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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-025 - Important

Vulnerability in Group Policy Preferences Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2962486)

Published: May 13, 2014

Version: 1.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if Active Directory Group Policy preferences are used to distribute passwords across the domain - a practice that could allow an attacker to retrieve and decrypt the password stored with Group Policy preferences.

This security update is rated Important for Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on affected editions of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The update is also rated Important for all affected editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2. For more information, see the Affected and Non-Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by removing the ability to configure and distribute passwords that use certain Group Policy preferences extensions. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability later in this bulletin.

Additional Action Required. In order to be fully protected from the vulnerability addressed in this bulletin, customers with existing group policies that use Group Policy preferences will need to take additional action to remove those policies. See the Vulnerability FAQ in this bulletin for more information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity and perform the additional actions detailed above and in the related FAQ.

The update is available from the Microsoft Download Center and Microsoft Update Catalog only.

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

Knowledge Base Article

  • Knowledge Base Article: 2962486
  • File Information: Yes
  • SHA1/SHA2 hashes: Yes
  • Known issues: None

The following software has 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, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software

Operating System

Component

Maximum Security Impact

Aggregate Severity Rating

Updates Replaced

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Service Pack 2[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 7

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8 for x64-based Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools [3]
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools [4]
(2961899)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools [3]
(2928120)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems[1]

Remote Server Administration Tools [4]
(2961899)

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 [2]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2012 R2 [2][3]
(2928120)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

Windows Server 2012 R2 [2][4]
(2961899)

Not applicable

Elevation of Privilege

Important

None

[1]Client systems are only affected if Remote Server Administration Tools has been installed.
[2]Server systems are only affected if Group Policy Management is configured on the server.
[3]This update is for systems that have the 2919355 update installed. See the Update FAQ for more information.
[4]This update is for systems that do not have the 2919355 update installed. See the Update FAQ for more information.

 

Non-Affected Software

Operating System

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems

Windows RT

Windows RT 8.1

Server Core installation option

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation)

Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)

What behavior changes does this update cause to Group Policy Preferences? 
For details on how the update changes Group Policy Preferences behavior, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2962486.

Why are the updates only available from the Microsoft Download Center and Microsoft Update Catalog? 
Microsoft is releasing these updates to the Microsoft Download Center and Microsoft Update Catalog so that customers can begin updating their systems as soon as possible.

Does this update contain any security related changes to functionality? 
Yes. The update modifies the Group Policy Management Editor window of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) by removing the ability to configure and distribute passwords using the following Group Policy preferences extensions:

  • Local user and group
  • Mapped drives
  • Services
  • Scheduled tasks (Uplevel)
  • Scheduled tasks (Downlevel)
  • Immediate tasks (Uplevel)
  • Immediate tasks (Downlevel)
  • Data sources

There are multiple updates listed for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Do I need to install both updates? 
No. Depending on how your system is configured to receive updates, only one of the updates for a given edition of Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 will apply.

For systems running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • The 2928120 update is for systems that already have the 2919355 update installed.
  • The 2961899 update is for systems without the 2919355 update installed.

I am running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2. Is there a prerequisite for installing the 2928120 update? 
Yes. Customers running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 systems must first install the 2919355 update released in April, 2014 before installing the 2928120 update. For more information about the prerequisite update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2919355.

How are Server Core installations affected by the vulnerabilities addressed in this bulletin? 
The vulnerabilities addressed by this update do not affect supported editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2 as indicated in the Non-Affected Software table, when installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see the TechNet articles, Managing a Server Core Installation: Overview, Servicing a Server Core Installation, and Server Core and Full Server Integration Overview.

I am using an older release of the software discussed in this security bulletin. What should I do? 
The affected software listed in this bulletin has been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. For more information about the product lifecycle, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle website.

It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities. To determine the support lifecycle for your software release, see Select a Product for Lifecycle Information. For more information about service packs for these software releases, see Service Pack Lifecycle Support Policy.

Customers who require custom support for older software must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an , Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, see the Microsoft Worldwide Information website, select the country in the Contact Information list, and then click Go to see a list of telephone numbers. When you call, ask to speak with the local Premier Support sales manager. For more information, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.

The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the May bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software

Affected Software

Group Policy Preferences Password Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability - CVE-2014-1812

Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows Vista

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows 7

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(2961899)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(2961899)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2012 R2
(2928120)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

Windows Server 2012 R2
(2961899)

Important 
Elevation of Privilege

Important

An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists in the way that Active Directory distributes passwords that are configured using Group Policy preferences. An authenticated attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could decrypt the passwords and use them to elevate privileges on the domain.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2014-1812.

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.

Workarounds

Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality:

FAQ

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is an elevation of privilege vulnerability.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability is caused by the way Active Directory distributes passwords that are configured using Group Policy preferences.

What are Group Policy preferences? 
Group Policy preferences include more than 20 new Group Policy extensions that expand the range of configurable settings within a Group Policy object (GPO). These new extensions are included in the Group Policy Management Editor window of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), under the new Preferences item. Examples of the new Group Policy preference extensions include folder options, mapped drives, printers, scheduled tasks, services, and Start menu settings. For more information about Group Policy Preferences, see Group Policy Preferences Getting Started Guide.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? 
An authenticated attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could acquire new local or domain administrator credentials and could use them to elevate privileges on the domain. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker would first need to gain access to an authenticated user account on the domain. If a GPO is configured using Group Policy preferences to set a local administrative password or define credentials to map a network drive, schedule a task, or configure the running context of a service, an attacker could then retrieve and decrypt the password stored with Group Policy preferences.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability? 
Servers acting as domain controllers are at most risk of exploitation from this vulnerability.

What does the update do? 
The update removes the ability to configure and distribute passwords using the following Group Policy preferences extensions.

  • Configuring Mapping Drives
  • Configuring Local Users and Groups
  • Configuring Scheduled Tasks
  • Configuring Services
  • Configuring Data Sources

Additional Action Required: It is important to note that the update does not remove any existing GPOs that were configured prior to the application of this security update. Customers with existing GPOs that were configured using the identified Group Policy preferences should remove this risk from their domain environment. See Knowledge Base Article 2962486 for more information.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed? 
Yes. This vulnerability has been publicly disclosed. It has been assigned Common Vulnerability and Exposure number CVE-2014-1812.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited? 
Yes. Microsoft is aware of targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.

Manage the software and security updates you need to deploy to the servers, desktop, and mobile systems in your organization. For more information see the TechNet Update Management Center. The Microsoft TechNet Security website provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.

Security updates are available from the Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security update."

Finally, security updates can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog. The Microsoft Update Catalog provides a searchable catalog of content made available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including security updates, drivers and service packs. By searching using the security bulletin number (such as, "MS14-001"), you can add all the applicable updates to your basket (including different languages for an update), and download to the folder of your choosing. For more information about the Microsoft Update Catalog, see the Microsoft Update Catalog FAQ.

Windows Vista (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file names

For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported 32-bit editions of Windows Vista:
Windows6.0-KB2928120-x86.msu


For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported x64-based editions of Windows Vista:
Windows6.0-KB2928120-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

WUSA.exe does not support uninstall of updates. To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

Windows Server 2008 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file names

For all supported 32-bit editions of Windows Server 2008:
Windows6.0-KB2928120-x86.msu


For all supported x64-based editions of Windows Server 2008:
Windows6.0-KB2928120-x64.msu


For all supported Itanium-based editions of Windows Server 2008:
Windows6.0-KB2928120-ia64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

WUSA.exe does not support uninstall of updates. To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

Windows 7 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file name

For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported 32-bit editions of Windows 7:
Windows6.1-KB2928120-x86.msu


For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported x64-based editions of Windows 7:
Windows6.1-KB2928120-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file name

For all supported x64-based editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:
Windows6.1-KB2928120-x64.msu


For all supported Itanium-based editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:
Windows6.1-KB2928120-ia64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file name

For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported 32-bit editions of Windows 8:
Windows8-RT-KB2928120-x86.msu


For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported x64-based editions of Windows 8:
Windows8-RT-KB2928120-x64.msu


For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported 32-bit editions of Windows 8.1:
Windows8.1-KB2928120-x86.msu
Windows8.1-KB2961899-x86.msu


For Remote Server Administration Tools when installed on all supported x64-based editions of Windows 8.1:
Windows8.1-KB2928120-x64.msu
Windows8.1-KB2961899-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, click Windows Update, and then under See also, click Installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120
See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2961899

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file name

For all supported editions of Windows Server 2012:
Windows8-RT-KB2928120-x64.msu


For all supported editions of Windows Server 2012 R2:
Windows8.1-KB2928120-x64.msu
Windows8.1-KB2961899-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, click Windows Update, and then under See also, click Installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2928120
See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2961899

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

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 go to 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 (May 13, 2014): Bulletin published.
Page generated 2014-06-25 9:22Z-07:00.
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