Screen Saver Vulnerability Lets User Privileges Be Elevated

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Article ID: 221991 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q221991
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Windows NT starts a screen saver in the local system context and then immediately changes the context to match that of the logged on user. However, Windows NT does not verify that this change completed successfully. If the change fails, the screen saver is running in a privileged state that permits a specially programmed screen saver to use these privileges to elevate the security of the logged on user.


Windows NT 4.0

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
  • Windows Service Pack Center -or-

  • 152734 how to obtain the latest windows nt 4.0 service pack
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:;EN-US;CNTACTMS
This hotfix has been posted to the following Internet location as Scrnsavi.exe (x86) and Scrnsava.exe (Alpha):


Microsoft has confirmed that this problem may result in some degree of security vulnerability in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT version 4.0 Service Pack 5.


For more information on this issue, please see the following Microsoft Security Bulletin at:
For additional security related information about Microsoft products, visit the Microsoft Security Web site at:


Article ID: 221991 - Last Review: June 11, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB221991

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