Microsoft Windows kernel contains stack overflow

ID VU:446338
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2003-04-16T00:00:00



A stack overflow vulnerability exists in the Microsoft Windows kernel.


The kernel is the core or "heart" of any operating system and is responsible for a variety of things, such as managing memory and allocating hardware resources. Entercept's Ricochet Team has discovered a stack buffer overflow in the Microsoft Windows kernel (ntoskrnl.exe). This vulnerability is present in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

The overflow exists in the portion of the kernel responsible for handling debugging. Specifically, LpcRequestWaitReplyPort(), which is called from the kernel, inappropriately trusts a user space process to correctly report the size of a message passed back to the kernel. By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker may be able to execute code with the privileges of the operating system kernel. For further technical details, please see the following documents:

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-013
Entercept Security Alert


Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute code in the context of the kernel. As a result, an attacker could do anything the kernel is capable of doing, such as reading protected areas of system memory, writing to disk, and communicating with the network.


Apply a patch when one becomes available.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Microsoft Corporation| | -| 16 Apr 2003
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | N/A | N/A


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This vulnerability was discovered by Oded Horovitz of Entercept Security Technologies . The CERT/CC thanks both Entercept Security Technologies and Microsoft for providing information that served as a basis for this document.

This document was written by Ian A Finlay.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2003-0112
  • Date Public: 16 Apr 2003
  • Date First Published: 16 Apr 2003
  • Date Last Updated: 16 Apr 2003
  • Severity Metric: 10.13
  • Document Revision: 36