Alert: Microsoft Security Bulletin - MS03-034
Flaw in NetBIOS Could Lead to Information Disclosure (824105)
Originally posted: September 03, 2003
Who should read this bulletin: Customers using Microsoft® Windows®
Impact of vulnerability: Information disclosure
Maximum Severity Rating: Low
Recommendation: Users should evaluate whether to apply the security patch to
End User Bulletin:
An end user version of this bulletin is available at:
- Microsoft Windows NT 4.0® Server
- Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
- Microsoft Windows 2000
- Microsoft Windows XP
- Microsoft Windows Server(tm) 2003
Not Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows Millennium EditionAn End User version of the bulletin is
Network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) is an application programming
interface (API) that can be used by programs on a local area network (LAN).
NetBIOS provides programs with a uniform set of commands for requesting the
lower-level services required to manage names, conduct sessions, and send
datagrams between nodes on a network.
This vulnerability involves one of the NetBT (NetBIOS over TCP) services,
namely, the NetBIOS Name Service (NBNS). NBNS is analogous to DNS in the TCP/IP
world and it provides a way to find a system's IP address given its NetBIOS
name, or vice versa.
Under certain conditions, the response to a NetBT Name Service query may, in
addition to the typical reply, contain random data from the target system's
memory. This data could, for example, be a segment of HTML if the user on the
target system was using an Internet browser, or it could contain other types of
data that exist in memory at the time that the target system responds to the
NetBT Name Service query.
An attacker could seek to exploit this vulnerability by sending a NetBT Name
Service query to the target system and then examine the response to see if it
included any random data from that system's memory.
If best security practices have been followed and port 137 UDP has been blocked
at the firewall, Internet based attacks would not be possible.
- Any information disclosure would be completely random.
- By default, the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), which is available with
Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, blocks the ports that are used by NetBT.
- To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would have to be able to send a
specially-crafted NetBT request to port 137 on the target system and then
examine the response to see whether any random data from that system's memory
is included. In intranet environments, these ports are usually accessible, but
systems that are connected to the Internet usually have these ports blocked by
Vulnerability identifier: CAN-2003-0661
This email is sent to NTBugtraq automatically as a service to my subscribers.
Russ - Surgeon General of TruSecure Corporation/NTBugtraq Editor
Whatever Happened to Octopus?
LEGATO RepliStor, formerly known as Octopus, delivers breakthrough
replication performance that's 5X faster than the competition in an
independent head-to-head test. Learn how RepliStor uses patented,
asynchronous, real-time replication, to deliver disaster recovery, data
distribution and consolidated backups. It is the first replication solution
to achieve Windows 2003 certification. Get the performance report now.