In this long read, we’ll explore the recently discovered vulnerability CVE-2022-30148, which affects Windows Desired State Configuration (DSC). We'll provide a step-by-step guide for exploiting the vulnerability, complete with code snippets, relevant resources, and recommendations for mitigating the risk. By the end of this post, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of CVE-2022-30148, how to exploit it, and measures required to protect against it.

I. Introduction to Windows Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Windows Desired State Configuration is a powerful management framework in PowerShell that enables the deployment and management of configuration data for software operating on Windows. This framework essentially allows administrators to define the desired state of a system and enforce it automatically.

However, a vulnerability has been identified, which, if exploited successfully, could lead to sensitive information disclosure.

II. Vulnerability Details: CVE-2022-30148

CVE-2022-30148 is an information disclosure vulnerability that affects Windows Desired State Configuration. By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker can potentially access sensitive configuration data, system credentials, or other information stored in the DSC configurations.

The underlying problem lies in the way DSC handles the local configuration files. These files may contain plaintext secrets, such as passwords and keys, which are retrievable by any user with read access to the directory containing the files. This exposes the sensitive data to unauthorized access and potential misuse.

By default, the local configuration files are stored in the following directory


Other directories may also contain configuration files if custom paths are used. You can leverage PowerShell to locate and access the files:

Get-ChildItem -Path 'C:\Windows\System32\Configuration\ConfigurationStatus' -Recurse -File -Filter *.mof

Inspect the local configuration files for sensitive data

Once you've located the configuration files, open them in a text editor and search for sensitive information, such as plaintext passwords and keys. For example:

instance of <classname>
    Name = "SQLServer";
    Credential = "plaintext_password";

Collect and process the extracted information for further use

After obtaining the sensitive information from the configuration files, you can save it and use it for further attacks. For instance, you could use the exposed credentials to perform unauthenticated actions on the target system, potentially escalating your privileges or sabotaging the system's stability.

IV. Mitigation Recommendations

To prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, administrators should implement the following security measures:

1. Use DSC encryption technologies like KeyManagementService (KMS) or a configuration data certificate to encrypt sensitive data before including it in the DSC configuration files. This way, attackers won't be able to use the plaintext data even if they manage to access it. More information on using these features can be found in the following Microsoft documentation links:

- Protecting Secrets using KeyManagementService
- Encrypt Configuration Data

2. Regularly audit your system for exposed configuration files and promptly remove any plaintext sensitive information detected.

3. Implement access control measures to restrict access to the directories containing DSC configuration files, thus minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.

V. Conclusion

CVE-2022-30148 is a critical information disclosure vulnerability that impacts Windows Desired State Configuration. By understanding the vulnerability and knowing how to exploit it, security professionals can better assess the risk and implement appropriate mitigations on their systems. The exploitation guide, code snippets, and mitigation recommendations provided in this post should serve as a valuable resource for those tasked with securing Windows environments against this vulnerability.


Published on: 06/15/2022 22:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 06/27/2022 16:52:00 UTC