Perimeter
10/6/2010
04:34 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Blocking Zero Days With EMET 2.0

Few security products I've used over the years are ones I would run on a Windows system on a daily basis. Of course, that would require me to run Windows on a daily basis, but if I did and I used it for daily activities like Web browsing, e-mail, etc., I wouldn't do so without the Microsoft Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).

Few security products I've used over the years are ones I would run on a Windows system on a daily basis. Of course, that would require me to run Windows on a daily basis, but if I did and I used it for daily activities like Web browsing, e-mail, etc., I wouldn't do so without the Microsoft Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).EMET is a little-known tool released by Microsoft. It has garnered a buzz in a few small circles of security geeks but hasn't seen much mainstream exposure and testing -- most likely because "EMET 2.0.0 is not currently an officially supported Microsoft Product." But let me tell you something...EMET rocks!

A month ago, version 2.0 of EMET was released along with an announcement on the Microsoft Security Research and Defense blog. According to the blog:

EMET provides users with the ability to deploy security mitigation technologies to arbitrary applications. This helps prevent vulnerabilities in those applications (especially line of business and 3rd party apps) from successfully being exploited.

Sounds a little too good to be true, right? It's not. It does a nice job of protecting vulnerable application from exploitation, even zero-day attacks. In fact, Adobe made a recommendation for using EMET as a mitigation against the vulnerabilities announced in an earlier version of its own security advisory released for CVE-2010-2883.

I've spent some time testing EMET in a virtual machine with numerous vulnerable versions of Adobe Acrobat, Flash, and Java installed. I then tested exploits against each app that were considered zero-day exploits and were available publicly for download from various sites and within the Metasploit framework. With EMET configured for maximum protection, it was able to prevent exploitation of each vulnerable app.

Since EMET is not officially supported, don't expect there to be any way to jump on the EMET bandwagon and deploy it enterprisewide. I've heard of some things that do not work under EMET (e.g., some drivers), and there is no neat packaging for management and deployment in something like a Microsoft Active Directory environment.

I definitely suggest you take a look at it, though, and run it on your own Windows systems to get a feel for how it works. Then, as more and more interest gathers around EMET, maybe Microsoft will begin to officially support it and consider adding it in as a protective add-on for Windows systems that can be centrally managed. (Fingers crossed!)

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.