0patch fixes Windows Installer LPE-Bug (CVE-2021-26415)

[German]ACROS Security has released a micropatch for the CVE-2021-26415 vulnerability in Windows Installer. This vulnerability was patched by Microsoft in April 2021 via a security update. The 0patch solution is for people who do not have an ESU license.


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The vulnerability CVE-2021-26415

Vulnerability CVE-2021-26415 is a vulnerability in Windows Installer that allows Elevation of Privilege on Windows. This vulnerability allows local attackers to write data to arbitrary files on affected installations of Microsoft Windows. An attacker must first gain the ability to execute low-privilege code on the target system to exploit this vulnerability.

The specific flaw exists within the Windows Installer service. The issue results from the lack of proper validation of a user-supplied path before it is used in file operations. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to escalate privileges and execute arbitrary code in the context of an administrator. The vulnerability is a classic symbolic link issue where a privileged process (in this case msiexec.exe) operates on a file (in this case the installer log file) that the attacker can “redirect” to another location where they do not have privileges to create or modify files.

Microsoft has released security updates for Windows Server 2008 R2 through Windows Server 2004 and 20H2 as of April 13, 2021. However, Windows Server 2008 R2 systems will only receive this security update if a valid ESU license is in place. On April 21, security researcher Adrian Denkiewicz published a detailed analysis of the local privilege escalation vulnerability in Windows Installer, which was fixed in the April 2021 Windows Updates. Adrian’s analysis included a proof-of-concept. 

0patch Micropatch for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2

Mitja Kolsek of ACROS Security points out in the following tweet that there is a micropatch for the vulnerability in Windows Installer for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

0Patch Fix für CVE-2021-26415


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The micropatch is available for systems running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that do not have Extended Security Update support (ESU) from Microsoft, but have an opatch Pro subscription (for 23 Euro+VAT/year) – see also this blog post. Notes on how the 0patch agent works, which loads the micropatches into memory at runtime of an application, can be found in the blog posts (like here).

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