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RW by damaging the kernel structure tagWND.strName. By inverting its code, Microsoft found that the Win32k exploit used by STRONTIUM in October 2016 reused exactly the same method. After Win32k’s initial vulnerability, the exploit corrupted the tagWND.strName structure and used SetWindowTextW to write arbitrary content somewhere in the kernel memory.
To minimize the impact of the Win32k exploit and similar exploits, the Windows Offensive Security Research Team (OSR) has introduced techniques in the anniversary update of Windows 10 Anniversary Update that can prevent the misuse of tagWND.strName. Mitigation performed additional checks for the base and length fields to ensure that they are not usable for RW primitives.
CVE-2016-7256 Use: Increased opening privilege
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In November 2016, unidentified players were discovered who exploited a bug in the Windows font library (CVE-2016-7256) to increase privileges and install the Hankray backdoor – an implant to perform small-scale attacks on computers running older versions of Windows in South Korea.
The font samples on the affected computers were found to be specifically manipulated with hard-coded addresses and data to reflect the actual kernel memory layout. The event indicated the probability that a secondary tool would dynamically generate the operating code at the time of infiltration.
The secondary executable or scripting tool seemed to perform the action of erasing font usage, calculating and preparing the hard offsets needed to exploit the kernel API and kernel structures on the target system. Upgrading the system from Windows 8 to Windows 10 Anniversary Update prevented the CVE-2016-7256 operating code from reaching the vulnerable code. The update succeeded in neutralizing not only the specific exploits, but also their operating methods.
Conclusion : Microsoft successfully breaks operating methods and closes entire classes of vulnerabilities through multi-level detection and exploitation mitigation. Therefore, these techniques significantly reduce the number of attacks that could be available for future exploits.
In addition, by providing these mitigation techniques, Microsoft forced attackers to find ways around the new levels of defense. For example, even the simple tactical slowdown against the popular primitive forces RW exploits the perpetrators to devote more time and resources to searching for new attack routes. In addition, by moving the police analysis code into an isolated container, the company reduced the likelihood that police errors would be used as vectors for privilege escalation.
In addition to the techniques and solutions mentioned above, Windows 10 Anniversary Updates introduces many other protections into major Windows components and the Microsoft Edge browser, protecting systems from exploits identified as undetected vulnerabilities.
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