SecHole Lets Non-administrative Users Gain Debug Level Access to a System Process

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Article ID: 190288 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q190288
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SYMPTOMS

A utility, Sechole.exe, is being circulated on the Internet that performs a very sophisticated set of steps that allows a non-administrative user to gain debug-level access on a system process. Using this utility, the non- administrative user is able to run some code in the system security context and thereby grant himself or herself local administrative privileges on the system.

CAUSE

Sechole.exe locates the memory address of a particular API function (OpenProcess) and modifies the instructions at that address in a running image of the exploit program on the local system. Sechole.exe requests debug rights that gives it elevated privileges. The request is successful because the access check for this right is expected to be done in the API that was successfully modified by the exploit program. Sechole.exe can now add the user who invoked Sechole.exe to the local Administrators group.

RESOLUTION

Windows NT 4.0

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT version 4.0. For more information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

ARTICLE-ID: 152734
TITLE : How To Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack


While this hotfix is included with Service Pack 4, it is also available individually. This hotfix ensures that the access check to grant any rights is done by the server and not the client. This fix has been posted as Privfixi.exe (x86) and Privfixa.exe (Alpha). For your convenience, the English version of this post-SP3 hotfix has been posted to the following Internet location. However, Microsoft recommends that you install Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 to correct this problem.

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-public/fixes/usa/NT40/hotfixes-postSP3/priv-fix/


Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

This hotfix ensures that the access check to grant any rights is done by the server and not the client. This fix has been posted to the following Internet location as Privfixi.exe (x86) and Privfixa.exe (Alpha):

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-public/fixes/usa/NT40TSE/hotfixes-postSP3/priv-fix/

Windows NT 3.51

Microsoft has confirmed this problem could result in some degree of security vulnerability in Windows NT version 3.51. A fully supported fix is now available, but it has not been fully regression tested and should only be applied to systems determined to be at risk of attack. Please evaluate your system's physical accessibility, network and Internet connectivity, and other factors to determine the degree of risk to your system. If your system is sufficiently at risk, Microsoft recommends you download the fix as described below and apply this fix.

For a complete list of Microsoft Technical Support phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;CNTACTMS
This fix should have the following file attributes:

Collapse this tableExpand this table
DateTimeSizeFile NamePlatform
07/31/9802:47p31,184Csrsrv.dllx86
07/31/9802:48p4,400Csrss.exex86
07/31/9805:47p48,400Csrsrv.dllAlpha
07/31/9805:48p5,904Csrss.exeAlpha


This hotfix ensures that the access check to grant any rights is done by the server and not the client. This fix has been posted to the following Internet location as Privfixi.exe (x86) and Privfixa.exe (Alpha):

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-public/fixes/usa/NT351/hotfixes-postSP5/priv-fix/

MORE INFORMATION

This exploit can potentially allow a non-administrative user to gain local administrative access to the system and thereby elevate his or her privileges on the system. To perform this attack, the user has to have a valid local account on the system and has to have physical access to the computer to log on locally to the system.

Sensitive systems, such as the Windows NT domain controllers where non- administrative users do not have any local log on rights by default, are not susceptible to this threat. The attack cannot be used over the network to get domain administrative privileges remotely.

For more information, please see the following Microsoft Security Bulletin at:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms98-009.mspx
For additional security-related information about Microsoft products, please go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/

STATUS

Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

Microsoft has confirmed this problem could result in some degree of security vulnerability in Windows NT version 4.0 and Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.

Windows NT 3.51

Microsoft has confirmed this problem could result in some degree of security vulnerability in Windows NT version 3.51.

Properties

Article ID: 190288 - Last Review: October 9, 2013 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug kbfix KB190288

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