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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-065 - Important

Vulnerability in Message Queuing Could Allow Remote Code Execution (951071)

Published: October 14, 2008 | Updated: October 15, 2008

Version: 1.1

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Message Queuing Service (MSMQ) on Microsoft Windows 2000 systems. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution on Microsoft Windows 2000 systems with the MSMQ service enabled.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by replacing the vulnerable string APIs that are processed by MSMQ. 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. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

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
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Remote Code ExecutionImportant MS07-065

Non-Affected Software

Operating System
Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems

Where are the file information details? 
The file information details can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 951071.

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 have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. To determine the support life cycle for your software release, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

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. For more information about the Windows Product Lifecycle, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle. For more information about the extended security update support period for these software versions or editions, visit Microsoft Product Support Services.

Customers who require custom support for older releases must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an Alliance, Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, visit Microsoft Worldwide Information, select the country, 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 Windows Operating System Product Support Lifecycle FAQ.

Vulnerability Information

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected SoftwareMessage Queuing Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2008-3479Aggregate Severity Rating
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Important
Remote Code Execution
Important

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the Message Queuing Service due to a specific flaw in the parsing of an RPC request to the Message Queuing service.

An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted RPC request. A heap request can be controlled and later overflowed during an unchecked string copy operation. Successful exploitation of this issue could lead to full access to the affected system under the SYSTEM context. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-3479.

Mitigating Factors for Message Queuing Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2008-3479

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:

  • By default, the Message Queuing component is not installed on any affected operating system edition and can only be enabled by a user with administrative privileges. Only customers who manually install the Message Queuing component are likely to be vulnerable to this issue.
  • For customers that require the Message Queuing component, firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can help protect networks from attacks that originate outside the enterprise perimeter. Best practices recommend that systems that are connected to the Internet have a minimal number of ports exposed.

Workarounds for Message Queuing Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2008-3479

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:

  • Block the following at the perimeter firewall
    • All unsolicited inbound traffic on ports greater than 1024
    • Any other specifically configured RPC port

      These ports are used to initiate a connection with RPC. Blocking them at the firewall will help prevent systems that are behind that firewall from attempts to exploit this vulnerability. Also, make sure that you block any other specifically configured RPC port on the remote system. Microsoft recommends that you block all unsolicited inbound communication from the Internet to help prevent attacks that may use other ports. For more information about the ports that RPC uses, visit TCP and UDP Port Assignments.
  • Disable the Message Queuing Service:
    • Interactively

      Disabling the Message Queuing service will help protect the affected system from attempts to exploit this vulnerability. To disable the Message Queuing service, follow these steps:

      1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Alternatively, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

      2. Double-click Administrative Tools. Alternatively, click Switch to Classic View and then double-click Administrative Tools.

      3. Double-click Services.

      4. Double-click Message Queuing.

      5. In the Startup type list, click Disabled.

      6. Click Stop, and then click OK.
    • By Group Policy:

      Disable the Message Queuing service by using the Group Policy settings. You can disable the startup of this service at either the local, site, domain, or organizational-unit level by using Group Policy object functionality in Microsoft Windows 2000 domain environments or in Windows Server 2003 domain environments.

      Note: You may also review the Windows Server 2003 Security Guide. This guide includes information about how to disable services.
      For more information about Group Policy, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

      Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Group Policy Feature Set

    You can also stop and disable the MSMQ service by using the following command at the command prompt (available in Windows XP and in the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit):

    Sc stop MSMQ & sc config MSMQ start= disabled

    How to undo the workaround: Use the steps above to set the Startup Type to Automatic and start the service.

FAQ for Message Queuing Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2008-3479

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is a remote code execution vulnerability for Microsoft Windows 2000 systems with the MSMQ service enabled. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system remotely. An attacker could then install programs or view, change, or delete data.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The MSMQ service does not correctly parse specifically crafted RPC requests.

What is Message Queuing? 
Microsoft Message Queuing technology enables applications that are running at different times to communicate across heterogeneous networks and across systems that may be temporarily offline. Applications send messages to queues and read messages from queues. Message Queuing provides guaranteed message delivery, efficient routing, security, and priority-based messaging. It can be used to implement solutions for both asynchronous and synchronous messaging scenarios. For more information about Message Queuing, see the Message Queuing product documentation.

What is RPC? 
Microsoft RPC is a model for programming in a distributed computing environment. The goal of RPC is to provide transparent communication so that the client appears to be directly communicating with the server. Microsoft's implementation of RPC is compatible with the Open Software Foundation (OSF) Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) RPC. For more information about RPC, see the RPC MSDN site.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? 
An unauthenticated attacker could cause arbitrary code to run remotely in the context of SYSTEM by sending a specially crafted RPC request to the MSMQ service. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a specially crafted RPC request to the MSMQ service. A heap request can be controlled and later overflowed during an unchecked string copy operation. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could lead to full access of the affected system under the SYSTEM context.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability? 
Microsoft Windows 2000 systems with the MSMQ service enabled are the systems that are at risk.

What does the update do? 
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that the MSMQ service validates parameters to the string APIs invoked by MSMQ.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed? 
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited? 
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate 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.

Update Information

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 Web site provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.

Security updates are available from Microsoft Update, Windows Update, and Office Update. Security updates are also 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, “MS07-036”), you can add all of 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.

Detection and Deployment Guidance

Microsoft has provided detection and deployment guidance for this month’s security updates. This guidance will also help IT professionals understand how they can use various tools to help deploy the security update, such as Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Office Update, the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), the Office Detection Tool, Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), and the Extended Security Update Inventory Tool. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 910723.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) allows administrators to scan local and remote systems for missing security updates as well as common security misconfigurations. For more information about MBSA, visit Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

The following table provides the MBSA detection summary for this security update.

Software MBSA 2.1
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4Yes

For more information about MBSA 2.1, see MBSA 2.1 Frequently Asked Questions.

Windows Server Update Services

By using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), administrators can deploy the latest critical updates and security updates for Windows 2000 operating systems and later, Office XP and later, Exchange Server 2003, and SQL Server 2000. For more information about how to deploy this security update using Windows Server Update Services, visit the Windows Server Update Services Web site.

Systems Management Server

The following table provides the SMS detection and deployment summary for this security update.

SoftwareSMS 2.0SMS 2003 with SUSFPSMS 2003 with ITMUConfiguration Manager 2007
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4YesYesYesYes

For SMS 2.0 and SMS 2003, the SMS SUS Feature Pack (SUSFP), which includes the Security Update Inventory Tool (SUIT), can be used by SMS to detect security updates. See also Downloads for Systems Management Server 2.0.

For SMS 2003, the SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU) can be used by SMS to detect security updates that are offered by Microsoft Update and that are supported by Windows Server Update Services. For more information about the SMS 2003 ITMU, see SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates. SMS 2003 can also use the Microsoft Office Inventory Tool to detect required updates for Microsoft Office applications. For more information about the Office Inventory Tool and other scanning tools, see SMS 2003 Software Update Scanning Tools. See also Downloads for Systems Management Server 2003.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 uses WSUS 3.0 for detection of updates. For more information about Configuration Manager 2007 Software Update Management, visit System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

For more information about SMS, visit the SMS Web site.

For more detailed information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 910723: Summary list of monthly detection and deployment guidance articles.

Update Compatibility Evaluator and Application Compatibility Toolkit

Updates often write to the same files and registry settings required for your applications to run. This can trigger incompatibilities and increase the time it takes to deploy security updates. You can streamline testing and validating Windows updates against installed applications with the Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) contains the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Microsoft Windows Vista, a Windows Update, a Microsoft Security Update, or a new version of Windows Internet Explorer in your environment.

Affected Software

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

Windows 2000 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software. You can find additional information in the subsection, Deployment Information, in this section.

Inclusion in Future Service Packs The update for this issue may be included in a future update rollup
Deployment
Installing without user interventionMicrosoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:
Windows2000-kb951071-x86-enu /quiet
Installing without restartingMicrosoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:
Windows2000-kb951071-x86-enu /norestart
Update log fileMicrosoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:
kb951071.log
Further informationSee the subsection, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance
Restart Requirement
Restart required?Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update
HotPatchingNot applicable
Removal Information Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4:
Use Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel or the Spuninst.exe utility located in the %Windir%\$NTUninstallKB951071$\Spuninst folder
File Information See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 951071
Registry Key Verification Microsoft Windows Service Pack 4: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows 2000\SP5\KB951071\Filelist


Deployment Information

Installing the Update

When you install this security update, the installer checks whether one or more of the files that are being updated on your system have previously been updated by a Microsoft hotfix.

If you have previously installed a hotfix to update one of these files, the installer copies the RTMQFE, SP1QFE, or SP2QFE files to your system. Otherwise, the installer copies the RTMGDR, SP1GDR, or SP2GDR files to your system. Security updates may not contain all variations of these files. For more information about this behavior, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 824994.

For more information about the installer, visit the Microsoft TechNet Web site.

For more information about the terminology that appears in this bulletin, such as hotfix, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 824684.

This security update supports the following setup switches.

Supported Security Update Installation Switches
SwitchDescription
/help Displays the command-line options.
Setup Modes
/passive Unattended Setup mode. No user interaction is required, but installation status is displayed. If a restart is required at the end of Setup, a dialog box will be presented to the user with a timer warning that the computer will restart in 30 seconds.
/quiet Quiet mode. This is the same as unattended mode, but no status or error messages are displayed.
Restart Options
/norestart Does not restart when installation has completed.
/forcerestart Restarts the computer after installation and force other applications to close at shutdown without saving open files first.
/warnrestart[:x] Presents a dialog box with a timer warning the user that the computer will restart in x seconds. (The default setting is 30 seconds.) Intended for use with the /quiet switch or the /passive switch.
/promptrestart Displays a dialog box prompting the local user to allow a restart.
Special Options
/overwriteoem Overwrites OEM files without prompting.
/nobackup Does not back up files needed for uninstall.
/forceappsclose Forces other programs to close when the computer shuts down.
/log:path Allows the redirection of installation log files.
/extract[:path] Extracts files without starting the Setup program.
/ER Enables extended error reporting.
/verbose Enables verbose logging. During installation, creates %Windir%\CabBuild.log. This log details the files that are copied. Using this switch may cause the installation to proceed more slowly.

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

Removing the Update

This security update supports the following setup switches.

Supported Spuninst.exe Switches
SwitchDescription
/help Displays the command-line options.
Setup Modes
/passive Unattended Setup mode. No user interaction is required, but installation status is displayed. If a restart is required at the end of Setup, a dialog box will be presented to the user with a timer warning that the computer will restart in 30 seconds.
/quiet Quiet mode. This is the same as unattended mode, but no status or error messages are displayed.
Restart Options
/norestart Does not restart when installation has completed.
/forcerestart Restarts the computer after installation and force other applications to close at shutdown without saving open files first.
/warnrestart[:x] Presents a dialog box with a timer warning the user that the computer will restart in x seconds. (The default setting is 30 seconds.) Intended for use with the /quiet switch or the /passive switch.
/promptrestart Displays a dialog box prompting the local user to allow a restart.
Special Options
/forceappsclose Forces other programs to close when the computer shuts down.
/log:path Allows the redirection of installation log files.

Verifying That the Update Has Been Applied

  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

    To verify that a security update has been applied to an affected system, you may be able to use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) tool. See the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, earlier in this bulletin for more information.

  • File Version Verification

    Because there are several editions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your system. 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 edition of the operating system, or the programs that are installed on your system, 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 system by comparing it to the version that is documented in the appropriate file information table.

      Note Attributes other than the 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 that the update has been applied. 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 registry keys listed in the Reference Table in this section.

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

Other Information

Acknowledgments

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

  • Cody Pierce and Aaron Portnoy of TippingPoint DVLabs for reporting the MSMQ remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2008-3479)

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.

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 (October 14, 2008): Bulletin published.
  • V1.1 (October 15, 2008): Added a link in the Affected Software table to MS07-065, the bulletin replaced by this update.

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