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Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:27:08 +0200
From: "Stefan Kanthak" <>
To: <>
Subject: [FD] Defense in depth -- the Microsoft way (part 17): even a
	one-line script is vulnerable

Hi @ll,

the batch script WINRM.CMD, which contains just the single line

@cscript //nologo "%~dpn0.vbs" %*

allows a binary planting or squatting attack: WINRM.CMD executes a
environment variable PATHEXT) from the current working directory.

Proof of concept:

1. Start CMD.EXE

2. CHDIR /D "<arbitrary writable directory>"
   (for example "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop", "%USERPROFILE%\Downloads",

3. COPY "<arbitrary executable>" .\CSCRIPT.COM

4. WINRM /?

-> .\CSCRIPT.COM is run!

WIMRM.CMD is installed as part of the (optional) "Windows Remote
Management" (see <>),
available for Windows XP and 2003 with the hotfixes KB936059 and
KB968929, and included in all later versions of Windows.

"Windows Remote Management" implements the DMTF's Web Services for
Management alias WS-Management alias WS-MAN.

Trivial fix: change "@cscript " in %SystemRoot%\System32\WINRM.CMD
             to "@%SystemRoot%\System32\CSCript.exe "

JFTR: <>
      aint enough!

      ALL executables fed to interfaces which evaluate PATH, i.e.
      CreateProcess(), ShellExecute(), CMD.EXE, ... MUST be specified
      with their fully qualified pathname.

Stefan Kanthak


2014-01-23    informed vendor

2014-01-23    vendor opens MSRC case 16790

... no more reaction from vendor

2014-06-20    requested status from vendor

2014-06-20    vendor replies:
              "Not a vulnerability.
               All directories on the PATH are protected and need Admin
               privileges to modify. Modifying the PATH also require
               admin privileges."


2014-06-20    rectified vendors elementary misunderstanding of CMD.EXE's
              PATH handling:

              - CMD.EXE (which interprets WINRM.CMD) searches . (the
                current working directory) FIRST, ALWAYS;

              - PATH (and of course PATHEXT too) can always be modified
                by (unprivileged) users in various ways, both temporary
                and permanent;

              - users have full control over ., PATH and PATHEXT!

... no more reaction from vendor

2014-06-25    report published

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