Microsoft Windows Symbolic Link Handling Privilege Escalation Vulnerability [CVE-2019-0936]

CVE Number – CVE-2019-0936

A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows could allow a local attacker to escalate privileges on a targeted system.

The vulnerability exists because the affected software improperly handles symbolic links. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by accessing the system and executing an application that submits malicious input to the affected software. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to escalate privileges and completely compromise the system.

Microsoft confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.

Analysis

  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker must have user-level access to the targeted system. This access requirement could reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.

    Microsoft addressed this vulnerability by correcting how the affected software handles symbolic links.

Safeguards

  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to access local systems.

    Administrators are advised to allow only privileged users to access administration or management systems.

    Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

Vendor Announcements

Fixed Software

  • Microsoft customers can obtain updates directly by using the links in the Microsoft Security Update Guide. These updates are also distributed by Windows automatic update features and are available from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server, and System Center Configuration Manager can assist administrators in deploying software updates.

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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