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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-031
From: Microsoft Product Security <secnotif () MICROSOFT COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 20:02:36 -0700
The following is a Security Bulletin from the Microsoft Product Security
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Title: Predictable Name Pipes Could Enable Privilege Elevation
Date: 07 June 2001
Software: Windows 2000
Impact: Privilege elevation, denial of service,
Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at:
This bulletin discusses a total of seven vulnerabilities affecting
the Windows 2000 Telnet service. The vulnerabilities fall into three
broad categories: privilege elevation, denial of service and
Two of the vulnerabilities could allow privilege elevation, and have
their roots in flaws related to the way Telnet sessions are created.
When a new Telnet session is established, the service creates a named
pipe, and runs any code associated with it as part of the
initialization process. However, the pipe's name is predictable, and
if Telnet finds an existing pipe with that name, it simply uses it.
An attacker who had the ability to load and run code on the server
could create the pipe and associate a program with it, and the Telnet
service would run the code in Local System context when it stablished
the next Telnet session.
Four of the vulnerabilities could allow denial of service attacks.
None of these vulnerabilities have anything in common with each
- One occurs because it is possible to prevent Telnet from
terminating idle sessions; by creating a sufficient number of such
sessions, an attacker could deny sessions to any other user.
- One occurs because of a handle leak when a Telnet session is
terminated in a certain way. By repeatedly starting sessions and then
terminating them, an attacker could deplete the supply of handles on
the server to point where it could no longer perform useful work.
- One occurs because a logon command containing a particular
malformation causes an access violation in the Telnet service.
- One occurs because a system call can be made using only normal
user privileges, which has the effect of terminating a Telnet
The final vulnerability is an information disclosure vulnerability
that could make it easier for an attacker to find Guest accounts
exposed via the Telnet server. It has exactly the same cause, scope
and effect as a vulnerability affecting FTP and discussed in
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-026.
Privilege elevation vulnerabilities:
- Because the attacker would need the ability to load and run code
on the Telnet server, it is likely that these vulnerabilities could
only be exploited by an attacker who had the ability to run code
locally on the Telnet Server.
- Administrative privileges are needed to start the Telnet service,
so the attacker could only exploit the vulnerability if Telnet were
already started on the machine.
Denial of service vulnerabilities:
- It would not be necessary to reboot the server to recover from any
of these vulnerabilities. At worst, the Telnet service would need to
- None of these vulnerabilities could be used to gain additional
privileges on the machine; they are denial of service vulnerabilities
Information disclosure vulnerability:
- The vulnerability could only be exploited if the Guest account on
the local machine was disabled, but the Guest account on a trusted
domain was enabled. By default, the Guest account is disabled.
- A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the
for information on obtaining this patch.
- Guardent (www.guardent.com) for reporting the two privilege
elevation vulnerabilities and one of the denial of service
- Richard Reiner of Securexpert (www.securexpert.com) for reporting
one of the denial of service vulnerabilities.
- Bindview's Razor Team (razor.bindview.com) for reporting one of
the denial of service vulnerabilities.
- Peter Grundl for reporting one of the denial of service
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- Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-031 Microsoft Product Security (Jun 08)