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Microsoft Deprecates Remote Desktop Connection Manager

Microsoft announced this week that has deprecated Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) due to security concerns. 

Microsoft announced this week that has deprecated Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) due to security concerns. 

The application has been around for decades, providing users with the ability to manage multiple remote desktop connections, but Microsoft has long been investing in other solutions to provide users with remote desktop access. 

In a support article published last year, the tech giant encouraged users to switch to in-box remote desktop client (MSTSC) or universal Remote Desktop client instead, arguing that RDCMan “has not kept pace with the level of advanced technology” that the company has been aiming for. 

“These clients offer increased security, and they are a key part of our engineering roadmap moving forward. In the future, you can expect even more capabilities, such as the ability to better manage multiple connections,” Microsoft said in July 2019. 

This week, on March 2020 Patch Tuesday, Microsoft revealed that RDCMan is plagued by an information disclosure that would not be addressed, as the application has been deprecated. 

Tracked as CVE-2020-0765, the vulnerability exists when RDCMan improperly parses XML input that contains reference to an external entity. This could allow an attacker to read arbitrary files via an XML external entity (XXE) declaration.

“To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker could create an RDG file containing specially crafted XML content and convince an authenticated user to open the file,” Microsoft said in an advisory.

The security flaw, which was found to affect Remote Desktop Connection Manager 2.7, has a moderate severity rating, with no mitigating factors identified. No workaround for the issue has been identified either. 

However, the tech giant explains that it is not planning on releasing a patch for the vulnerability, and that it has deprecated the application. 

“Microsoft recommends using supported Remote Desktop clients and exercising caution when opening RDCMan configuration files (.rdg),” the company notes. 

Microsoft addressed a total of 115 vulnerabilities on the March 2020 Patch Tuesday, including 26 critical flaws in Windows, Word, Dynamics Business Central, and its web browsers. 

On Thursday, the company released out-of-band updates to address a remote code execution bug in Windows’ Server Message Block 3.0 (SMBv3). Considered critical severity, the issue is believed to be wormable. 

Related: Out-of-Band Windows Updates Patch Wormable SMB Vulnerability

Related: Microsoft Patches 115 Vulnerabilities in Windows, Other Products

Related: Attacks Targeting Recent Microsoft Exchange Flaw Ramping Up

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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