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TUCoPS :: Windows :: hack2357.htm

Flaws in SP2 security features, part II
Flaws in SP2 security features, part II

Date: 16.11.2005
Author: Juergen Schmidt, heise Security
Original article: 
German version: 

Flaws in SP2 security features, part II

With Service Pack 2 Microsoft introduced a couple of new security
features. However, some of them suffer from implementation flaws.

One of the new security features is the restricted access to raw sockets
in SP2. By restricting the ability to send handcrafted packets, Microsoft
wants to "limit the ability of malicious code to create distributed
denial-of-service attacks and limit the ability to send spoofed packets"
(see etwk.mspx#EHAA).

On the downside, a lot of tools, we use for our daily work, do not work
with those restrictions -- or have to use strange workarounds. A lot of
the features of the well known port scanner nmap did not work under
Windows XP SP2 -- until Fyodor came up with writing raw ethernet frames
instead of IP packets (which btw does not help on other transport mediums).

The implementation of those restrictions on raw sockets contains at least
one bug which makes them close to useless. They are coupled in some
mysterious way to the firewall service. Issuing the command

net stop SharedAccess

stops the firewall and opens the access to raw sockets. You can test this
easily by trying half open syn scans:

nmap -sS [somehost]

or spoofing IP adresses of UDP packets like in

nmap -sU -S -e eth0 [somehost]

Neither command works with Windows XP SP2 and firewall enabled, but after
you turn it off, they do.

Microsoft has been informed about the problem and promised:

"Even though we do not consider this a security vulnerability, Microsoft
is committed to fixing this bug as quickly as is possible."

The issue was brought to my attention by Holger Lembke who found it during
his work on "3d traceroute" ( 

bye, ju

Juergen Schmidt                 heise Security 
Heise Zeitschriften Verlag,    Helstorferstr. 7,       D-30625 Hannover
GPG-Key: 0x38EA4970,  5D7B 476D 84D5 94FF E7C5  67BE F895 0A18 38EA 4970

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