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Researchers disclosed details of a high-severity Microsoft Windows vulnerability that could give attackers elevated privileges – ultimately allowing them to install programs, and view, change or delete data. The bug stems from User Account Control (UAC), a security feature of Windows within Secure Desktop which helps prevent unauthorized changes to the operating system. “With UAC fully enabled, interactive administrators normally run with least user privileges, but they can self-elevate to perform administrative tasks by giving explicit consent with the Consent UI,” Microsoft explained in an overview of the function. “Such administrative tasks include installing software and drivers, changing system-wide settings, viewing or changing other user accounts, and running administrative tools.” By interacting with the user interface of UAC, an unprivileged attacker can use the bug to launch a highly-privileged web browser on the normal desktop – giving them the authority to install code and other malicious activities. “This vulnerability allows local attackers to escalate privileges on affected installations of Microsoft Windows,” researchers with Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) said in a Tuesday detailed analysis of the vulnerability. “An attacker must first obtain the ability to access an interactive desktop as a low-privileged user on the target system in order to exploit this vulnerability.” Specifically, the flaw exists because the UAC Windows Certificate Dialog, which details…

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