Friday, June 26, 2020

Micropatch is Available for Windows LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2020-1299)

by Mitja Kolsek, the 0patch Team

Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users without Extended Security Updates have just received a micropatch for CVE-2020-1299, another "Stuxnet-like" critical LNK remote code execution issue that can get code executed on user's computer just by viewing a folder with Windows Explorer.

This vulnerability was patched by Microsoft with June 2020 Updates, but Windows 7 and Server 2008 users without Extended Security Updates remained vulnerable.

Security researcher Lê Hữu Quang Linh (@linhlhq) found this vulnerability, published a detailed analysis and shared a POC with us so we could reproduce the issue and create a micropatch.

We narrowed the root cause down to the order in which method CKnownFoldersFolder::_ClearCachedObjects (1) deletes a DSA object using a call to DSA_DestroyCallback and (2) NULLs a pointer to said object. In vulnerable code, it does it in this order; in patched code, vice versa, as seen on the image below.

Unpatched (left) and patched (right) function CKnownFoldersFolder::_ClearCachedObjects

Microsoft's patch also moved a CoTaskMemFree call to another code block but we determined that to have no relevant consequence. Therefore, our micropatch only needed one single instruction to NULL the pointer to the DSA object before the call to DSA_DestroyCallback.

MODULE_PATH "..\Affected_Modules\shell32.dll_6.1.7601.24468_64bit\shell32.dll"
VULN_ID 6281




    and qword[rbx+0xb8], 0 ; put 0 at rbx+0xb8, which contains a circular pointer to the same
; structure and is going to be deleted twice.
                           ; When the function tries to recursively delete this structure, it follows
                           ; this pointer and causes a double free

Here's a video of our micropatch in action:

We'd like to thank security researcher Lê Hữu Quang Linh (@linhlhq) for a detailed analysis and for sharing their POC with us, which allowed us to quickly reproduce the issue and produce this micropatch for Windows users without official security updates..

This micropatch is immediately available to all 0patch users with a PRO license, and is targeted at Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users without Extended Security Updates. To obtain the micropatch and have it applied on your computer(s) along with other micropatches included with a PRO license, create an account in 0patch Central, install 0patch Agent and register it to your account. Note that no computer restart is needed for installing the agent or applying/un-applying any 0patch micropatch.

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