New Windows privilege escalation flaw exploited in active attacks

A vulnerability in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is exploited with a flaw in Adobe Reader in a new attack, researchers at FireEye said

Attackers are exploiting a new and unpatched vulnerability in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that allows them to execute code with higher privileges than they have access to.

The vulnerability is located in NDProxy.sys, "a system-provided driver that interfaces WAN miniport drivers, call managers, and miniport call managers to the Telephony Application Programming Interfaces (TAPI) services."

"An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode," Microsoft said in a security advisory published Wednesday. "An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights."

This is an elevation-of-privilege (EoP) vulnerability, not a remote code execution one, which means that attackers need to already have access to a low-privileged account on the targeted system in order to exploit it.

According to Microsoft, this vulnerability is already being exploited in "limited, targeted attacks," but doesn't affect Windows versions newer than Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

The company provided a temporary workaround that involves disabling NDProxy.sys, but this will cause certain services which depend on TAPI, like Remote Access Service (RAS), dial-up networking and virtual private networking (VPN), to no longer work.

Microsoft credited security vendor FireEye with helping the company investigate the new vulnerability, which is being tracked as CVE-2013-5065.

This EoP vulnerability is being exploited in attacks in conjunction with a remote code execution vulnerability in older versions of Adobe Reader that was patched in May, FireEye security researchers Xiaobo Chen and Dan Caselden said Wednesday in a blog post. The exploit targets computers running Adobe Reader on Windows XP with Service Pack 3, but users who have the latest versions of Adobe Reader installed should be protected, they said.

According to the FireEye researchers, if the exploit is successful, an executable file is dropped in the Windows temporary directory and is executed.

However, FireEye did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking more information about how the exploit is being distributed, whether there are any specific targets, or the nature of the rogue file executed on vulnerable computers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftmalwareadobeintrusionFireEyeExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?