Microsoft fixed a "wormable" exploit in Windows 7, XP, and Server 2008/2003

Written about 1 year ago by IanDorfman

Microsoft today released a security update for its older operating systems, most of which are no longer supported with regular security updates or even extended support. This is due to the potentially wide-reaching impact of the exploit that is being patched.

Security expert Brian Krebs has likened this exploit to a catalyst that could potentially facilitate an attack similar to the "WannaCry" ransomware attacks from 2017.

Microsoft published an advisory page about the vulnerability, named CVE-2019-0708, on its official security update guide. The official advisory reads as such:

"A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Remote Desktop Services – formerly known as Terminal Services – when an unauthenticated attacker connects to the target system using RDP and sends specially crafted requests. This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code on the target system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to send a specially crafted request to the target systems Remote Desktop Service via RDP.

The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Remote Desktop Services handles connection requests."

The advisory also recommends to update all installs of any impacted operating systems, even if Remote Desktop Services are disabled.

A fix for the CVE-2019-0708 is available now for 32-bit and 64-bit installs of Small Windows 7 iconWindows 7 and Windows Server 2008 via the Small Microsoft Update Catalog iconMicrosoft Update Catalog. In addition, Microsoft set up a dedicated support page for people to download a fix for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of both Small Windows XP iconWindows XP and Small Windows Server 2003 iconWindows Server 2003.

Newer operating systems, such as Small Windows 8 iconWindows 8 and newer and Small Windows Server 2012 iconWindows Server 2012 and newer, are not impacted.