Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-036 - Critical

Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2685939)

Published: | Updated:

Version: 1.3

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Remote Desktop Protocol. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends a sequence of specially crafted RDP packets to an affected system. By default, the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is not enabled on any Windows operating system. Systems that do not have RDP enabled are not at risk.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008; Critical for Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1; and Critical for all supported editions of Windows Server 2008 R2. The security update is also rated Moderate for all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista, and Moderate for Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that the Remote Desktop Protocol processes packets in memory. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. The majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871.

For administrators and enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually, Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately using update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service.

See also the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, later in this bulletin.

Known Issues. None

Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software 

Operating SystemMaximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by this Update
Windows XP Service Pack 3
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateNone
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateNone
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalKB2621440 in MS12-020 replaced by KB2685939
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateNone
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems
(KB2685939)
Denial of ServiceModerateNone
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Server Core installation option
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(KB2685939)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

Remote Desktop Protocol Vulnerability - CVE-2012-0173

Update Information

Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance

Security Update Deployment

Other Information

Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)

To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Support

How to obtain help and support for this security update

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions

  • V1.0 (June 12, 2012): Bulletin published.
  • V1.1 (June 13, 2012): Added a workaround in the Vulnerability Information section that explains how to enable Network Level Authentication on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • V1.2 (July 10, 2012): Removed MS11-065 as a bulletin replaced by the KB2685939 update for Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2, and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems. This is an informational change only. There were no changes to the detection logic or the update files.
  • V1.3 (July 9, 2013): Bulletin revised to announce a detection change in the Windows Vista packages for the 2685939 update to correct a Windows Update reoffering issue. This is a detection change only. Customers who have already successfully updated their systems do not need to take any action.