Wednesday, 7 June 2017

How to fix unquoted service path vulnerabilities?

Or, Unquoted service path vulnerability
Or, Mitigate unquoted service path vulnerabilities

Descriptions: Unquoted service path vulnerabilities are rated as highly critical vulnerability in windows. Don’t worry it is really very easy to fix.

If you have the vulnerability scan report with you, the report contains following information about this reported vulnerability:

Vulnerability Name: Microsoft Windows Unquoted Service Path Enumeration

Vulnerability Synopsis: The remote Windows host has at least one service installed that uses an unquoted service path.

Vulnerability Description: The remote Windows host has at least one service installed that uses an unquoted service path, which contains at least one whitespace. A local attacker can gain elevated privileges by inserting an executable file in the path of the affected service.  Note that this is a generic test that will flag any application affected by the described vulnerability.

Vulnerability Solution: Ensure that any services that contain a space in the path enclose the path in quotes.

IMP Note: There are two stages to fix this vulnerabilities, 1. finding the unquoted path on the affected server and 2. Fixing the unquoted paths.

Steps-1: How to find the unquoted service paths
Login to affected server with administrative privileges > run CMD as Administrator > run the following command:

wmic service get name,displayname,pathname,startmode |findstr /i "auto" |findstr /i /v "c:\windows\\" |findstr /i /v """

Once the command is executed successfully, you will be able to see one or more unquoted service paths. Result may look like the below reference screenshot:

Copy all the result to a text or excel file and move to the step-2.

Steps-2: Fixing unquoted service path vulnerabilities 
Search for the unquoted registry entry of the affected service under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services registry path > Double Click the Image Path key > fix comma like “servicepath” at the beginning and end of the path

Unquoted service path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\armsvc.exe
Quoted service path: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\armsvc.exe"

The correct quoted service path image reference:

Cheers, Please write me back if you have any query or feedback..


  1. It works, Thank you!!

  2. Feedback: in my case it was an Intel Audio service which was located in C:\windows so your cmd didn't find it. I found this to be better (filters out svchost.exe services but will find other systemroot locations)

    wmic service get name,displayname,pathname,startmode |findstr /i "auto" |findstr /i /v "svchost.exe" |findstr /i /v """

    1. Hi, Thanks a lot for your feedback and contribution. This will surely help other readers.

      Happy Learning!

  3. Hi Techies Sphere, Thank you so much, this worked for me and able to remediate few services alerted with "Unquoted service path" vulnerabilities. All is well.

    Just to check, i'm also looking for solution for "Default SMB Credentials" most my windows machines alerted with. still can't find right steps to remediate it. Do you have any idea? appreciated really.

    1. Hi, Thanks for writing back.

      See if the below KB helps: