Pentagrid has been asked to manage the coordinated disclosure process for a vulnerability that affects several Windows printer drivers for a wide range of printers by the printer manufacture Ricoh. Due to improperly set file permissions of file system entries that are installed when a printer is added to a Windows system, any local user is able to overwrite program library files (DLLs) with own code.
The improperly protected library files are loaded by the Windows
PrintIsolationHost.exe, which is a privileged process running as
SYSTEM. When an attacker overwrites library files that are used in an
administrative context, the library code gets executed with
administrative privileges as well. Thus, the attacker is able to
escalate privileges to
As installing printers is not disallowed by default on Domain managed Windows computers, this can be used as a universal privilege escalation as long as the vulnerable printer drivers are valid and installed.
CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H, 8.8 High
2019-10-17: Pentagrid has been asked to support the disclosure process, because the source was not successful in reporting this vulnerability to Ricoh.
2019-10-23: Asked @ricoheurope Twitter channel regarding a security contact. No response, yet.
2019-10-29: Successfully established a contact with a Ricoh employee via LinkedIn. Other contact attempts via LinkedIn failed so far.
2019-10-29: Asked @AskRicoh Twitter channel regarding a security contact.
2019-10-31: Received two e-mail addresses as potential security contacts via LinkedIn contact.
2019-11-02: Initial contact with provided two Ricoh e-mail addresses.
2019-11-04: Received PSIRT contact address (email@example.com).
2019-11-05: Sent preliminary advisory to PSIRT.
2019-11-05: @AskRicoh responded on Twitter.
2019-11-14: Response from Ricoh PSIRT with a timeline proposal and intended steps.
2019-12-05: CVE-2019-19363 has been assigned.
2020-01-22: Ricoh published an advisory. Fixes and mitigations have not been verified, yet.
2020-01-22: Advisory updated and published after 90 days of initial contact.
Printer drivers for Ricoh, Savin and Lanier printer brands are affected. The following drivers for Windows 10 are known to be affected:
SP 8300DN - PCL6 Driver for Universal Print, Ver.220.127.116.11, release date 10/08/2019: http://support.ricoh.com/bb/pub_e/dr_ut_e/0001315/0001315878/V42300/z87179L19.exe (SHA-256 064c1db754d43edbd8c9c23185b817d6 a29775c93c1049605f5d907a472d64ab)
SP 8300DN - PCL 6 Driver, Ver.18.104.22.168, release date 07/03/2016: http://support.ricoh.com/bb/pub_e/dr_ut_e/0001294/0001294259/V1500/z75198L13.exe (SHA-256 af2fa42905850f58879816956d322dc5 adfb1f89fbe7f6af830f465fbc0e3cc1)
P 501/502 - PCL 6 Driver, Ver.22.214.171.124, release date 03/02/2019: http://support.ricoh.com/bb/pub_e/dr_ut_e/0001311/0001311756/V1100/z84997L16.exe (SHA-256 564b27f16db12cafd15eec6057c75b3 0dbac25dbbebb4fd5598ad09dfaaad416)
MP C8003/C6503 series - PCL 6 Driver, Ver.126.96.36.199, release date 24/05/2017: http://support.ricoh.com/bb/pub_e/dr_ut_e/0001303/0001303915/V1200/z80159L15.exe (SHA-256 3ef2a1dc09e2dde71ed9db9f6c629ff 0140d172fbe71c9e376d391e3162090f0)
Especially the Universal Print driver supports a wide range of printer models. Furthermore, printers are also marketed under the brand names Savin and Lanier, which use the same drivers. Ricoh's advisory lists affected drivers and versions.
To reproduce the vulnerability, download an affected printer driver such as the PCL6 Driver for Universal Print, Version 188.8.131.52, self-extract the executable file and install the driver. Add a printer. In a standard Windows installation, adding a printer does not need an administrator account.
During the printer setup, the process of
creates a directory
c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV and installs several
files in this location, including several DLL files. Every user has
full control over the installed DLL files as show below, because these
files are writable:
C:\>icacls "c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\*.dll" c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\borderline.dll Everyone:(I)(F) c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\headerfooter.dll Everyone:(I)(F) c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\jobhook.dll Everyone:(I)(F) c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\overlaywatermark.dll Everyone:(I)(F) c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\popup.dll Everyone:(I)(F) c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV\RICOH PCL6 UniversalDriver V4.23\_common\dlz\watermark.dll Everyone:(I)(F) Successfully processed 6 files; Failed processing 0 files
F means full access and the flag
I means permissions are
inherited from the parent directory. The inherited writable flag
origins from a parent directory. In fact, the entire directory
c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV grants full control to everyone:
C:\>icacls "c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV" c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV Everyone:(OI)(CI)(F) Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files
OI means Object Inherit,
CI Container Inherit, and
F full access
The printer isolation feature has been introduced in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 to not have the printer drivers in the same process as the spooler. The isolation should add stability for other user's print jobs.
When a DLL file from the
c:\ProgramData\RICOH_DRV is overwritten in
the right moment by a local attacker, the
process loads the attacker-provided DLL file as shown in the
screenshot below. Afterward, the library code gets executed with
SYSTEM privileges, because the
privileges. This attack idea has been implemented in a proof of
concept exploit that is given in a later section of this advisory.
To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker needs access to a Windows host as a regular user and must be able to install an affected Ricoh printer driver as well as to add printers. Adding printers is usually possible without administrative access.
Patches and Workaround
Please refer to Ricoh's advisory for mitigations and security patches. Please refer to Updates below.
Windows Group policies are a potential workaround. When group policies are used, there is a group policy to control installing printer drivers (Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options -> Devices: Prevent Users From Installing Printer Drivers) and another group policy to control adding printers (User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> Printers -> Prevent addition of printers). When used, people cannot install drivers, respectively adding printers.
This vulnerability has been found by Alexander Pudwill, who also provided an initial proof of concept exploit in C#. Pentagrid AG independently validated the findings, fully automated the exploit process and handled the coordinated disclosure.
Proof of Concept Exploit
1. Launch Script
2. Payload DLL
Update 2020-01-22: The old and vulnerable drivers are still valid. They are not revoked. We made a video of the proof of concept exploit in action. As a clarification, adding printers does not need administrative access, while installing the driver needs local admin access, but not when the driver is reinstalled and not, when installing printer drivers is allowed via GPOs.
Update 2020-01-31: Pentagrid had a look at the "PCL6 Driver for Universal Print, Version 184.108.40.206, Released Date: 01/17/2020" driver (https://support.ricoh.com/bb/pub_e/dr_ut_e/0001316/0001316926/V42600/z88755L19.exe). While the file permissions of the DLLs and the
dlz directory are adjusted and do not grant any user write permissions, the permissions of the directories above this level have not changed and are still writeable.