[windows2000] Security Alert: Microsoft Security Bulletin - MS03-039

  • From: "Jim Kenzig http://thethin.net" <jimkenz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 14:26:51 -0400

From Bugtraq. Get patching!

Subject: Alert: Microsoft Security Bulletin - MS03-039


Buffer Overrun In RPCSS Service Could Allow Code Execution (824146)

Originally posted: September 10, 2003


Who should read this bulletin: Users running Microsoft ® Windows ®

Impact of vulnerability: Run code of attacker's choice

Maximum Severity Rating: Critical

Recommendation: System administrators should apply the security patch

End User Bulletin:
An end user version of this bulletin is available at:


Protect your PC:
Additional information on how you can help protect your PC is available at
the following locations:
- End Users can visit http://www.microsoft.com/protect
- IT Professionals can visit

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0
- Microsoft Windows NT Server® 4.0
- Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
- Microsoft Windows 2000
- Microsoft Windows XP
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Not Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition

Technical description:

The fix provided by this patch supersedes the one included in Microsoft
Security Bulletin MS03-026.

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is a protocol used by the Windows operating
system. RPC provides an inter-process communication mechanism that allows a
program running on one computer to seamlessly access services on another
computer. The protocol itself is derived from the Open Software Foundation
(OSF) RPC protocol, but with the addition of some Microsoft specific

There are three identified vulnerabilities in the part of RPCSS Service that
deals with RPC messages for DCOM activation- two that could allow arbitrary
code execution and one that could result in a denial of service. The flaws
result from incorrect handling of malformed messages. These particular
vulnerabilities affect the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM)
interface within the RPCSS Service. This interface handles DCOM object
activation requests that are sent from one machine to another.

An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could be able
to run code with Local System privileges on an affected system, or could
cause the RPCSS Service to fail. The attacker could then be able to take any
action on the system, including installing programs, viewing, changing or
deleting data, or creating new accounts with full privileges.

 To exploit these vulnerabilities, an attacker could create a program to
send a malformed RPC message to a vulnerable system targeting the RPCSS

Microsoft has released a tool that can be used to scan a network for the
presence of systems which have not had the MS03-039 patch installed. More
details on this tool are available in Microsoft Knowledge Base article
827363. This tool supersedes the one provided in Microsoft Knowledge Base
article 826369. If the tool provided in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article
826369 is used against a system which has installed the security patch
provided with this bulletin, the superseded tool will incorrectly report
that the system is missing the patch provided in MS03-026. Microsoft
encourages customers to run the latest version of the tool available in
Microsoft Knowledge Base article 827363 to determine if their systems are

Mitigating factors:
- Firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can
help protect networks from remote attacks originating outside of the
enterprise perimeter. Best practices recommend blocking all ports that are
not actually being used. For this reason, most systems attached to the
Internet should have a minimal number of the affected ports exposed.

For more information about the ports used by RPC, visit the following
Microsoft Web

Vulnerability identifier:
Buffer Overrun: CAN-2003-0715

Buffer Overrun: CAN-2003-0528

Denial of Service: CAN-2003-0605

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