sethc.exe Possible Backdoor

Critical Nessus Plugin ID 73026


A possible backdoor exists on the remote host.


The copy of 'sethc.exe' in the Windows 'System32' directory on the remote host appears to have been modified, perhaps for use as a backdoor. Either or both of the 'InternalName' or 'OriginalFilename' file attributes no longer match the original file.

This file is part of the Windows 'Sticky Keys' functionality and is launched with SYSTEM privileges from a login screen when a Shift key is pressed several times. After replacing the original file with, for example, cmd.exe, an attacker with access to the host can bypass authentication and gain a command shell and, in turn, complete control of the host.


Verify the contents of the 'sethc.exe' file and, if appropriate, whether the system has been compromised.

See Also

Plugin Details

Severity: Critical

ID: 73026

File Name: smb_sethc_backdoor.nasl

Version: $Revision: 1.2 $

Type: local

Agent: windows

Family: Windows

Published: 2014/03/14

Modified: 2015/01/12

Dependencies: 13855

Risk Information

Risk Factor: Critical


Base Score: 10

Vector: CVSS2#AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C

Vulnerability Information

CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

Required KB Items: SMB/Registry/Enumerated