Protect Yourself from a Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk Vulnerability

CVSScvssV3_1: 7.8

Microsoft Virtual Hard Disks, commonly used with Hyper-V virtual machines, were found to have a vulnerability that could allow attackers to elevate their privileges and take control of affected systems.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2024-20658, receives a CVSS score of 7.8 out of 10, meaning it is considered a high severity issue. It is caused by how Virtual Hard Disk files handle object initializations and can be exploited remotely without authentication.

An attacker could craft a special VHD file and trick a user into mounting it or opening it on a system. This would allow the attacker to run arbitrary code with elevated SYSTEM privileges, essentially gaining full control of the targeted computer.

If exploited, a malicious actor could install programs, view, change or delete data, or create new accounts with full admin access rights. They would then be able to install malware, ransomware or backdoors.

The best way to protect yourself is to keep your Hyper-V and Virtual Hard Disk software updated with the latest patches from Microsoft. Be cautious of opening VHD files from untrusted sources. Using strong, unique passwords can also help prevent attackers from accessing your system if it was compromised.

Stay vigilant and keep monitoring for any new security updates from Microsoft to protect the virtualization tools you use. Taking basic precautions is the best defense against this and other elevation of privilege vulnerabilities.