Zero-day vulnerability in Windows

Privilege escalation

The vulnerability was used in Operation Iron Tiger, a cyber espionage campaign carried out by Chinese hackers on United States Defense Contractors.

Vulnerability details

Advisory: SB2008041701 - Privilege escalation in Microsoft Windows

Vulnerable component: Windows

CVE-ID: CVE-2008-1436

CVSSv3 score: CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H/E:F/RL:O/RC:C

CWE-ID: CWE-264 - Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls


The vulnerability allows a local attacker to gain elevated privileges on the target system.

The weakness exists due to improper security restrictions on security tokens in the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) service. By sending a specially crafted request to the MSDTC service, an attacker can access privileged security tokens and execute code with privileges of SYSTEM account.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in privilege escalation allowing to execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system.

Note: this vulnerability was being actively exploited.

Known APT campaigns:

Operation Iron Tiger

The operation was performed by Chinese group, called Emissary Panda or Threat Group-3390 (TG-3390).

Hackers targeted US defense contractors and companies.

Public Exploits: