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Windows Agent Priv Esc to nt authority\system #1585

davidj8080 opened this Issue Nov 28, 2018 · 3 comments


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davidj8080 commented Nov 28, 2018

There's a directory traversal issue on the local windows OSSEC agent that allows a low privilege user to become nt authority\system if they have access to the OSSEC server.

Requirements to exploit:

  1. Full access to the OSSEC server.
  2. Low privileged access to a windows system that has the ossec hids agent installed.

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nbuuck commented Nov 29, 2018

Someone requested CVE-2018-19666 for this. That may have been premature as this issue is predicated on having full control the OSSEC server which is already understood to be a privileged system relative to the agents that retrieve rules, active response commands, and even arbitrary script files from the server.

While I'm no longer an active maintainer contributor, I fully expect this to be disputed by the project team both because this is inherent to the architecture and the details thus far are sparse. I recommend you develop and provide something closer to a full proof-of-concept if you wish this issue to be evaluated.


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davidj8080 commented Nov 29, 2018

Here's the POC, a snippet from ossec.conf:



The issue here that that an attacker with access to the OSSEC server and limited access to the windows system would be able to become nt authority\system by executing malware outside of the pre-configured active-response\bin directory via directory transversal. If we assume that this level of access is given to the OSSEC admin, then this is a not an issue.

Let me know if you have any additional thoughts on this, thanks!


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atomicturtle commented Dec 1, 2018

This is more or less by design. In addition to the active response system being able to execute commands, there is a log type called full_command where the server can configure the agent to run a command on a loop (examples: df for disk monitoring, nmap for discovery, etc).

Like this:

    <command>/bin/df -h</command>

I'm closing this out, but I do want to thank you, and all the security researchers out there auditing our code base. Its important work, and we very very much appreciate it

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