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Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 fail to protect kernel memory when the Microsoft update for meltdown is installed

Vulnerability Note VU#277400

Original Release Date: 2018-03-29 | Last Revised: 2018-04-24


When the Microsoft update for meltdown is installed on a Windows 7 x64 or Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 system, an unprivileged process may be able to read and write the entire memory space available to the Windows kernel.


The update that Microsoft has released for meltdown on x64 versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 incorrectly sets the permission bit for memory accessible from unprivileged user space. As a result, such platforms that have the meltdown update installed, which was released in January 2018 will not properly protect the contents of system memory..


An attacker with the ability to run code on an affected platform as an unprivileged user may be able to read from and write to the entire contents of system memory. Exploit code that uses this vulnerability to escalate privileges from an unprivileged user to SYSTEM privileges is publicly available.


Apply an update

This issue is addressed in the Microsoft update for CVE-2018-1038.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Affected

Updated:  March 29, 2018



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 6.8 AV:L/AC:L/Au:S/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 5.9 E:H/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 5.9 CDP:ND/TD:H/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



This vulnerability was publicly reported by Ulf Frisk.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2018-1038
Date Public: 2018-03-27
Date First Published: 2018-03-29
Date Last Updated: 2018-04-24 14:47 UTC
Document Revision: 25

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