Deep Freeze In Deep Trouble

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by johntangelo, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. johntangelo

    johntangelo Guest

    A black-hat computer programmer in Argentina with a grudge against
    Faronics, Emiliano Scavuzzo, has written a program to thaw Deep Freeze
    without knowing the password. It works on almost ALL versions of Deep
    Freeze, including the latest version, v5.60.120.1347, released
    Oct-20-2005 to supposedly thwart his program-it does not! You can use
    Deep Unfreezer to test for the vulnerability on your own machines:

    (Disclaimer: this tutorial and information is provided as is, and is
    intended for network administrators currently using Deep Freeze on
    their networks, to provide them with up-to-date vulnerability
    information on the inherent security flaws in the Deep Freeze program.
    It is intended to be used for testing purposes only, and is not to be
    construed as a "hacking tutorial on how to hack Deep Freeze". Author is
    not responsible for abuse of this information. At the end of the
    article are a couple of tips on how to secure your machines running
    vulnerable Deep Freeze installations.)

    Deep Freeze Unfreezer

    Method 1:

    To perform the test you must first grant yourself the "Debug Programs"
    privilege (revoked by Deep Freeze) by escalating to the Local System
    account using Task Scheduler from the command line (Start/run, cmd):

    1) Type: at 11:23pm /interactive taskmgr.exe (add one or two minutes
    from the current time). [ENTER]
    2) Once Task Manager launches, End Task explorer.exe
    3) On the Task Manager menu, choose File / New Task (Run...), Type
    explorer.exe to launch the explorer shell under the System account
    which has Debug Privileges
    4) Run Deep Unfreezer from the System account.


    Method 2:

    Use ntrights.exe from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit, a free
    download,, to grant yourself the
    Syntax: ntrights -u Users +r SeDebugPrivilege
    If you use ntrights, you must be the only user logged on, and you must
    logoff and logon again before the privilege takes effect. [If desired,
    you can use showpriv.exe, also from the Resouce Kit, to enumerate
    SeDebugPrivilege privileges for users and groups after logging off and
    logging on again to verify that the privilege has actually been granted
    to your account.]

    Then run Deep Unfreezer, View Status, click on the Boot Thawed button,
    Save Status, and restart the machine. If the machine reboots in thawed
    mode, your version of Deep Freeze is vulnerable, and you should take
    measures to provide additional security on your machines.

    Deep Freeze Evaluation versions are also vulnerable to this attack.
    Deep Freeze Evaluation versions can be taken off machines by an
    attacker by forwarding the system date past 60-days which will expire
    Deep Freeze, causing the computer to restart in thawed mode, allowing
    Deep Freeze to be uninstalled. If you're using an evaluation version of
    Deep Freeze, here's how to perform this test:

    Method 1:

    1) Switch to the System account, as described above
    2) Double-click the time in the system tray
    3) Forward the date past 60-days
    4) Restart in thawed mode
    5) Use DeepFreezeSTDEval.exe to uninstall Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze is
    not uninstalled through Add/Remove Programs. It is uninstalled with the
    installation file, and ONLY with the installation file. Yes, the same
    file is used to install and uninstall. If you don't have it, download
    it here. It's a free download:

    Deep Freeze Evaluation -Trial Version - v5.60.120.1347


    Method 2:

    Use ntrights.exe from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit to grant
    yourself the SeSystemtimePrivilege.
    Syntax: ntrights -u Users +r SeSystemtimePrivilege
    You must logoff and logon again for the new privilege to take effect.

    Special Note:

    Faronics came out with v5.60.120.1347 on 10-20-2005 as a response to
    Deep Unfreezer. It proved to be an impotent move. Emiliano's response
    to the new version? "rename frzstate2k.exe to anything else. Then
    attach to DF5Serve.exe instead". Does that work? Yes, it does. Thus,
    the newest version of Deep Freeze, intended to thwart Deep Unfreezer,
    continues to be vulnerable.

    Deep Freeze protects over four million computers world-wide and over
    one million Macs (yes, there's a Deep Freeze for Mac). And most of them
    are vulnerable to this attack (not sure about the Macs though). At this
    time Faronics does not have a fix, nor an immune version. If you are a
    network administrator in charge of maintaining a network of machines
    protected by Deep Freeze, please be advised of this situation and be

    Faronics does not seem to be taking this seriously. They only made a
    token effort to thwart Deep Unfreezer in their latest version. Until
    they get serious about things, Deep Freeze is going to be melting away
    in the eyes of those who have grown to love and trust the program.

    One of the main issues is the fact that so many computers these days
    allow Administrator status. Even a lot of internet cafes use Windows XP
    Home edition, with the user logged in as Administrator. The developers
    at Faronics are committed, however, to protecting the machine even from
    Administrators! The problem with that is, as you know, whatever is
    taken away from an Administrator, the Administrator can give back to
    herself. So if, for example, Deep Freeze removes DebugPrivileges, users
    can simply grant it back to themselves.

    Another issue is their commitment to non-restrictive use. Their
    commitment with Deep Freeze is to protect the machine
    non-restrictively. That has worked... until now. I think they may be
    forced at this point to admit Administrator accounts can't be
    guaranteed protection any longer. Unless they can secure these issues,
    I don't see any other way.

    A couple of things come to mind to protect against this: you could use
    Appsec.exe with Group Policy:

    Microsoft Appsec.exe: Application Security Through Group Policy

    or, you could use another program from Faronics in conjunction with
    Deep Freeze, a program called Anti-executable.

    Faronics Anti-Executable

    The above two options would prevent a perpetrator on your network from
    running Deep Unfreezer.

    Another obvious option is to not allow Administrator status on machines
    any longer (this is an issue Windows Vista addresses. Every
    Administrator will have two tokens, one for UAP and one for
    full-rights). If you give users only regular, limited accounts, they
    won't be able to grant themselves the "Debug Programs" privilege.

    The worry-free days of "freeze it and forget it" with Deep Freeze may
    be coming to an end. We'll see. Emiliano just released his second
    version of Deep Unfreezer, which disables the latest version of Deep
    Freeze, v5.60.120.1347. This latest version of Deep Freeze was intended
    to thwart Deep Unfreezer. It failed. Deep Unfreezer still worked, even
    before Emiliano updated it to specifically include Build 1347.

    To learn the current version of Deep Freeze, visit this page:
    johntangelo, Oct 25, 2005
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  2. johntangelo

    Jim Watt Guest

    On 25 Oct 2005 09:55:40 -0700, wrote:


    My computer works very nicely so why would I want to do that?
    Jim Watt, Oct 25, 2005
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  3. johntangelo

    Steve Welsh Guest

    Agreed, Jim
    Steve Welsh, Oct 25, 2005
  4. johntangelo

    Donnie Guest

    I don't know if I would call him a black hat. He seems to have been around
    giving out a lot of good information too.
    Donnie, Oct 26, 2005
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