MS04-011 and HFNETCHK

Posted on 2004-04-15
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hello.  We've patched our machines for the newest round of holes using Shavlik and SUS.  If we scan using Shavlik, everything looks good.  However we also do an automated daily scan using the command line HFNETCHK.  Today's report shows our Windows 2000 machines as not patched (we have 10 still in use, all 10 are unpatched according to HFNETCHK).  Now it might be an error with the command line version, or it might be something else.  I know I am paranoid since Blaster when we had 3 machines scan as patched even with the Blaster scanner, but the command line showed them unpatched and all three had blaster issues (they didn't catch blaster but they blue screened when attacked by it).

So has anyone else had this issue with MS04-11?  I know I just uninstalled it from a W2K server and reinstalled (with appropriate reboots) and it still shows as unpatched.  The system logs say that the patch was successfully installed.  Shavlik and Windows Update believe it to be successfully patched.  It's just a question if the command line is dumber or smarter than the rest.

Btw, one is a multi-processor server, a couple are single servers and a couple are low-end old workstations.  It's just strange to me the PRO version is returning a safe result while the command line is saying unpatched.
Question by:JG_Howard
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 10836992
Hi JG_Howard,

What happens when you download the patch directly instead of using SUS?



Author Comment

ID: 10837428
I tried downloading and installing the patch directly (after doing an uninstall and a reboot), it was the W2K SP4 patch.  The patch "successfully" installed according to the system log, but hfnetchk still returns that the patch was missing (after another reboot).  In fact it was after doing this exact procedure it dawned on me all the machines returning a patch missing were W2K.  The XML file used by the command line is and was last modified 4/14/2004.  This is the same version hfnetchkpro4 claims to be using.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 10837445
>>The XML file used by the command line is and was last modified 4/14/2004<<
That's the same as I'm having without problems, so I guess HFNETCHK is a bit buggy...
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Rich Rumble earned 125 total points
ID: 10838323
Hfnetchk is also outdated, they are now supporting the M$ Baseline Security Analyzer.
From the FAQ   (
Q.      Does MBSA replace HFNetChk?
A.      MBSA V1.2 exposes HFNetChk switches through the MBSA command line interface (mbsacli.exe). The MBSA command line interface can be used to perform both MBSA scans (system configuration and security update checks) via mbsacli.exe as well as HFNetChk scans (security update checks only) via mbsacli.exe /hf.
Q.      How do I use MBSA V1.2 to perform an HFNetChk-style scan?
A.      Users familiar with the standalone HFNetChk tool can use MBSA V1.2 to perform the same type of scan. The MBSA V1.2 command line interface has a flag (/hf) to indicate an HFNetChk-style scan. Users can call "mbsacli.exe /hf" followed by a valid HFNetChk switch after the /hf flag. For those users who have scripts that call "hfnetchk.exe", they can simply replace this with "mbsacli.exe /hf" followed by a valid HFNetChk flag(s).
Q.      What are the advantages of MBSA over HFNetChk?
A.      MBSA is a superset of the HFNetChk technology. Whereas HFNetChk only deals with security updates and service packs, MBSA provides an easy-to-use interface and additional capabilities. These capabilities include examining Windows desktops and servers for common security best practices such as strong passwords, scanning servers running IIS and SQL Server for common security misconfigurations, and checking for misconfigured security zone settings in Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Since the release of MBSA V1.1, users can now use one tool versus two separate tools to scan for missing security updates as well as misconfigured system settings.
While not offically a replacement, Shavlik wrote hfnetchk for M$.
MBSA is nice an GUI too.

Expert Comment

ID: 10839219
I found a post on a newsgroup with this same problem:
(hope that URL comes out OK when I post this)

Anyway, a few people posted on the thread that after installing this hotfix, that WIndows Update did not show it being installed. Very similar to you using hfnetchk. I like richrumble's suggestion on if the latest MBSA detects this installed correctly or not.

And while we are at it, this specific hotfix also has a CPU usage problem. There are a LOT of posts stating how after putting this hotfix on, the CPU usage hits 100% and stays there for the SYSTEM process, making the systems unusable. Uninstalling this hotfix is so far the only fix for that. Here are a couple of newsgroup posts that talk about this problem:

Remember this ONE patch fixes 14 different problems. From the newsgroups, looks like this approach wasn't the best way to handle this!

Expert Comment

by:nader alkahtani
ID: 10846379
I agree with richrumble
I had used MBSA and found it a great tool because it can scan a Range of IP and has a nice GUI

Expert Comment

ID: 10846801
Just for reference, the CPU spike this patch seems to do has hit Bigtraq:

Expert Comment

ID: 10943399
Use the latest build of HFNETCHK from USe the option -v to see why a patch may not have installed. Often it is only due to the checksum being incorrect, which throws up an error. THis issue can be caused by patch compilation on SMP machines and installation on single processor machines, and vive versa. The machine is patched

Expert Comment

ID: 10961945
Here is a new Technet article on problems with this patch:

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