CVE-2020-16911: Windows GDI RCE

Virsec Security Research Lab Vulnerability Report

The Virsec Security Research Lab, helmed by Virsec CTO, Satya Gupta, provides timely, relevant analysis about prevalent security vulnerabilities.

1.1        Vulnerability Summary

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) handles objects in the memory, aka ‘GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability’.

Watch the video to learn more about this and other important vulnerabilities.

1.2        CVSS Score

The CVSS Base Score is 8.8 (High)

1.3        Affected Version

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2019 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server, version 1903 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server, version 1909 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows Server, version 2004 (Server Core installation)
  • Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1607 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1709 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1709 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1709 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1803 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1803 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1803 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1809 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1809 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1809 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1903 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1903 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1903 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1909 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1909 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 2004 for 32-bit Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 2004 for ARM64-based Systems
  • Windows 10 Version 2004 for x64-based Systems
  • Windows 8.1 for 32-bit systems
  • Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems
  • Windows RT 8.1

The earliest vulnerable Client version was released on 08/27/2013 and for Server OS was 09/04/2012. The exposure window is therefore over seven years for Client OS and eight years for Server OS.

1.4        Vulnerability Attribution

Sergey Temnikov, Kaspersky ICS CERT
Andrey Muravitsky, Kaspersky ICS CERT.

1.5        Risk Impact

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) handles objects in the memory. Given the popularity of Windows OS on desktop and on servers, there are multiple ways this vulnerability could be exploited, below are listed some of the easiest ways for attack to gain control of whole machine and maybe install backdoor.

  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
  • There are multiple ways an attacker could exploit the vulnerability: In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit the vulnerability and then convince users to view the website. An attacker would have no way to force users to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take action, typically by getting them to open an email attachment or click a link in an email or instant message.
  • In a file-sharing attack scenario, an attacker could provide a specially crafted document file that is designed to exploit the vulnerability, and then convince users to open the document file. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that the Windows GDI handles objects in the memory.

There are no exploit available publicly for this vulnerability.

1.6        Virsec Security Platform (VSP) Support:

The Virsec Security Platform (VSP)-Host monitors processes that are spawned which are not part of a set of whitelisted process. Any attempt to execute new command or unknown binary would be denied by VSP-Host’s Process Monitoring capability.

1.7        Reference Links:

Download the full vulnerability report to learn more about this and other important vulnerabilities.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – Virsec Systems authored by Satya Gupta. Read the original post at: https://virsec.com/cve-2020-16911-windows-gdi-rce/