July 13, 2004
Microsoft Utility Manager is prone to a local privilege escalation vulnerability. It is reported that a local user may influence the Utility Manager into executing an attacker-supplied application with elevated privileges. The cause of this issue is that the Utility Manager will attempt to load context sensitive help without dropping privileges.
A local attacker may exploit this vulnerability to gain SYSTEM level privileges on the computer.
This vulnerability is similar to the issue reported in BID 10124. The vendor fixes for BID 10124 addressed the issue by removing access to context sensitive help from the Utility Manager GUI. However, the functionality to access context sensitive help is still present in the Utility Manager application itself.
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP1
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP2
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP1
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP2
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP4
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP1
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP2
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP1
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP2
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4
Permit privileged access for trusted individuals only.
Where possible, use restricted environments and restricted shells. An attacker will require local interactive access prior to being in a position to exploit this vulnerability. Permit local interactive access for trusted users only.
Disable any services that are not needed.
If applicable, disabling the Microsoft Utility Manager Service will help prevent successful attacks.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin and fixes for this issue:
Avaya has released an advisory that acknowledges this vulnerability for Avaya products. Avaya advise that customers follow the Microsoft recommendations to address this issue. Please see the referenced Avaya advisory at the following location for further details:
Discovery is credited to Cesar Cerrudo.
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