Microsoft Host Integration Server RPC Remote Command Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

October 14, 2008


Microsoft Windows is prone to a remote command-execution vulnerability in the SNA service through a remote procedure call (RPC). Successfully exploiting this issue would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary commands on an affected computer in the context of the affected service.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000 Administrator Client
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server 2004
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server 2004 SP1
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server 2006


Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To mitigate the impact of a successful exploit, run the affected application as a user with minimal access rights.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious or anomalous activity. This may help detect malicious actions that an attacker may take after successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in applications. Review all applicable logs regularly.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Since this issue may be leveraged to execute code, we recommend memory-protection schemes, such as nonexecutable stack/heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments. This tactic may complicate exploit attempts of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has released an advisory along with fixes to address this issue. Please see the references for more information.



Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security

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