Microsoft Windows 2000 RunAs User Credentials Exposure Vulnerability

The Windows 2000 RunAs service allows an application or service to be executed as a different user. It is accessed by holding down the shift key and right mouse clicking on an icon, then selecting 'Run as...' from the context menu.

When a command is executed using the RunAs command, the user must supply a username and password in order for the command to complete. After the RunAs utility has terminated, the user credentials supplied to execute the command are still stored (in cleartext) in memory.

These credentials may be retrievable by other processes who have been allocated the page previously used by the instance of RunAs.

Microsoft has claimed that they are unable to reproduce this behaviour, however, if the application does not zero out its physical memory after the process exits, the contents of those memory pages should remain intact.


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