Code execution via the Windows Update client (wuauclt)

Original text by DTM

Code execution via the Windows Update client (wuauclt)

Its been a few months since my last post about uploading and downloading data with certreq.exe as a potential alternative to certutil.exe in LOLBIN land. I’ve been having a blast starting my new role in the MDSec ActiveBreach team.

Today I wanted to share something a little more juicy. Enter the ‘WSUS Useful Client’ as they describe here. The Windows Update client (wuauclt.exe) is a bit elusive with only small number of Microsoft articles about it [1] [2] and these articles do not seem to document all of the available command line options.

This binary lives here:


I discovered (When I get a chance I will be sharing further details of the methodology I used to find this on a blog post @MDSecLabs) you can gain code execution by specifying an arbitrary DLL with the following command line options on the test Windows 10 systems I tried:

wuauclt.exe /UpdateDeploymentProvider <Full_Path_To_DLL> /RunHandlerComServer

There’s some fantastic work already in the community for raising the awareness of LOLBINs and for sharing new candidates and their capabilities with the excellent LOLBAS project. I have made the following pull request to this project:

After discovering this LOLBIN independently some brief searching highlighted a sample on Joe Sandbox leveraging it in the wild:

Finally, come and hang out at the RedTeamSec Discord here. It’s been great to see this community grow over the past few months, with some great content being shared.

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