News

Microsoft Investigating LocalSystem Access Bug

Security personnel in Redmond are investigating a newly reported zero-day bug vulnerability in Microsoft operating systems and server systems.

Security personnel in Redmond are investigating a newly reported zero-day bug vulnerability in Microsoft operating systems and server systems. The bug, disclosed on Thursday by Bill Sisk, security response communications manager for Microsoft, allows escalation of privilege to occur for authenticated users under specific conditions.

Users on a given system can elevate their access privileges to LocalSystem in Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Sisk explained in an e-mail to Redmondmag.com. It could cause havoc by giving an authenticated user inappropriate write, delete and change privileges.

The fix for this potential problem is still in the works.

"Microsoft has issued Security Advisory (951306) to provide guidance to affected customers to help them protect themselves. Upon completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to help protect our customers. This may include providing a security update through our monthly release process," Sisk wrote.

The advisory is specifically addressed to IT pros overseeing an environment where several logged-in users provide their own code. Typically, programmers or administrators would have such rights. Specific cases include users working with Microsoft's Internet Information Services, which supports Web-based operational services, and SQL Server.

To address the issue, IT shops should keep at least a cursory, if not detailed, log of daily access to critical systems and applications. A segregation of duties program may be helpful too. Under such a regimen, programmers aren't deploying applications in a live production environment, and neither are the testers of those applications.

In the security advisory, Microsoft contends that companies providing space on their servers for use by off-site clients, or hosting providers, "may be at increased risk from this elevation of privilege vulnerability."

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

Featured

  • Microsoft In Talks To Acquire TikTok

    A deal between Microsoft and Beijing-based ByteDance is in the works that would have Microsoft acquiring some of ByteDance's holdings in the TikTok social media service.

  • Some Cortana Features Ending as Part of Microsoft 365 Shift

    Microsoft may be promoting Cortana more as a Microsoft 365 business perk, but the digital assistant will soon see several of its capabilities falling out of support.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

  • Tasks in Teams Starts Rolling Out to Some Microsoft 365 Users

    Tasks in Teams, which pulls together information from Microsoft task-creation apps like Planner and To Do, has started rolling out to "a small group" of Microsoft 365 users.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.