Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol CVE-2012-2526 Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

August 14, 2012


Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. Successful exploits will allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the affected process. This may facilitate a complete system compromise. Failed attacks may cause denial-of-service conditions.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3


Block external access at the network boundary, unless external parties require service.
Filter access to the affected computer at the network boundary if global access isn't required. Restricting access to only trusted computers and networks might greatly reduce the likelihood of exploits.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To mitigate the potential 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 anomalous or suspicious activity. Monitor logs generated by NIDS and by the server itself for evidence of attacks against the server.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Memory-protection schemes (such as nonexecutable stack and heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments) will complicate exploits of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.

Vendor updates are available. Please see the references for details.



Edward Torkington of NCC Group

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