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CERT Coordination Center

Microsoft Windows kernel contains stack overflow

Vulnerability Note VU#446338

Original Release Date: 2003-04-15 | Last Revised: 2003-04-16


A stack overflow vulnerability exists in the Microsoft Windows kernel.


The kernel is the core or "heart" of any operating system and is responsible for a variety of things, such as managing memory and allocating hardware resources. Entercept's Ricochet Team has discovered a stack buffer overflow in the Microsoft Windows kernel (ntoskrnl.exe). This vulnerability is present in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

The overflow exists in the portion of the kernel responsible for handling debugging. Specifically, LpcRequestWaitReplyPort(), which is called from the kernel, inappropriately trusts a user space process to correctly report the size of a message passed back to the kernel. By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker may be able to execute code with the privileges of the operating system kernel. For further technical details, please see the following documents:

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-013
Entercept Security Alert


Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute code in the context of the kernel. As a result, an attacker could do anything the kernel is capable of doing, such as reading protected areas of system memory, writing to disk, and communicating with the network.


Apply a patch when one becomes available.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  April 16, 2003



Vendor Statement

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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This vulnerability was discovered by Oded Horovitz of Entercept Security Technologies. The CERT/CC thanks both Entercept Security Technologies and Microsoft for providing information that served as a basis for this document.

This document was written by Ian A Finlay.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-0112
Severity Metric: 10.13
Date Public: 2003-04-16
Date First Published: 2003-04-15
Date Last Updated: 2003-04-16 17:57 UTC
Document Revision: 36

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