows versions

Code execution possible

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Researchers have identified a kernel-level vulnerability in Windows that allows attackers to gain escalated privileges and may also allow them to remotely execute malicious code. All versions of the Microsoft OS are affected, including the heavily fortified Windows 7.

The buffer overflow, which was originally reported here, can be exploited to escalate privileges or crash vulnerable machines, IT research company Vupen said. The flaw may also allow attackers to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.

The bug resides in the “CreateDIBPalette()” function of a device driver known as “Win32k.sys.” It is exploited by pasting a large number of color values into an improperly allocated buffer, potentially allowing attackers to sneak in malicious payloads, vulnerability tracking service Secunia warned.

It affects fully patched installations of every supported Windows platform, from Windows XP SP 3 to Windows Vista, 7, and Server 2008. The latter three versions contain several defenses designed to lessen the effect of security vulnerabilities. It wouldn't be surprising if code execution attacks were possible only on earlier versions that don't have the defenses, which include DEP, or data execution prevention, and ASLR, short for address space layout randomization.

There are no reports of the vulnerability being exploited in the wild. Microsoft said it is investigating the reports but didn't have additional information. Microsoft is scheduled to issue a record 14 security bulletins during next week's Patch Tuesday. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?