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Defeating Vista Security with Drivers
Defeating Vista Security with Drivers
Defeating Vista Security with Drivers
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Forwarded with permission from: Security UPDATE
=== CONTENTS ==================================================
IN FOCUS: Defeating Vista Security with Drivers
NEWS AND FEATURES
- OEM BIOS Emulator Bypasses Vista Activation
- Grisoft Offers Free Antirootkit Tool
- New Storm Worm Outbreak Spreading Fast
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
GIVE AND TAKE
- Security Matters Blog: 37 Patches on the Way from Oracle
- FAQ: Microsoft SCE 2007
- From the Forum: Vote for Your Favorite IPS and Two-Factor
- Tell Us About the Products You Love!
- Share Your Security Tips
- Encrypt Email According to Policy
RESOURCES AND EVENTS
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=== IN FOCUS: Defeating Vista Security with Drivers ============ by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
A couple of interesting developments came to light in the last couple
of weeks, both of which affect Windows Vista security to some extent.
The first issue centers around Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA). As
you'll learn when you read the related news story, "OEM BIOS Emulator
Bypasses Vista Activation," below, code has been released that can fool
Vista into thinking that it's a genuine copy when it's not. That feat
is accomplished by using a third-party driver.
While on the surface this doesn't seem like a security problem, it
actually is. First of all, imagine some small-to-midsized business
(SMB) trying to save money on a migration to Vista. The company might
shop around to try to find the best price possible on a new software
and hardware combination. The company ends up buying from someone who's
actually selling pirated copies of Vista that have a driver installed
to fool WGA.
Such an unscrupulous seller might just as easily have installed
anything on the machines, including botnets, rootkits, and keyloggers
that could be undetectable by existing security solutions. These
processes could be undetectable because a driver can be used to protect
a process so that for the most part the process can't be inspected by
another process. And if the process's memory space can't be inspected,
then any malware inside it can't be detected.
Two weeks ago, Alex Ionescu released a proof-of-concept tool called D-
Pin Purr 1.0. The tool, which works only on 32-bit versions of Vista,
uses a driver that can protect or unprotect a process. Ionescu wrote,
"It is trivial to make a process protected or unprotected by bypassing
all the code integrity checks and sandbox in which protected processes
are supposed to run." So basically, Ionescu discovered a way to bypass
a major security feature of Windows Vista--one that many vendors have
been complaining about because it prevents their tools from fully
working to some extent or other.
If the tool really works as intended (and while I haven't tested it, I
suspect that it does), then certainly "bad guys" can create a similar
tool to defend their botnet, rootkit, and keylogger code.
Sure, elevated privileges might be required to install drivers into
Vista, which seems to imply that the potential impact is limited.
However, as history clearly shows, intruders routinely combine
vulnerabilities and mix in social engineering, so they might eventually
be able to get a driver installed.
You can read more about Ionescu's tool in his blog at the URL below,
where he also provides a download link for D-Pin Purr.
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=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES ================================
OEM BIOS Emulator Bypasses Vista Activation
While there are known methods of bypassing Windows Vista activation
requirements, a new technique turns out to be the easiest and most
effective so far in defeating Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage
Grisoft Offers Free Antirootkit Tool
Grisoft, widely known for its AVG brand of antivirus solutions,
announced that it's now offering a free antirootkit tool, AVG Anti-
Rootkit, for Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems.
New Storm Worm Outbreak Spreading Fast
Several companies, including Postini, iDefense Labs, and the SANS
Institute, are tracking a new outbreak of a variant of the Storm worm
that's producing heavier than normal detection rates around the
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these
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=== GIVE AND TAKE =============================================
SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: 37 Patches on the Way from Oracle
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=529DC:57B62BBB09A692790DDAF3D6C62C9E71
As part of Oracle's quarterly critical patch update, the company will
release 37 patches next week. So get ready!
FAQ: Microsoft SCE 2007
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=529DA:57B62BBB09A692790DDAF3D6C62C9E71
Q: What is System Center Essentials (SCE) 2007?
Find the answer at
FROM THE FORUM: Vote for Your Favorite IPS and Two-Factor
Tell us which security products are working for you. It's not too
late to vote for the best host-based intrusion prevention system
and the best two-factor authentication solution
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=== PRODUCTS ================================================== by Renee Munshi, firstname.lastname@example.org
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will be available in June 2007 as an optional component for the
Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway appliance and virtual appliance.
Proofpoint Secure Messaging works with the Proofpoint Regulatory
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