Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-014 - Important

Vulnerability in Group Policy Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3004361)

Published: February 10, 2015

Version: 1.0

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow security feature bypass if an attacker, by way of a man-in-the-middle attack, causes the Group Policy Security Configuration Engine policy file on a targeted system to become corrupted or otherwise unreadable. This results in the Group Policy settings on the system to revert to their default, and potentially less secure, state.

This security update is rated Important for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows. For more information, see the Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Group Policy settings are applied when the Security Configuration Engine policy file is corrupted or otherwise unreadable. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Vulnerability Information section.

For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3004361.

Affected Software

The following software versions or editions are affected. Versions or editions that are not listed are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Updates Replaced
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 7
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2012 R2
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1
Windows RT[1] (3004361) Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows RT 8.1[1] (3004361) Security Feature Bypass Important None
Server Core installation option
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None
Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Security Feature Bypass Important None

[1]This update is available via Windows Update only.

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the February bulletin summary.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software Group Policy Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability - CVE-2015-0009 Aggregate Severity Rating
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 7
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2012 R2
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1
Windows RT[1] (3004361) Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows RT 8.1[1] (3004361) Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Server Core installation option
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important
Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)
(3004361)
Important
Security Feature Bypass
Important

Vulnerability Information

Group Policy Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability - CVE-2015-0009

A security feature bypass vulnerability exists in the Group Policy application of Security Configuration policies that could cause Group Policy settings on a targeted system to revert to their default, and potentially less secure, state. An attacker could accomplish this by way of a man-in-the-middle attack that modifies domain controller responses to client requests.

Workstations and servers that are configured to use Group Policy are primarily at risk from this vulnerability. The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Group Policy settings are applied when the Security Configuration Engine policy file is corrupted or otherwise unreadable.

Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through coordinated vulnerability disclosure. When this security bulletin was originally issued Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers.

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.

Workarounds

Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.

Security Update Deployment

For Security Update Deployment information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article referenced here in the Executive Summary.

Acknowledgments

Microsoft recognizes the efforts of those in the security community who help us protect customers through responsible vulnerability disclosure. See Acknowledgments for more information.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions

  • V1.0 (February 10, 2015): Bulletin published.

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