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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-019 - Important

Vulnerability in Utility Manager Could Allow Code Execution (842526)

Published: July 13, 2004

Version: 1.0

Issued: July 13, 2004
Version: 1.0

Summary

Who should read this document: Customers who use Microsoft® Windows® 2000

Impact of Vulnerability: Local Elevation of Privilege

Maximum Severity Rating: Important

Recommendation: Customers should install the update at the earliest opportunity.

Security Update Replacement: This bulletin replaces MS03-025. See the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of this bulletin for more information.

Caveats: None

Tested Software and Security Update Download Locations:

Affected Software:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 – Download the update

Non-Affected Software:

  • Microsoft Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 Service Pack 6a
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 6a
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 6
  • Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003
  • Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 64-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)

The software in this list has been tested to determine if the versions are affected. Other versions either no longer include security update support or may not be affected. To determine the support lifecycle for your product and version, visit the following Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.

General Information

Executive Summary:

This update resolves a newly-discovered, privately reported vulnerability. A privilege elevation vulnerability exists in the way that Utility Manager launches applications. A logged-on user could force Utility Manager to start an application with system privileges and could take complete control of the system. The vulnerability is documented in the Vulnerability Details section of this bulletin.

An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts that have full privileges.

We recommend that customers install the update at the earliest opportunity.

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers:

Vulnerability IdentifiersImpact of VulnerabilityWindows 2000
Utility Manager Vulnerability - CAN-2004-0213Privilege ElevationImportant

This assessment is based on the types of systems that are affected by the vulnerability, their typical deployment patterns, and the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would have on them.

What updates does this release replace?
This security update replaces a prior security bulletin. The security bulletin ID and operating systems that are affected are listed in the table below.

Bulletin IDWindows NT 4.0Windows 2000Windows XPWindows Server 2003
MS03-025 Not ApplicableReplacedNot ApplicableNot Applicable

Does this update contain any other changes to functionality?
Yes. In addition to the changes that are listed in the Vulnerability Details section of this bulletin, this update includes the following change in functionality. Utility Manger is no longer able to use context-sensitive help. This feature has been removed to provide greater security and to help prevent potential malicious use. Microsoft considers this to be a defense-in-depth measure that we are taking to help provide additional protection against future malicious use of Utility Manager.

I'm still using Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, but extended security update support ended on June 30, 2004. However, this bulletin has a security update for this operating system version. Why is that?
Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 reached the end of their life cycle as previously documented, and Microsoft extended this support to June 30, 2004. However, the end-of-life for the extended support period occurred very recently. In this case, the majority of the steps that are required to address this vulnerability were completed before June 30, 2004. Therefore, we have decided to release a security update for this operating system version as part of this security bulletin. We do not anticipate doing this for future vulnerabilities affecting this operating system version, but we reserve the right to produce updates and to make these updates available when necessary.

It should be a priority for customers who have this operating system version to migrate to a supported version to prevent potential exposure to future vulnerabilities. For more information about the Windows Product Life Cycle, visit the following Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site. For more information about the extended security update support period for this operating system version, visit the following Microsoft Product Support Services Web site.

For more information, see the Windows Operating System FAQ.

Can I use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) to determine if this update is required?
Yes. MBSA will determine if this update is required. For more information about MBSA, visit the MBSA Web site.

Note After April 20, 2004, the Mssecure.xml file that is used by MBSA 1.1.1 and earlier versions is no longer being updated with new security bulletin data. Therefore, scans that are performed after that date with MBSA 1.1.1 or earlier will be incomplete. All users should upgrade to MBSA 1.2 because it provides more accurate security update detection and supports additional products. Users can download MBSA 1.2 from the MBSA Web site. For more information about MBSA support, visit the following Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 1.2 Q&A Web site.

Can I use Systems Management Server (SMS) to determine if this update is required?
Yes. SMS can help detect and deploy this security update. For information about SMS, visit the SMS Web site.

Utility Manager Vulnerability - CAN-2004-0213:

A privilege elevation vulnerability exists in the way that Utility Manager launches applications. A logged-on user could force Utility Manager to start an application with system privileges and could take complete control of the system.

Mitigating Factors for Utility Manager Vulnerability - CAN-2004-0213:

  • An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to logon locally to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
  • Windows NT 4.0, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 are not affected by this vulnerability. Windows NT 4.0 does not implement Utility Manager.
  • The Windows 2000 Hardening Guide recommends disabling the Utility Manger service. Environments that comply with these guidelines would be at a reduced risk from this vulnerability.

Workarounds for Utility Manager Vulnerability - CAN-2004-0213:

Microsoft has tested the following workarounds. While these workarounds will not correct the underlying vulnerability, they help block known attack vectors. When a workaround reduces functionality, it is identified below.

Use the Group Policy settings to disable Utility Manager on all affected systems that do not require this feature.
Because Utility Manager is a possible attack vector, disable it by using the Group Policy settings. The Utility Manager process name is Utilman.exe. The following guide provides information about how to require users to run only approved applications by using the Group Policy settings.

Note You may also review the Windows 2000 Hardening Guide. This guide includes information about how to disable Utility Manager.

Impact of Workaround: Utility Manager provides easy access to many of the accessibility features of the operating system. This access would be unavailable until the restrictions are removed. For more information about how to start many of the accessibility features manually, visit the following Web site.

FAQ for Utility Manager Vulnerability - CAN-2004-0213:

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a privilege elevation vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts that have full privileges.

What causes the vulnerability?
The process that Utility Manager uses to launch applications. It is possible that Utility Manager could launch applications with system privileges.

What is Utility Manager?
Utility Manager is an accessibility utility that allows users to determine the status of accessibility programs such as Microsoft Magnifier, Narrator, or On-Screen Keyboard, and to start or stop them.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts that have full privileges.

Who could exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker must be able to log on to the system and then, after starting Utility Manager, run a program that sends a specially crafted message to Utility Manager to attempt to exploit the vulnerability.

How could an attacker exploit this vulnerability?
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to start Utility Manager on Windows 2000 and then run a specially designed application that could exploit the vulnerability. In default configurations of Window 2000, Utility Manager is installed but is not running. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain complete control over a Windows 2000 system.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Windows 2000 systems are affected by this vulnerability. Workstations and terminal servers that are based on Windows 2000 are primarily at risk. Servers are only at risk if users who do not have sufficient administrative credentials are given the ability to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

I am using Windows 2000, but I am not using Utility Manager or any of the accessibility features. Am I still vulnerable?
Yes. By default, Utility Manager is installed and is enabled. However, Utility Manager is not running by default.

Could the vulnerability be exploited over the Internet?
No. An attacker must be able to log on to the specific system that is targeted for attack. An attacker cannot load and run a program remotely by using this vulnerability.

What does the update do?
This update removes the vulnerability by removing the Utility Manager's ability to launch certain applications.

How does this vulnerability relate to the Utility Manager vulnerability that is addressed by MS04-011?
Both vulnerabilities are related to Utility Manager. However, this update corrects a new vulnerability that was not addressed as part of MS04-011. MS04-011 helps protect against the vulnerability that is discussed in that bulletin, but it does not address this new vulnerability. This update does not replace MS04-011. You must install this update and the update that is provided as part of the MS04-011 security bulletin to help protect your system from both vulnerabilities.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure. Microsoft had not received any information indicating that this vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this security bulletin was originally issued.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information indicating that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Installation Platforms and Prerequisites:

For information about the specific security update for your platform, click the appropriate link:

Windows 2000 (all versions)

Prerequisites
For Windows 2000, this security update requires Service Pack 2 (SP2), Service Pack 3 (SP3), or Service Pack 4 (SP4).

The software that is listed has been tested to determine if the versions are affected. Other versions either no longer include security update support or may not be affected. To determine the support lifecycle for your product and version, visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.

For more information about how to obtain the latest service pack, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 260910.

Inclusion in Future Service Packs:
The update for this issue will be included in Windows 2000 Service Pack 5.

Installation Information

This security update supports the following setup switches:

/help                 Displays the command line options

Setup Modes

/quiet                Quiet mode (no user interaction or display)

/passive            Unattended mode (progress bar only)

      /uninstall          Uninstalls the package

Restart Options

/norestart          Do not restart when installation is complete

/forcerestart      Restart after installation

Special Options

/l                        Lists installed Windows hotfixes or update packages

/o                       Overwrite OEM files without prompting

/n                       Do not backup files needed for uninstall

/f                        Force other programs to close when the computer shuts down

/extract             Extracts files without starting setup

Note You can combine these switches into one command. For backward compatibility, the security update also supports the setup switches that the previous version of the setup utility uses. For more information about the supported installation switches, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 262841.

Deployment Information

To install the security update without any user intervention, use the following command at a command prompt for Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:

Windows2000-kb842526-x86-enu /passive /quiet

To install the security update without forcing the system to restart, use the following command at a command prompt for Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:

Windows2000-kb842526-x86-enu /norestart

For more information about how to deploy this security update with Software Update Services, visit the Software Update Services Web site.

Restart Requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. The installer stops the required services, applies the update, and then restarts the services. However, if the required services cannot be stopped for any reason or if required files are in use, this update will require a restart. If this occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

Removal Information

To remove this security update, use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel.

System administrators can also use the Spuninst.exe utility to remove this security update. The Spuninst.exe utility is located in the %Windir%\$NTUninstallKB842526$\Spuninst folder. The Spuninst.exe utility supports the following setup switches:

/?: Show the list of installation switches.

/u: Use unattended mode.

/f: Force other programs to quit when the computer shuts down.

/z: Do not restart when the installation is complete.

/q: Use Quiet mode (no user interaction).

File Information

The English version of this update has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

Note Date, time, file name, or size information could change during installation. See the Verifying Update Installation section for details on verifying an installation.

Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:

Date Time Version Size File name
------------------------------------------------------
16-May-2004 19:43 5.0.2195.6928 5,873,664 Sp3res.dll
22-May-2004 03:33 1.0.0.5 27,920 Umandlg.dll

Verifying Update Installation

  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

    To verify that a security update is installed on an affected system, you may be able to use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) tool. This tool allows administrators to scan local and remote systems for missing security updates and for common security misconfigurations. For more information about MBSA, visit the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer Web site.

  • File Version Verification

    Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. In the Search Results pane, click All files and folders under Search Companion.
    3. In the All or part of the file name box, type a file name from the appropriate file information table, and then click Search.
    4. In the list of files, right-click a file name from the appropriate file information table, and then click Properties.

      Note Depending on the version of the operating system or programs installed, some of the files that are listed in the file information table may not be installed.

    5. On the Version tab, determine the version of the file that is installed on your computer by comparing it to the version that is documented in the appropriate file information table.

      Note Attributes other than file version may change during installation. Comparing other file attributes to the information in the file information table is not a supported method of verifying the update installation. Also, in certain cases, files may be renamed during installation. If the file or version information is not present, use one of the other available methods to verify update installation.

  • Registry Key Verification

    You may also be able to verify the files that this security update has installed by reviewing the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows 2000\SP5\KB842526\Filelist

    Note This registry key may not contain a complete list of installed files. Also, this registry key may not be created correctly when an administrator or an OEM integrates or slipstreams the 842526 security update into the Windows installation source files.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:

Obtaining Other Security Updates:

Updates for other security issues are available from the following locations:

Support:

  • Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates.
  • International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.

Security Resources:

Software Update Services:

By using Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS), administrators can quickly and reliably deploy the latest critical updates and security updates to Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003-based servers, and to desktop systems that are running Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional.

For more information about how to deploy this security update with Software Update Services, visit the Software Update Services Web site.

Systems Management Server:

Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) delivers a highly-configurable enterprise solution for managing updates. By using SMS, administrators can identify Windows-based systems that require security updates and to perform controlled deployment of these updates throughout the enterprise with minimal disruption to end users. For more information about how administrators can use SMS 2003 to deploy security updates, see the SMS 2003 Security Patch Management Web site. SMS 2.0 users can also use Software Updates Service Feature Pack to help deploy security updates. For information about SMS, visit the SMS Web site.

Note SMS uses the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Microsoft Office Detection Tool to provide broad support for security bulletin update detection and deployment. Some software updates may not be detected by these tools. Administrators can use the inventory capabilities of the SMS in these cases to target updates to specific systems. For more information about this procedure, see the following Web site. Some security updates require administrative rights following a restart of the system. Administrators can use the Elevated Rights Deployment Tool (available in the SMS 2003 Administration Feature Pack and in the SMS 2.0 Administration Feature Pack) to install these updates.

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 (July 13, 2004): Bulletin published

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