Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/17/2019
06:20 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DHS Tests Remote Exploit for BlueKeep RDP Vulnerability

Agency urges organizations with vulnerable systems to apply mitigations immediately.

Time may be running out for organizations that have still not applied the patches that Microsoft released last month for the "BlueKeep" Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) vulnerability in multiple older Windows versions.

The US Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said on Monday that it had successfully tested a remote code execution exploit for BlueKeep against a Windows 2000 machine.

It is believed to be the first publicly known remotely executable exploit for BlueKeep — a security vulnerability that many, including Microsoft, have compared to the EternalBlue vulnerability that led to the WannaCry and NotPetya global outbreaks of 2017.

"CISA has coordinated with external stakeholders and determined that Windows 2000 is vulnerable to BlueKeep," the federal agency said in an alert that urged organizations to apply mitigation measures as soon as possible. 

The alert noted Microsoft's description of BlueKeep as being "wormable" and warned that malware that exploited the vulnerability on a single system would be able to automatically propagate to other vulnerable systems. "Thus, a BlueKeep exploit would be capable of rapidly spreading in a fashion similar to the WannaCry malware attacks of 2017," CISA said.

In an e-mailed statement a Microsoft spokeswoman pointed to the company's BlueKeep security updates last month and once again urged organizations to implement them as quickly as possible. "We strongly recommend any customers still using Windows 2000 to update to a supported operating system as soon as possible," the statement said. "Modern operating systems include built-in protections against this, and many other threats."

BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) is a remote code execution vulnerability in the Remote Desktop Services component in multiple Windows versions including Vista, XP, Windows 7, and 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008. The vulnerability enables an unauthenticated user to access a system via RDP and issue commands for installing malware; viewing, modifying, or deleting data; and creating new user accounts on it.

Microsoft disclosed the flaw last month and considers it so critical that the company issued patches for both supported and unsupported versions of Windows. In a blog post two weeks after disclosing the flaw, Microsoft said it was confident that exploits for BlueKeep were available and once again urged organizations to patch against the threat immediately. "It only takes one vulnerable computer connected to the Internet to provide a potential gateway into corporate networks," the company noted. Others that have issued similar alerts include the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Several researchers have warned about proof-of-concept code being developed for the flaw by hackers reverse-engineering the patches.

Even so, new research by BitSight earlier this month showed that nearly 1 million Internet-exposed systems remain unpatched against BlueKeep and therefore vulnerable to attack. Another report from Check Point Research noted a recent increase in Internet scans for vulnerable systems that the security vendor interpreted as a sign threat actors are preparing for attacks targeting the flaw.

So far, no exploit for BlueKeep has become publicly available, but most believe it is just a matter of time before that happens.

"As both defensive and offensive actors explore the capabilities introduced by this vulnerability … organizations [are] running out of opportunities to continue to secure the integrity of their infrastructure and data," says Dan Dahlberg, director of security research at BitSight. "Their third-parties remain indirectly exposed due to that inaction," as well, he notes.

Related Content:

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
'BootHole' Vulnerability Exposes Secure Boot Devices to Attack
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/29/2020
Out-of-Date and Unsupported Cloud Workloads Continue as a Common Weakness
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/28/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19453
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
Wowza Streaming Engine through 2019-11-28 allows XSS (issue 1 of 2).
CVE-2019-19455
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
Wowza Streaming Engine through 2019-11-28 has Insecure Permissions.
CVE-2020-4560
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
IBM Financial Transaction Manager 3.2.4 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. This vulnerability allows users to embed arbitrary JavaScript code in the Web UI thus altering the intended functionality potentially leading to credentials disclosure within a trusted session.
CVE-2019-4589
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0 and 11.1 is vulnerable to privlege escalation where the "My schedules and subscriptions" page is visible and accessible to a less privileged user. IBM X-Force ID: 167449.
CVE-2020-4328
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
IBM Financial Transaction Manager 3.2.4 is vulnerable to SQL injection. A remote attacker could send specially-crafted SQL statements, which could allow the attacker to view, add, modify or delete information in the back-end database. IBM X-Force ID: 177839.