The Definitive Guide To Process Cloning on Windows

While not everybody knows it, Windows natively offers functionality similar to the famous Unix fork() API. The primary OS mechanism that makes it possible is the support for cloning the address space of a given process. Despite its existence, this feature feels odd for an operating system that went for a completely different design path with process creation. And, as we know from experience in the cybersecurity industry, unusual often means untested, which serves as a great starting point for discovering new attack vectors that rely on abusing edge cases. That’s why we often hear offers from security researchers to weaponize process cloning for offensive purposes, such as stealthy memory dumping [1][2] and code injection [3]. These ideas get exposure at the top hacking conferences, so there seems to be potential.

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