Researchers Beat Microsoft’s EMET

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 @ 09:10 PM gHale

For a second time Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) ended up bypassed.

Offensive Security researchers, which infiltrated EMET’s Version 4, examined the advanced security techniques employed in Microsoft’s EMET Version 5.

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In an unattributed blog post, the researchers said the latest release of the tool introduced new features that voided their previous attack vectors against version 4.

” … we were curious to see how difficult it would be to adapt our previous disarming technique to this new version of EMET,” the researchers said in a blog post. “As we managed to successfully demonstrate, the difficulty in disarming EMET 5 mitigations has not increased substantially since version 4.x.

“More than anything, only our ROP (Return-Oriented Programming) chain has increased in size, while achieving the same effect of bypassing the protections offered by EMET.”

The hackers targeted 32-bit Windows systems including Windows 7 and 2008 running service pack one, Windows 8 and 8.1, service pack three and Windows 2003 service pack two.

The Internet Explorer 8 ColspanID vulnerability (MS12-037) for consistency which they used previously to disarm new ROP mitigations in EMET version 4 by targeting a global variable in the .data section located at a static offset.

Microsoft’s EMET aims to increase the complexity — and therefore the cost — of attacking Windows platforms by introducing defense technologies such as Address Space Layer Randomization and Data Execution Prevention.

In February, Microsoft released version 5 which introduced Attack Surface Reduction to help corporate security apply usage policies or block Java, Flash Player and third-party browser plug-ins. It also sported an improved Export Address Table Filtering and deep hooks mitigation by default.

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