Note: This page is part of the archive.

This document is part of the US-CERT website archive. These documents are no longer updated and may contain outdated information. Links may also no longer function. Please contact if you have any questions about the US-CERT website archive.

Alert (TA07-103A)

Microsoft Windows DNS RPC Buffer Overflow

Systems Affected

  • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server


A buffer overflow in the the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) management interface used by the Microsoft Windows Domain Name Service (DNS) service is actively being exploited. This vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.


The Microsoft Windows DNS service RPC management interface contains a stack-based buffer overflow. This vulnerability can be triggered by sending a specially crafted RPC packet to the RPC management interface. The management interface typically operates on a dynamically-assigned port between 1024/tcp and 5000/tcp.

Note that this vulnerability cannot be exploited via the DNS name resolution service (53/udp).

More information on this vulnerability is available in Vulnerability Note VU#555920 and Microsoft Security Advisory (935964).

This vulnerability is actively being exploited.


A remote attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges or cause a denial-of-service condition.


We are unaware of a complete solution to this vulnerability. Until a fix is available, there are workarounds that may reduce the chances of exploitation. It is important to understand your network's configuration and service requirements before deciding what changes are appropriate. For instance, disabling the RPC interface of the DNS service may prevent administrators from being able to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows DNS server. Consider this when implementing the following workarounds:

Disable the RPC interface used by the Microsoft Windows DNS service

This workaround will configure the DNS management service to to function only via Local Procedure Call (LPC). This prevents exploitation of the vulnerability, however it also disables remote management via RPC, which is used by the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) DNS snap-in.

According to Microsoft Security Advisory (935964), the RPC remote management can be disabled by taking the following steps:

  1. On the start menu click 'Run' and then type 'Regedit' and then press enter.
  2. Navigate to the following registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Parameters.
  3. On the 'Edit' menu select 'New' and then click 'DWORD Value'.
  4. Where 'New Value #1' is highlighted type 'RpcProtocol' for the name of the value and then press enter.
  5. Double click on the newly created value and change the value's data to 4.

Alternatively, the following text can be saved as a .REG file and imported:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Restart the DNS service for the change to take effect.

More information on regedit.exe is available in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 82821.

Block or Restrict access to RPC services

This workaround will restrict TCP/IP access to all RPC interfaces, including the vulnerable DNS management RPC interface. This workaround will not prevent exploitation of the vulnerability, but will limit the possible sources of attacks. This workaround will allow remote management using the RPC interface (MMC DNS Snap-in) from selected networks.

Block access to the RPC Endpoint Mapper service (135/tcp) at your network perimeters. Note that blocking RPC at the network perimeter would still allow attackers within the perimeter to exploit this vulnerability.

By default, the RPC Endpoint Mapper service assigns RPC ports between 1024/tcp and 5000/tcp. All unsolicited traffic on these ports should also be blocked.


Revision History

  • April 13, 2007: Initial release

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

Was this document helpful?  Yes  |  Somewhat  |  No