May 15, 2009
Microsoft SDL bans mempcy()... next it will be zeros!!!!
So recently Microsoft banned memcpy() from their SDL process, which got several of us talking about perf hits and the likes when using the replacement memcpy_s, especially since it has SAL mapped to it. For those that don't know, SAL is the "Standard Annotation Language" that allows programmers to explicitly state the contracts between params that are implicit in C/C++ code. I have to admit its sometimes hard to read SAL annotations, but it works extremely well to be able to help compilers know when things won't play nice. It is great for static code analysis of args in functions, which is why it works so sweet for things like memcpy_s()... as it will enforce checks for length between buffers.
Anyways, during the discussion Michael Howard said something that had me fall off my chair laughing. And I just had to share it with everyone, because I think it would make a great tshirt in the midst of this debate:
Oh, I'm thinking of banning zero's next - so we can no longer have DIV/0 bugs! Waddya think?
OK.. so its a Friday and that is funny to only a few of us. Still great fun though.
Have a great long weekend! (For you Canadian folks that is)
May 02, 2009
Using TS RemoteApp as an attack vector
So in today's session at SMBNation that I spoke at, I showed how to use TS RemoteApp with TS Gateway on SBS2008 to deliver remote applications through Remote Web Workplace. It is one of the most cool features in the Windows Server 2008 operating system. But we have to remember what its doing.
Part of the conversation we had was on the difference between local desktop display in TS RemoteApp vs just having a full desktop to the Terminal Server. One issue that came up was that as a RemoteApp, you can't run other applications.
Well, that is not actually true. If you think that, then a TS RemoteApp has the ability to be an attack vector for you. What do I mean? Well below is a screen shot of what happens if you hit CTRL-ALT-ENTER with the cursor focused on the RemoteApp window (in this case MS Paint running remotely):
At this point, you can run Task Manager.... then hit File->Run and run something else. In my case, I showed a few people afterwards how to start cmd and start exploring the network. Now, you will only have the privileges of the user account logged in as, but it is still something you have to be careful about. If you think a RemoteApp bundle prevents access to other application sor the network... you are wrong.
So is this bad? No. Is it really an attack vector? No. You just need to understand that when allowing ANY type of Terminal Services based access, you have to restrict the policies and access accordingly. No matter if its local or remote. Running a TS RemoteApp bundle of Office will display on the local desktop, but is STILL running on the Terminal Server. So it will be browsing the network the Terminal Server is connected to as the local net. It will also browse your own drives mapped via tsclient. So you have to remember that.
Hope thats useful. A TS RemoteApp bundle does NOT mean you won't have access to the TS desktop when displaying remotely on your personal desktop. And that's not a bad thing. TS Remote App is a convenient way to extend the workspace to your local machine, anywhere in the world. No pun intended. That's its power... and the benefit. Great remote productivity enhancement in Windows Server 2008. Use it. (Safely of course)