Vulnerability in Group Policy Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-011)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2015-012
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Subject: 
Vulnerability in Group Policy Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-011)
Overview: 

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker convinces a user with a domain-configured system to connect to an attacker-controlled network. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. Depending on the rights associated with the logged on user an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts. 

Systems Affected: 
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows RT
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
High
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
Medium
Small business entities: 
High
Home Users: 
High
Description: 

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in how Group Policy receives and applies policy data when a domain-joined system connects to a domain controller. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would have to convince a victim with a domain-configured system to connect to an attacker-controlled network.

Depending on the rights associated with the logged on user an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system and install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts. The security update addresses the vulnerability by improving how domain-configured systems connect to domain controllers prior to Group Policy accepting configuration data.

Actions: 

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply appropriate patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.