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Patch Available for Network DDE Agent Request Vulnerability (Q285851)


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Professional
  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Server
  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Advanced Server



SYMPTOMS

Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 2000. The vulnerability could allow a malicious user to gain complete control over an affected computer.

Network Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a technology that enables programs on different Windows-based computers to share data. This data sharing is accomplished by using communications channels that are called trusted shares, and trusted shares are managed by a service that is called the Network DDE Agent. By design, processes on the local computer can levy requests upon the Network DDE Agent, including ones that indicate what program should be run in conjunction with a particular trusted share. However, a vulnerability exists in Windows 2000 because the Network DDE Agent runs by using the Local System security context and processes all requests by using this context, rather than that of the user. This would give a malicious user an opportunity to cause the Network DDE Agent to run code in the Local System context. By doing so, a malicious user could gain complete control over the local computer.

To exploit this vulnerability, the malicious user would need the ability to run code on an affected computer. However, best practices strongly recommend against ever allowing unprivileged users to run code on security-critical computers such as domain controllers and other servers. If these recommendations have been followed, such computers would not be at risk. In addition, computers that are running Terminal Services are not affected by this vulnerability (except in the case where unprivileged users are allowed to log on at the console, which is never recommended). As a result of these limitations, workstations are most likely to be the computers that are affected by the vulnerability. Damage done by this vulnerability should be limited because, in most cases, even gaining complete control of a workstation would not convey any addition privileges on the domain.

Microsoft recommends that customers that are using Windows 2000-based workstations or who allow unprivileged users to run code on Windows 2000-based servers apply this patch immediately. As an additional precautionary measure, customers that are operating Windows 2000-based Web servers should consider applying the patch to those computers. If a malicious user were able to gain the ability to run code in a restricted context on a Web server by using another vulnerability, this vulnerability would provide a way to immediately elevate the malicious user's privileges and cause broader damage.


RESOLUTION

A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem described in this article and should be applied only to systems that are determined to be at risk of attack. Please evaluate your computer's physical accessibility, network and Internet connectivity, and other factors to determine the degree of risk to your computer. Please see the associated Microsoft Security Bulletin to help make this determination. This fix may receive additional testing at a later time, to further ensure product quality. If your computer is sufficiently at risk, Microsoft recommends that you apply this fix now. Otherwise, wait for the next Windows 2000 service pack that contains this fix.

To resolve this problem immediately, download the fix as instructed below or contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:

http://support.microsoft.com/directory/overview.asp
NOTE : In special cases, charges that are normally incurred for support calls may be canceled, if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. Normal support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
US English :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_en.exe now

Arabic :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_ar.exe now

Chinese (Simplified) :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_cn.exe now

Chinese (Traditional) :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_tw.exe now

Czech :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_cs.exe now

Danish :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_da.exe now

Dutch :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_nl.exe now

Finnish :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_fi.exe now

French :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_fr.exe now

German :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_de.exe now

Greek :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_el.exe now

Hebrew :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_ew.exe now

Hungarian :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_hu.exe now

Italian :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_it.exe now

Japanese :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_ja.exe now

Japanese (NEC) :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_NEC98_ja.exe now

Korean :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_ko.exe now

Norwegian :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_no.exe now

Polish :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_pl.exe now

Portuguese :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_pt.exe now

Portuguese (Brazil) :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_br.exe now

Russian :
[GRAPHIC: 
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] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_ru.exe now

Spanish :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_es.exe now

Swedish :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_sv.exe now

Turkish :
[GRAPHIC: 
Download
] Download Q285851_W2K_SP3_x86_tr.exe now
For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft used the most current virus detection software available on the date of posting to scan this file for viruses. Once posted, the file is housed on secure servers that prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date        Time     Version        Size     File name
   --------------------------------------------------------
   5/29/2001   09:41a   5.0.2195.3649  178,960   Winlogon.ex
e 


STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 2000.


MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about how to obtain a hotfix for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q265173 The Datacenter Program and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Product
For additional information about how to install multiple hotfixes with only one reboot, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q296861 Use QChain.exe to Install Multiple Hotfixes with One Reboot
For more information on this vulnerability, please see the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-007.asp
For additional information about how to install Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes at the same time, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Hotfixes


Published Feb 6 2001 4:08PM Issue Type kbbug
Last Modifed Aug 16 2001 3:56PM Additional Query Words security_patch
Keywords kbWin2000PreSP3Fix kbgraphxlinkcritical

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