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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS98-017 - Important

Patch Available for 'Named Pipes Over RPC' Issue

Published: November 20, 1998 | Updated: March 10, 2003

Version: 2.0

Patch Availability Information Updated: March 10, 2003
Originally Posted: November 19, 1998

Summary

Microsoft has released a patch that fixes a vulnerability in the way Windows NT ® 4.0 handles named pipes over the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services. An attacker could create a denial of service situation on a Windows NT 4.0 system by opening multiple named pipe connections to RPC services and sending random data.

A fully supported fix for this problem is available. As detailed below in What Customers Should Do, Microsoft recommends that customers evaluate the risk that this vulnerability poses to their systems and apply the patch if appropriate.

Issue

The underlying problem is the way that Windows NT 4.0 attempts to shut down invalid named pipe RPC connections. An attacker could exploit this problem to create a denial of service condition by opening multiple named pipe connections and sending random data. When the RPC service attempts to close the invalid connections, the service consumes all CPU resources and memory use grows considerably, which may result in the system hanging. This is a denial of service vulnerability only; there is no risk of compromise or loss of data from the attacked system.

Different attack programs may target different system services. Two of the services typically targeted are the SPOOLSS and LSASS system service processes.

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

Vulnerability Identifier: CVE-1999-1127

What Microsoft is Doing

On November 19 Microsoft released a patch that fixes the problem identified. This patch is available for download from the sites listed below.

Microsoft has sent this security bulletin to customers subscribing to the Microsoft Product Security Notification Service. See The Microsoft Product Security Notification Service for more information about this free customer service.

Microsoft has published the following Knowledge Base (KB) articles on this issue:

Microsoft has posted hot fixes to address this problem:

What customers should do

The patch for this vulnerability is fully supported. However, it has not been fully regression tested and should only be applied to systems determined to be at risk of attack. A fully regression-tested version of the patch will be available as part of the next Windows NT service pack.

Microsoft recommends that customers evaluate the degree of risk that this vulnerability poses to their systems, based on physical accessibility, network and Internet connectivity, and other factors, and determine whether the appropriate course of action is to apply the patch or wait for the next service pack.

More Information

Please see the following references for more information related to this issue.

Obtaining Support on this Issue

This is a supported patch. If you have problems installing this patch or require technical assistance with this patch, please contact Microsoft Technical Support. For information on contacting Microsoft Technical Support, please see http://support.microsoft.com/contactussupport/?ws=support

Acknowledgments

Microsoft wishes to acknowledge the contributions made by Mnemonix and Joel Scambray of InfoWorld's Security Watch (http://www.infoworld.com), who independently reported the problem to us. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Internet Security Systems, Inc. (http://www.iss.net) for investigating the problem with us.

Revisions

  • November 20, 1998: Bulletin Created
  • V2.0 (March 10, 2003): Introduced versioning and updated patch availability information

For additional security-related information about Microsoft products, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security

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.

Built at 2014-04-18T13:49:36Z-07:00

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