Hi @ll, the executable installers [°] of Google Chrome are vulnerable: 1. ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe and ChromeSetup.exe load and execute a rogue/bogus/malicious CryptBase.dll (under Windows NT6.x) from their "application directory" [']. For software downloaded with a web browser this is typically the "Downloads" directory: see , and If CryptBase.dll gets planted in the "Downloads" directory per "drive-by download" this vulnerability becomes a remote code execution. 2. Their "final" executable installer setup.exe loads and executes the rogue/bogus/malicious RichEd20.dll, ClbCatQ.dll and XPSP2Res.dll (both only under NT5.x, not under NT6.x) and SetupAPI.dll (the latter only under NT6.x, not under NT5.x) from its "application directory" ['] %TEMP%\CR_.tmp\ XPSP2Res.dll is not present in Windows Vista and newer versions where it is loaded from the DLL search path. Since setup.exe is typically run with administrative (or SYSTEM) privileges this results in an escalation of privilege. %TEMP%\CR_.tmp\setup.exe as well as %TEMP%\CR_.tmp\CHROME.PACKED.7Z are extracted to this unsafe temporary directory [²] by Chrome's installer^Wself- extractor 46.0.2490.86_chrome_installer.exe (at the time of writing). The current self-extractor is downloaded and run from Google's Updater. The Google Updater is installed during the first run of ChromeSetup.exe, Chrome's online installer stub, available via 3. Bonus point: on Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 installed setup.exe loads and executes IEFrame.dll (which is not present before Internet Explorer 7) from the DLL search path. Proof of concept/demonstration: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. visit , download and save it as CryptBase.dll in your "Downloads" directory; 2. download ChromeSetup.exe and/or ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe (via ) and save it in your "Downloads" directory; 3. execute ChromeSetup.exe and/or ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe from your "Downloads" directory; 4. notice the message boxes displayed from CryptBase.dll placed in step 1. Mitigation(s): ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 0. DON'T USE EXECUTABLE INSTALLERS [°]! If your favourite applications are not distributed in the native installer package format of the resp. target platform: ask^WURGE their vendors/developers to provide native installation packages. If they don't: dump these applications, stay away from such cruft! 1. Turn off UAC's privilege elevation for standard users and installer detection for all users: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] "ConsentPromptBehaviorUser"=dword:00000000 ; Automatically deny elevation requests "EnableInstallerDetection"=dword:00000000 See 2. NEVER execute files in UNSAFE directories (like "Downloads" and and "%TEMP%")! 3. Deny execution (at least) in the "Downloads" directories and all "%TEMP%" directories and their subdirectories: * Add the NTFS ACE "(D;OIIO;WP;;;WD)" meaning "deny execution of files in this directory for everyone, inheritable to all files in all subdirectories" (use CACLS.EXE /S: for example); * Use "software restriction policies" resp. AppLocker. Consider to apply either/both to every "%USERPROFILE%" as well as "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%" alias %ProgramData%" and "%PUBLIC%": Windows doesn't place executables in these directories and beyond. See as well as plus , or and finally ! stay tuned Stefan Kanthak PS: see (resp. the not yet finished ) for more details! PPS: the case numbers are not in chronological order. [°] Self-extracting archives and executable installers are flawed^W b(rainde)ad in concept and dangerous in practice. DON'T USE SUCH CRUFT! ALWAYS use the resp. target platforms native package and archive format. For Windows these are .INF (plus .CAB) and .MSI (plus .CAB), introduced 20 years ago (with Windows 95 and Windows NT4) resp. 16 years ago (with Office 2000). Both .INF and .MSI are "opened" by programs residing in %SystemRoot%\System32\ which are therefore immune to this kind of "DLL and EXE Search Order Hijacking" attack. Since both .INF and .MSI access the contents of .CAB directly they eliminate the attack vector "unsafe temporary directory" too. ['] A well-known (trivial, easy to exploit and easy to avoid) and well-documented vulnerability: see , , and [²] Another well-known (trivial, easy to exploit and easy to avoid) and well-documented vulnerability: see , , , ... Timeline: ~~~~~~~~~ 2015-11-20 vulnerability report sent to Google Security 2015-11-20 receipt of report acknowledged 2015-11-27 vulnerability report resent to Chromium 2015-12-01 response: "we don't care for physically-local attacks" 2015-12-01 reality check, PLEASE! NO ANSWER, not even an acknowledgement of receipt 2015-12-09 report published # Iranian Exploit DataBase = http://IeDb.Ir [2015-12-17]