[ISN] Security UPDATE-- Disabling the ADODB.Stream Object--July 7, 2004

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Thu Jul 08 2004 - 02:36:44 PDT

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1. In Focus: Disabling the ADODB.Stream Object

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - News: Firewall Permissions Code for XP SP2
   - Feature: On the Net, Awareness = Safety
   - Feature: Performing Forensic Analyses, Part 2

3. Security Toolkit
   - FAQ
   - Featured Thread

4. New and Improved
   - New Security Administration Book
   - Intrusion Scanner Eliminates Trojan Horses


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==== 1. In Focus: Disabling the ADODB.Stream Object ====
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity dot net

Last week, I wrote about two ways to quickly and easily work around
problems with Microsoft ADO databases (ADODB). One solution is a
registry script from eEye Digital Security and the other is PivX
Solutions' Qwik-Fix. As far as I know, both of these solutions can
disable parts of ADODB. If you missed last week's newsletter, you can
read about the solutions at

The combined attack method that I wrote about last week involves the
use of the ADODB.Stream object, which Microsoft says is essentially a
memory-based file. Now Microsoft has released an official fix to
disable ADODB.Stream for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows
2000. You can download the "Critical Update for Microsoft Data Access
Components - Disable ADODB.Stream object from Internet Explorer" fix

According to the related Microsoft article "How to disable the
ADODB.Stream object from Internet Explorer," the fix makes changes to
the registry that prevent the ADODB.Stream object from accessing the
local disk drives via Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). However, other
applications that use the object can still access the disk if

In addition to installing the Microsoft fix, which I think most
security professionals would recommend, you might want to consider
other configuration changes to your IE installations. Another
Microsoft article, "How to strengthen the security settings for the
Local Machine zone in Internet Explorer," describes how to disable
ActiveX controls and Java applets, prompt the user before running
scripts, prompt the user before accessing a database in another zone,
control how zone security is applied (e.g., per user or the same
settings for all users, whether users can change those settings), and
use Group Policy to control IE security zone settings. Be aware that
you might experience unwanted effects (as noted in the article) when
you make some of the recommended changes.

Two other articles--"How to Stop an ActiveX Control from Running in
Internet Explorer" and "How to Remove an ActiveX Control in
Windows"--describe how to prevent IE from using particular ActiveX
controls and how to remove ActiveX controls if you need to do that for
whatever reason. By using some or all of the recommended IE security
settings, you can significantly increase browser security.

Microsoft said that in the coming weeks it will release a series of
security updates for IE that will provide additional protection;
however, the company hasn't said what those updates might actually
entail. The company also said that it's working on a "comprehensive
update for all supported versions of Internet Explorer [which] will be
released once it has been thoroughly tested and found to be effective
across a wide variety of supported versions and configurations of
Internet Explorer."

The company also said that the upcoming XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) will
better protect users against attacks and unwanted content, including
downloads. So in addition to the already-mentioned fixes and
configuration changes, more help is on the way.


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==== 2. Security News and Features ====

Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these discoveries

News: Firewall Permissions Code for XP SP2
   Mitch Denny has written some sample code that lets developers more
easily interact with the new firewall design that's part of Windows XP
Service Pack 2 (SP2). Denny says that his code, FirewallPermission,
"is a custom permission and associated declarative security attribute
which uses the Windows Firewall COM interfaces to check whether a
program has inbound access on a port enabled."

Feature: On the Net, Awareness = Safety
   Given "phishing" (email messages that appear to be from reputable
companies and that ask customers to confirm personal information such
as credit card and bank account numbers), Web-site redirection, and
outright browser hijack attempts, reading email and browsing the Web
is fraught with dangers that passive protections such as firewalls
can't really stop. David Chernicoff explains ways to help your users
protect themselves.

Feature: Performing Forensic Analyses, Part 2
   In "Performing Forensic Analyses, Part 1,"
http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/42445/42445.html , Matt
Lesko shows how to create a bootable CD-ROM that contains the Penguin
Sleuth Kit and how to use that CD-ROM to create a digital copy, or
image, of a compromised hard disk. In this second article, Lesko looks
at how to perform a forensic analysis on that image by using the
Penguin Sleuth Kit on your CD-ROM.


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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====

FAQ: How Can I Start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active
Directory Users and Computers Snap-In so That It Points to a Specific
Domain Controller (DC)?
   by John Savill, http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsnt20002003faq

A. When you start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, it
tries to connect to the nearest DC in the current domain. To connect
to a specific DC, run the command:

   dsa.msc /server=<server's IP address or name>

You can also use this command syntax to create a shortcut to a
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Featured Thread: Removing a Backdoor IRC Bot
   (Two messages in this thread)
   Mike writes that one of his systems is infected with a Trojan horse
program and he can't remove the Trojan horse's msrll.exe file from the
infected system's %systemroot%\system32\mfm folder. He can delete the
jtram.comf file from the folder, but the file is recreated soon after
he deletes it. Norton AntiVirus corporate edition found the msrll.exe
file but couldn't quarantine or remove it. Mike also tried removing
the msr11.exe file by booting to Safe Mode but wasn't successful. He
wonders if anyone can help him remove the Trojan horse.


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Intrusion Scanner Eliminates Trojan Horses
   ATShield released Anti-Trojan Shield 1.2, a virus/intrusion scanner
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