ASPR #2010-12-14-1: Remote Binary Planting in Windows Address Book Dec 14 2010 09:41PM
ACROS Security Lists (lists acros si)


ACROS Security Problem Report #2010-12-14-1
ASPR #2010-12-14-1: Remote Binary Planting in Windows Address Book

Document ID: ASPR #2010-12-14-1-PUB
Vendor: Microsoft Corp. (http://www.microsoft.com)
Target: Windows Address Book & Windows Contacts
Impact: Remote execution of arbitrary code
Severity: Very high
Status: Official patch available, workarounds available
Discovered by: Simon Raner of ACROS Security

CVSS score: 9.3 (HIGH) (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C)
CVE ID: CVE-2010-3147
CWE ID: CWE-426: Untrusted Search Path

Current version


A "binary planting" [1] vulnerability in Windows Address Book and Windows
Contacts allows local or remote (even Internet-based) attackers to deploy
and execute malicious code on Windows machines in the context of logged-on

Product Coverage

- Windows Server 2003
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Server 2008 R2


As a result of an incorrect dynamic link library loading in Windows
Address Book and Windows Contacts (wab.exe), an attacker can cause her
malicious DLL to be loaded and executed from local drives, remote Windows
shares, and even shares located on Internet.

All a remote attacker has to do is plant a malicious DLL with a specific
name (wab32res.dll) on a network share and get the user to open any .WAB,
.VCF or .CONTACT file from this network location - which should require
minimal social engineering. Once the user opens the file, wab.exe makes an
unsafe call to LoadLibrary("wab32res.dll"). As this DLL is not present on
the system, its malicious version gets loaded from the current working

Windows systems by default have the Web Client service running - which
makes remote network shares accessible via WebDAV -, thus the malicious
DLL can also be deployed from an Internet-based network share as long as
the intermediate firewalls allow outbound HTTP traffic to the Internet.

A systematic attack could deploy malicious code to a large number of
Windows workstations in a short period of time, possibly as an Internet

Visit http://www.binaryplanting.com/ for more information on binary
planting vulnerabilities and attacks.

Mitigating Factors

- A firewall blocking outbound WebDAV traffic (in addition to blocking all
Windows Networking protocols) could stop an Internet-based attack.

- Microsoft's CWDIllegalInDllSearch hotfix [2] can stop a network-based
exploitation of this vulnerability.


Microsoft has issued a security bulletin [3] and published an update for
Windows Address Book and Windows Contacts that fixes this issue.


- Stopping the Web Client service could stop Internet-based attacks as
long as the network firewall stops outbound Microsoft Networking
protocols. This would not, however, stop remote LAN-based attacks where
the attacker is able to place a malicious DLL on a network share inside
the target (e.g., corporate) network.

- General recommendations for limiting or stopping binary planting attacks
are available at

Related Services

ACROS is offering professional consulting on this issue to interested
corporate and government customers. Typical questions we can help you
answer are:

1) To what extent is your organization affected by this issue?

2) Is it possible to get remote code from the Internet launched inside
your network? Can this be demonstrated?

3) Have you adequately applied the remedies to remove the vulnerability?

4) Are there circumstances in your environment that might prevent the
effectiveness of this fix?

5) Are there other workarounds that you could implement to fix this issue
more efficiently and/or inexpensively?

6) Are your systems or applications vulnerable to other similar issues?

Interested parties are encouraged to ask for more information at
security (at) acrossecurity (dot) com. [email concealed]


ACROS Security has performed an extensive Binary Planting research
project, focused on various types of vulnerabilities where an attacker
with low privileges can place (i.e., "plant") a malicious executable file
(i.e., "binary") to some possibly remote location and get it launched by
some vulnerable application running on user's computer.

The research found that binary planting vulnerabilities are affecting a
large percentage of Windows applications and often allowing for trivial
exploitation: it identified ~520 remotely exploitable bugs in ~200 widely-
used Windows applications. A large majority of these vulnerabilties
remain unfixed and publicly unknown at the time of this writing.

Find out more:
- http://www.binaryplanting.com
- http://blog.acrossecurity.com

Follow ACROS Security on Twitter to get immediate updates on the ongoing
Binary Planting research and other research projects.


[1] Binary Planting - The Official Web Site

[2] Microsoft's CWDIllegalInDllSearch hotfix

[3] Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-096 - Important


ACROS d.o.o.
Makedonska ulica 113
SI - 2000 Maribor

e-mail: security (at) acrossecurity (dot) com [email concealed]
web: http://www.acrossecurity.com
phone: +386 2 3000 280
fax: +386 2 3000 282

ACROS Security PGP Key
[Fingerprint: FE9E 0CFB CE41 36B0 4720 C4F1 38A3 F7DD]

ACROS Security Advisories


The content of this report is purely informational and meant only for the
purpose of education and protection. ACROS d.o.o. shall in no event be
liable for any damage whatsoever, direct or implied, arising from use or
spread of this information. All identifiers (hostnames, IP addresses,
company names, individual names etc.) used in examples and demonstrations
are used only for explanatory purposes and have no connection with any
real host, company or individual. In no event should it be assumed that
use of these names means specific hosts, companies or individuals are
vulnerable to any attacks nor does it mean that they consent to being used
in any vulnerability tests. The use of information in this report is
entirely at user's risk.

Revision History

December 14, 2010: Initial release


(c) 2010 ACROS d.o.o. Forwarding and publishing of this document is
permitted providing the content between "[BEGIN-ACROS-REPORT]" and
"[END-ACROS-REPORT]" marks remains unchanged.


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