Friday, September 30, 2022

Micropatches for Windows Kerberos Elevation of Privilege (CVE-2022-35756)


by Mitja Kolsek, the 0patch Team

August 2022 Windows Updates brought a fix for a local privilege escalation in Windows Kerberos, discovered by Nick Landers (@monoxgas) of NetSPI. Nick and James Forshaw (@tiraniddo) presented this vulnerability at the BlackHat USA 2022 conference and subsequently published proof-of-concept scripts. This made it possible for us to create a patch for affected "security-adopted" Windows systems that no longer receive official fixes from Microsoft.

The vulnerability allows an attacker to bypass an integrity check for a security buffer of a PAC structure sent inside attacker's AP-REQ request. The flawed integrity check improperly inspects the security buffer type by comparing it to constant SECBUFFER_TOKEN while ignoring that its value can also include two bit flags in the upper byte. Nick's and James' proof-of-concept adds one such flag to the value, bypassing the integrity check, and can therefore arbitrarily modify the PAC structure - for instance, to claim the requestor is not the actual low-privileged user but a local administrator. According to Microsoft's advisory, "a domain user could use this vulnerability to elevate privileges to a domain admin."

Microsoft assigned this issue CVE-2022-35756 and fixed it by removing the execution branch that led to the bypass. Our micropatch is logically equivalent to Microsoft's:

MODULE_PATH "..\AffectedModules\kerberos.dll_6.1.7601.24545_Win7_32-bit_NoESU\kerberos.dll"
VULN_ID 7492

        push eax                  ;save the original rax value
        mov eax, [ebp-0x14]       ;get the flag location pointer +0x8 for the previous push
        bt dword[eax+0x28], 0x19  ;test the 0x19-th bit
        pop eax                   ;restore original rax value
        jb SKIP                   ;if bit is set, keep the old rcx value
        mov eax, 1                ;if bit is not set, mov 1 into rcx
        ; the value of rax here will be stored to rcx and serve as an argument
        ; in a call to KerbCreateTokenFromTicketEx      



The micropatch was written for the following Versions of Windows with all available Windows Updates installed:

  1. Windows 10 v2004
  2. Windows 10 v1909
  3. Windows 10 v1903
  4. Windows 10 v1809
  5. Windows 10 v1803
  6. Windows 7 without ESU, with year 1 of ESU and with year 2 of ESU
  7. Windows Server 2008 R2 without ESU, with year 1 of ESU and with year 2 of ESU
This micropatch has already been distributed to all online 0patch Agents with a PRO or Enterprise license. To obtain the micropatch and have it applied on your computers along with our other micropatches, create an account in 0patch Central, install 0patch Agent and register it to your account with a PRO or Enterprise subscription. Note that no computer restart is needed for installing the agent or applying/un-applying any 0patch micropatch.

To learn more about 0patch, please visit our Help Center. For a trial or demo please contact

We'd like to thank Nick Landers (@monoxgas) and James Forshaw (@tiraniddo) for publishing their analysis with a proof-of-concept that allowed us to reproduce the vulnerability and create a micropatch. We also encourage security researchers to privately share their analyses with us for micropatching.

No comments:

Post a Comment