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Research > Zero-Day Tracker > 20101120

Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler Service Privilege Escalation

Date Disclosed:

Date Patched:


Affected Software:
Windows Vista, 2008, 7, and 2008 R2

The Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler service contains an access validation error. Users are allowed to edit a valid XML file via the Component Object Model (COM) interface, bypassing the CRC32 integrity checks. This allows users to execute arbitrary code with System privileges. This vulnerability is used by the Stuxnet malware family.


Code Execution:

Local elevation of privileges to System rights
Attackers exploiting this vulnerability would be seeking to gain kernel-level access to a machine. It would need to be used in combination with some other exploit to initially gain access to the system, since this privilege escalation vulnerability is only locally exploitable. After exploiting the vulnerability, the attacker would have gained the ability to execute code with Kernel level privileges.

Install the appropriate MS10-098 patch.


  • eEye's Retina® Network Security Scanner scans devices to detect for this vulnerability.
    • Retina Audit 13839 - Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler Service Privilege Escalation (2305420)


11.20.2010 - Public Information Released
12.14.2010 - Vendor Patch Released

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