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Windows NT LSA Remote Denial of Service
From: seclabs () NAI COM (NAI Labs)
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 16:03:28 -0800


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======================================================================

                      Network Associates, Inc.
                        SECURITY ADVISORY
                          December 16, 1999

           Windows NT LSA Remote Denial of Service

======================================================================

SYNOPSIS

An implementation flaw in the Local Security Authority subsystem of
Windows NT, known as the LSA, allows both local or remote attackers
to halt the processing of security information requiring the host to
be restarted.

======================================================================

VULNERABLE HOSTS

This new vulnerability affects all Windows NT 4.0 hosts including
those with Service packs up to and including SP6a.

======================================================================

DETAILS

The Local Security Authority is the center of the Windows NT security
subsystem. The LSA is a user-mode process (LSASS.EXE) used to
maintain
security information of a system known as the Local Security Policy.
The Local Security Policy is stored in the registry and includes such
information as who has permission to access the system, who is
assigned privileges and what security auditing is performed.

The majority of the security subsystem components run within the
context of the LSASS process, including the Security Accounts Manager
(SAM) that is responsible for maintaining the SAM database stored in
the registry. Also the default authentication package (MSV1_0.DLL)
that determines whether username and password match information
stored in the SAM database.

In addition other user-mode processes request services from the LSA
such as the login process (WINLOGON.EXE) to authenticate username and
passwords that are entered when interactive users logon and logoff.
Also, the network logon service (SERVICES.EXE) which responds to
network logon requests also utilizes the LSA to verify
authentication.

Disrupting the Local Security Authority halts almost all user-mode
security authentication requiring a Windows NT host to be restarted.

======================================================================

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Windows NT provides the ability to open and manipulate the LSA
through an series of APIs. To programmatically manage the Local
Security Policy of a local or remote system a session is established
with that system's Local Security Authority. If a session is
successfully established an LSA Policy handle will be returned for
usage in all subsequent API calls.

One specific API LsaLookupSids() utilizes the LSA to map one or more
SIDs of user accounts, group accounts, alias accounts or domains to
names. Invalid arguments passed to this API are incorrectly verified
causing the LSA process to reference invalid memory resulting in an
application error.

======================================================================

RESOLUTION

Microsoft has issued a patch for this vulnerability, which can be
obtained at the following address:

x86:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=16798

Alpha:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=16799

Microsoft's Security Bulletin for this vulnerability can be found at:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/ms99-057.asp

Additional information can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base
article Q248185, SID Enumeration Function in LSA May Not Handle
Argument Properly:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q248/1/85.asp

======================================================================

CREDITS

Discovery and documentation of this vulnerability was conducted
by Anthony Osborne of the Security Labs at Network Associates.

======================================================================

ABOUT THE NETWORK ASSOCIATES SECURITY LABS

The Security Labs at Network Associates hosts some of the most
important research in computer security today. With over 30
security advisories published in the last 2 years, the Network
Associates security auditing teams have been responsible for the
discovery of many of the Internet's most serious security flaws.
This advisory represents our ongoing commitment to provide
critical information to the security community.

For more information about the Security Labs at Network
Associates, see our website at http://www.nai.com or contact us
at <seclabs () nai com>.

======================================================================

NETWORK ASSOCIATES SECURITY LABS PGP KEY

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