This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows Client/Server Run-time Subsystem (CSRSS) in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of these operating systems. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.
The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to a user's system and starts a specially crafted application that continues running after the attacker logs off in order to obtain the logon credentials of subsequent users. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the manner in which user processes are terminated upon logoff. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.
Recommendation. The majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871.