Security researchers have discovered multiple vulnerabilities in the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that can result in the so-called ‘reverse RDP attack’. These vulnerabilities can allow bad actors to take control of computers.
Discovered by researchers at CheckPoint, there are a total of 25 security issues in the RDP. Of these, 16 issues have been found in the open source FreeRDP RDP client and its fork rdesktop, as well as in Microsoft’s own RDP client implementation.
According to researchers, the attackers can use at least of the two scenarios to gain elevated network permissions. This includes:
Once the attackers get a foothold of the RDP client by using one of the discovered vulnerabilities, they can expand the scope of the attack to the machine’s entire local network.
Eleven vulnerabilities with a major security impact are discovered in the 1.83 version of the rdesktop RDP client, while FreeRDP 2.0.0-rc3 contains five vulnerabilities of major security impact. The researchers were also able to find a vulnerability in the Mstsc client too.
In order to address these issues, the users have been advised to disable the shared RDP clipboard feature in their clients until a security patch is released. In addition, RDP clients should always be kept up to date to protect their computers from being exploited by such vulnerabilities.