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Friday, September 19, 2008

Who Killed Server Rabbit? Part 4

The RPC service is critical for Windows function and I dare say nobody can do without it. If there is no way to enable it, the server is pretty much dead. Most things will not function and I suspect the GUI errors and the network, users and other symptons I had seen was probably due to the fact that the RPC service is down.

So, my aim will be to find a way to restore the RPC service. If I tried to restart it, it gives me an error 5 that access is denied. Well, that even happens to me as an administrator. At that point of time. I failed to see the point that although I am logged in as the administrator, it doesn't means that everything I run, I run it as an administrator. This was later found in the service control panel under the run as section.

Based on some of the suggestions, RPC service should be ran as Local System instead of Network Services. I tried changing that, well of course I can't change it in the service control panel since the properties is down. So, I had to do it the caveman way by editing the registry. This is one reason why normal users should never have write access to the registry. If they can change the registry, they can control anything they want.

I rebooted and hope for the best. The best was not good enough. The server was still pretty dead. Neither the Local System or Network Services ran RPC service properly. Now, how could someone had changed the permission such that even the defaults accounts could not run it?

By now, you may have some idea what actually went wrong. But I was pretty certain this was not a security incident then. It could had been a bad patch or some wrong configuration that cause the problem. But why only these 2 rabbit server? What similarity do they have? Ok, one of them were killed right on Sep 11, but that doesn't explain the other one. Neither did the patches, they do not even contain 1 single similar patch. OK, except the malware removal tool Sep, but if that was the case, millions of people out there would had scream out loud.

I was certain I was close... but not close enough...

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