Monday, February 19, 2024

Micropacthes For "OverLog", Remote Denial of Service Vulnerability in Windows Event Log Service (CVE-2022-37981)


We recently delivered patches for the "LogCrusher" vulnerability that allows an attacker to remotely crash Windows Event Log service on some older Windows systems that we have security-adopted. Varonis researcher Dolev Taler, who found and reported that issue to Microsoft, also found another related issue they called "OverLog" (described in the same article).

OverLog allows a remote attacker to backup Internet Explorer logs to a chosen location on the remote computer, which can lead to all disk space being consumed.

OverLog was officially patched by Microsoft in October 2022 and assigned CVE-2022-37981.


This one was a bit tougher to crack as the flaw is a missing privilege check in the server-side BackupEventLog function. As stated by Varonis and Microsoft in their official documentation, the BackupEventLog function allegedly checks if the calling user possesses the SE_BACKUP_NAME/SeBackupPrivilege privilege, and errors out if they don't. Varonis discovered that these checks in fact did not exist, so any user who could access an event source could call this function and create a horde of files on the target computer.

Although creating files is the intended functionality of the BackupEventLog function (it should allow privileged users the creation of log backups), it contains no failsafe for when the disk space is low. This can allow a remote user to effectively DOS any machine in the same domain that contains a writable location for their account. 

Microsoft patched this by restricting the Internet Explorer log interface access to deny non-admin users from opening it and performing such operations. The following images show the effect of their patch.

Old security descriptor, allowing everyone access to Internet Explorer logs

New security descriptor, only allowing local and domain administrators to access Internet Explorer logs

Our Micropatch

We wanted to patch this in a way that doesn't permanently affect our users' machines and allows the patch to be applied without any restarts. We decided to create a patch that would bring the behavior "into spec" set by Microsoft's documentation on the BackupEventLog function. Our patch is applied directly to this function and checks the calling user's token for the SE_BACKUP_NAME/SeBackupPrivilege privilege. If the user does not possess it, the function errors out and doesn't create the backup file. 

It is also worth noting that even empty logs with incorrect security descriptors are vulnerable to this attack. Our tests showed that a backup of an empty log creates a file with 68KB of data, which can still be used to DOS a machine given some time and patience.

While supported Windows versions got an official patch for OverLog in October 2022, several of our security-adopted versions haven't. We therefore made our own patch for these.

Our patch is logically identical to Microsoft's.

Micropatch Availability

Micropatches were written for: 
  1. Windows 10 v2004 - fully updated
  2. Windows 10 v1909 - fully updated
  3. Windows 10 v1809 - fully updated
  4. Windows 10 v1803 - fully updated
  5. Windows 7 - no ESU, ESU1, ESU2
  6. Windows Server 2008 R2 - no ESU, ESU1, ESU2
Micropatches have already been distributed to, and applied on, all online 0patch Agents in PRO or Enterprise accounts (unless Enterprise group settings prevent that). 

Vulnerabilities like this one get discovered on a regular basis, and attackers know about them all. If you're using Windows that aren't receiving official security updates anymore, 0patch will make sure these vulnerabilities won't be exploited on your computers - and you won't even have to know or care about these things.

If you're new to 0patch, create a free account in 0patch Central, then install and register 0patch Agent from, and email for a trial. Everything else will happen automatically. No computer reboot will be needed.

To learn more about 0patch, please visit our Help Center

We'd like to thank Dolev Taler of Varonis for sharing vulnerability details, which allowed us to reproduce it and create a micropatch. We also encourage all security researchers who want to see their vulnerabilities patched to share them with us or alert us about their publications.

The interesting parts of this post were written by our patching expert Blaz Satler ;)

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