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Avoid MS14-045; Windows Kernel-mode Drivers Patch

Last week, I covered Microsoft Patch Day and recommend you install all the latest Windows, IE, Office, and server updates. This week, I need to warn you against one of those updates.

According to recent reports, the Windows kernel-mode driver update (MS14-045) is causing some computers to have blue screens of death (BSOD). If you haven’t installed this update yet, I recommend you avoid it until further notice. If you have installed it, and have suffered issues, Microsoft has shared instructions on how to remove it.

In the past, I’ve argued that Microsoft’s QA has gotten better, with fewer crash inducing updates. I guess they’re still not perfect. In general, this is a great example of why you should always test updates before pushing them into production. You can do this by maintaining a virtual version of your infrastructure and testing updates there.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Office Patches Mend SharePoint and OneNote

Severity: High

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Microsoft Office related products like OneNote and SharePoint Server
  • How an attacker exploits them: Varies. Typically by enticing users to open or interact with maliciously crafted Office documents
  • Impact: Many. In the worst case, an attacker can gain complete control of your Windows computer
  • What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins that fix a like number of vulnerabilities in OneNote and SharePoint. We summarize these security bulletins below, in order from highest to lowest severity.

  • MS14-048OneNote Code Execution Vulnerability

OneNote is a collaborative, multiuser note taking application that ships with Office. It suffers from an unspecified vulnerability having to do with how it handles specially crafted OneNote files. If an attacker can lure you into opening such a file, she could exploit this flaw to execute code on your computer, with you privileges. As usual, if you are a local administrator, the attacker gains complete control of your PC.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-050: SharePoint Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability

SharePoint Server is Microsoft’s web and document collaboration and management platform. It suffers from a privilege escalation vulnerability. SharePoint offers an extensibility model that allows you to create apps that can access and use SharePoint resources. However, SharePoint suffers some unspecified flaw that allows specially crafted apps to bypass permission management. In short, by running a specially crafted application, an attacker may be able to access all the SharePoint resources of the currently logged-in user.

Microsoft rating: Important

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released Office and SharePoint-related patches that correct these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network as soon as possible. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install these updates for you.

Keep in mind, however, that we highly recommend you test updates before running them in your production environment; especially updates for critical production servers.

The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find all of Microsoft’s update links:

For All WatchGuard Users:

We recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

SQL Server Update Fixes XSS and DoS Vulnerability

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Most current versions of SQL Server
  • How an attacker exploits it: Various, including enticing someone to click a specially crafted link
  • Impact: In the worst case, an attacker can steal your web cookie, hijack your web session, or essentially take any action you could on the SQL server
  • What to do: Deploy the appropriate SQL Server updates as soon as possible

Exposure:

SQL Server is Microsoft’s popular database server. According to Microsoft’s security bulletin, SQL Server suffers from both a Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability.

The XSS flaw poses the most risk. The SQL Master Data Services (MDS) component suffers from a Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability due to its inability to properly encode output. By enticing someone to click a specially crafted link, an attacker could leverage this flaw to inject client-side script into that user’s web browser. This could allow the attacker to steal web cookie, hijack the web session, or essentially take any action that user could on your SQL Server’s associated web site. In some cases, attackers can even leverage XSS attacks to hijack your web browser, and gain unauthorized access to your computer.

The DoS flaw poses less risk, but is worth patching too. Essentially, if an attacker can send specially crafted queries to you SQL server, he could lock it up. However, since most administrator block SQL queries from the Internet, the attacker would have to reside on the local network to launch this attack.

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released SQL Server updates  to correct this vulnerability. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate update as soon as possible. You can find the updates in the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of Microsoft’s SQL Server bulletin.

As an aside, the Cross-site Scripting (XSS) protection mechanisms built into many modern web browsers, like Internet Explorer (IE) 8 and above, can often prevent these sorts of attacks. We recommend you enable these mechanisms, if you haven’t already.

For All WatchGuard Users:

Since attackers might exploit some of these attacks locally, we recommend you download, test, and apply the SQL Server patches as quickly as possible.

Status:

Microsoft has released updates to fix this vulnerability.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

Windows Updates for Media Center, .NET, and LRPC

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Windows (and related components like .NET Framework)
  • How an attacker exploits them: Multiple vectors of attack, such as enticing you into opening maliciously crafted Office file.
  • Impact: In the worst case, an remote attacker can gain complete control of your Windows computer
  • What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

Today, Microsoft released five security bulletins describing seven vulnerabilities in Windows and related components, such as the .NET Framework. A remote attacker could exploit the worst of these flaws to potentially gain complete control of your Windows PC. We recommend you download, test, and deploy these critical updates as quickly as possible.

The summary below lists the vulnerabilities, in order from highest to lowest severity.

  • MS14-043:  Windows Media Center Code Execution Flaw

Windows Media Center is the media player and Digital Video Recording (DVR) application that ships with the popular operating system. MCplayer.dll, a component Media Center uses for audio and video playback, suffers from a “use after free” vulnerability. By tricking you into running a specially crafted Office file, a remote attacker could leverage this flaw to execute code on your computer, with your privileges. If you’re a local adminstrator, the attacker could gain complete control of your machine. Note, this flaw mostly affects the latest versions of Windows.

Microsoft rating: Critical

  • MS14-045:  Multiple Kernel-Mode Driver Elevation of Privilege Vulnerabilities

The kernel is the core component of any computer operating system. Windows also ships with a kernel-mode device driver (win32k.sys), which handles the OS’s device interactions at a kernel level. The Windows kernel-mode driver suffers from three local code execution flaws. The flaws differ technically, but most have to do with the kernel-mode driver improperly handling certain objects, which can result in memory corruptions. Smart attackers can leverage memory corruption flaws to execute code. In a nutshell, if a local attacker can run a specially crafted application, he could leverage most of these flaws to gain complete control of your Windows computers. However, in order to run his malicious program, the attacker first needs to gain local access to your Windows computer, or needs to trick you into running the program yourself, which somewhat lessens the severity of this vulnerability.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-046:  .NET Framework ASLR Bypass Flaw

The .NET Framework is software framework used by developers to create new Windows and web applications. Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is a memory obfuscation technique that some operating systems use to make it harder for attackers to find specific things in memory, which in turn makes it harder for them to exploit memory corruption flaws. In short, the .NET framework doesn’t use ASLR protection. This means attackers can leverage .NET to bypass Windows’ ASLR protection features. This flaw alone doesn’t allow an attacker to gain access to your Windows computer. Rather, it can help make other memory corruption vulnerabilities easier to exploit. This update fixes the ASLR bypass hole.

Microsoft rating: Important

Local Remote Procedure Call (LRPC) is a protocol Microsoft Windows uses to allow processes to communicate with each other and execute tasks, whether on the same computer or another computer over the network. It suffers from a ASLR bypass vulnerability that has the same scope and impact as the .NET one described above.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-049:  Windows Installer Service Elevation of Privilege Flaw

As its name suggests, the Windows Installer services is a component that helps you install and configure stuff in Windows. It suffers from a privilege escalation vulnerability involving the way it improperly handles the repair of a previous application. If a local attacker can log into one of your Windows systems and run a specially crafted application, he could exploit this flaw to gain complete control of the system (even if he started out with only Guest privileges). Of course, the attacker would need valid login credentials, which significantly lowers the severity of this issue.

Microsoft rating: Important

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released various updates that correct all of these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network immediately. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install them for you. As always, you should test your updates before deploying them.

The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find links to the various updates:

For All WatchGuard Users:

Though WatchGuard’s XTM appliances offer defenses that can mitigate the risk of some of these flaws (such as blocking Office files), attackers can exploit others locally. Since your gateway XTM appliance can’t protect you against local attacks, we recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

Latest IE Patch Corrects 26 Vulnerabilities

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Internet Explorer
  • How an attacker exploits it: By enticing one of your users to visit a web page containing malicious content
  • Impact: Various, in the worst case an attacker can execute code on your user’s computer, potentially gaining complete control of it
  • What to do: Deploy the appropriate Internet Explorer patches immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

In a security bulletin released as part of Patch Day, Microsoft released an update that fixes a 26 new vulnerabilities in all current versions of Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft rates the aggregate severity of these new flaws as Critical.

Most of the vulnerabilities described in this alert (24 of the 26) are memory corruption vulnerabilities, which share the same general scope and impact. If an attacker can lure you to a web page containing malicious web code, he can exploit these flaws to execute code on your computer, inheriting your privileges. If you have local administrative privileges, which most Windows users do, the attack could potentially gain full control of your computer

The patch also fixes a pair of privilege escalation vulnerabilities, but the memory corruption flaws alone should convince you to update IE as soon as you can.

Keep in mind, today’s attackers often hijack legitimate web pages and booby-trap them with malicious code. Typically, they do this via hosted web ads or through SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Even recognizable and authentic websites could pose a risk to your users if hijacked in this way, and the vulnerabilities described in today’s bulletin are perfect for use in drive-by download attacks.

Solution Path:

You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate IE updates immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you. You can find links to the various IE updates in the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of Microsoft’s April IE security bulletin.

For All WatchGuard Users:

Good News! WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus and Intrusion Prevention services can often prevent these sorts of attacks, or the malware they try to distribute. For instance, our IPS signature team has developed signatures that can detect and block some of the memory corruption vulnerabilities described in Microsoft’s alert:

  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4063)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4057)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4050)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2824)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2823)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2820)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2799)

Your XTM appliance should get this new IPS signature update shortly.

Furthermore, our Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) and WebBlocker services can often prevent your users from accidentally visiting malicious (or legitimate but booby-trapped) web sites that contain these sorts of attacks. Nonetheless, we still recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from all of these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches to fix these vulnerabilities.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

Nine Microsoft Security Bulletins Coming Tomorrow; Two Critical

Is it just me, or are the months flying by this year? It’s already time for yet another Microsoft Patch Day. According to their advanced notification post for August, Microsoft will release nine security bulletins tomorrow, two with a Critical severity rating. The bulletins will include updates to fix flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, the .NET Framework, SQL server, and other Microsoft Server Software. You can find a little more color about the upcoming patches at Microsoft’s Security Response Center blog.

In short, if you are a Microsoft administrator, you should prepare yourself for a busy day of patching. I’ll post more details about these updates tomorrow, as they come out. However, I am traveling this week to attend a show, so my posts may not go live as quickly as normal. Be sure to keep you eye on their summary post tomorrow, if you’d like to get the details early. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

It’s Time to Change Passwords Again; 1.2B Stolen

If you follow me on Twitter (@SecAdept), you probably noticed me mention last week’s huge credential leak. If not, take note as it’s probably time to change your passwords again.

Last week, The New York times released a story about Russian hackers sitting on a dump of over 1.2 billion stolen credentials (usernames and passwords)… Yes, that’s billion with a b.

The New York Times based their story on information from Hold Security, a research firm that helped track the Adobe and Target breaches. According to a blog post, Hold Security’s researchers identified a Russian cyber gang (who they call CyberVor) sitting on a dump of 4.5 billion credentials; 1.2B actually being unique. They say the group also has over 500 million unique email addresses. This huge repository of data wasn’t the result of a single attack, rather a long term botnet campaign that allegedly leveraged SQL injection (SQLi) attacks to steal this information from over 420,000 vulnerable web sites.

Other than that, not much is publicly known about this campaign of credential thefts. In fact, some find this news somewhat suspicious, since Hold Security hasn’t shared all the relevant details yet. For instance, they haven’t said whether or not the stolen credentials are hashed, which would at least impose a small roadblock on those trying to leverage them. They also haven’t shared any physical data about this leak, at least publicly. Furthermore, they seem to be charging for a subscription service to tell you whether or not you are affected. That said, Hold Security is a well-known and respected group that even has the backing of Brian Krebs. Lying about a breach of this magnitude would be business suicide.

So the obvious question is, what should you do? It’s pretty simple actuallyif not a bit irritating. Change all your passwords! I know it’s a pain in the butt, but if this is true, bad guys probably have access to at least one of your passwords. You should use this as an excuse to change your password on every important site. I highly recommend using a different password on every site, and using a password vault to help you create and remember all these strong passwords.

One last aside. A few folks have asked me if they should get new credit cards. So far, there have been no reports that these Russian hackers are sitting on any credit card details. So currently, there is no need for any panic there. If news of credit card leaks comes out, your credit card company will likely inform you if you’re affected. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Good News! You Might Get Your Cryptolocker Encrypted Files Back

You probably remember Cryptolocker; a very nasty piece of ransomware that successfully encrypted files on many computers, and made its authors millions in ransom.  If not, you can learn more about it here. Though it wasn’t horribly advanced, it did use industry standard public/private key encryption, making it almost impossible for good guys to actually crack the encryption and get your files back.

However, there’s some great news on that front!

This week, FireEye and Fox-IT published a site called decryptcryptolocker.com. If you share your email address, and one of your Cryptolocker infected files with this site, they will email you the private key and a tool that can decrypt all your Cryptolocker files. If you were one of the folks that didn’t have a good backup, you finally have an option to recover files other than just paying the criminals (never a good idea).

So how did FireEye and Fox-IT accomplish this? Essentially, by gaining control of, and taking down Cryptolocker’s command and control (C&C) infrastructure (where the criminals stored all their private keys). If you’d like to know more about it, I suggest checking out FireEye’s blog post.

This is awesome work, and hopefully a big relief to anyone that still has Cryptolocker infections. That said, there are many Cryptolocker copycats and variants. This takedown has gained access to a specific group’s C&C servers and keys, but not all ransomware variants. There is a chance this tool won’t decrypt the files for every Cryptolocker variant, and it surely won’t help with the copycats.

In any case, it’s great to see a score for the good guys.

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Adobe Patches Rosetta Flash Vulnerability

Summary:

  • This vulnerability affects: Adobe Flash Player  14.0.0.125 and earlier, running on all platforms (and Air)
  • How an attacker exploits it: By enticing you to run specially crafted Flash content (often delivered as a .SWF file)
  • Impact: Varies, but in one case an attacker can leverage this flaw to gain access to sensitive content from other web domains you visit.
  • What to do: Download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (version 14.0.0.145 for computers)

Exposure:

Adobe Flash Player displays interactive, animated web content called Flash. Although Flash is optional, 99% of PC users download and install it to view multimedia web content. It runs on many operating systems, including mobile operating systems like Android.

In a security bulletin released this week, Adobe announced a patch that fixes three vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player 14.0.0.125 and earlier, running on all platforms.

Adobe characterizes two of the vulnerabilities as “security bypass” flaws, and states that attackers could exploit at least one of them to take control of the affected system. However, it’s the third vulnerability that is most interesting and is getting media attention.

A security researcher, Michele Spagnuolo, posted a blog article describing a complex, multi-layered vulnerability called the Rosetta Flash flaw, which involves both the Flash vulnerability, but also depends on JSONP-based web applications. If you’re interested in the intricate technical details of the attack, I recommend you check out the Spagnuolo’s blog post, or presentation. The scope of the vulnerability is a little easier to understand. If an attacker can trick your users into running specially crafted Flash content, he can potentially take advantage of this flaw to steal your user’s information from certain third party domains that use JSONP-based applications. When first discovered, this included domains like Ebay, Tumblr, and some Google applications However, these big companies have since modified their web applications to prevent this flaw.

In any case, Adobe rates these issues as a “Priority 1” issues for Windows and Mac, and recommends you apply the updates as soon as possible (within 72 hours).   However, the vulnerability technically affects other platforms as well, so I recommend you update any Flash capable device as soon as you can.

Solution Path

Adobe has released new versions of Flash Player (14.0.0.145 for computers) to fix these issues. If you allow Adobe Flash in your network, you should download and install the new versions immediately. If you’ve enabled Flash Player’s recent “silent update” option, you will receive this update automatically.

  • Download Flash Player for your computer:
NOTE: Chrome and newer versions of IE ship with their own versions of Flash, built-in. If you use them as you web browser, you will also have to update them separately, though both often receive their updates automatically.

For All WatchGuard Users:

If you choose, you can configure the HTTP proxy on your XTM appliance to block Flash (and Shockwave) content. Keep in mind, doing so blocks all Flash content, whether legitimate or malicious.

Finally, our Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) and WebBlocker services can often prevent your users from accidentally visiting malicious (or legitimate but booby-trapped) web sites that contain these sorts of attacks. Nonetheless, we still recommend you install Adobe’s Flash update to completely protect yourself from all of these flaws.

Status:

Adobe has released updates to fix these Flash vulnerabilities.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

WatchGuard Releases Appliance Updates to Fix OpenSSL Flaws

WatchGuard has released several important updates to software for all product lines over the past couple of weeks to address reported vulnerabilities. Last month the OpenSSL team released an update for their popular SSL/TLS package, which fixes six security vulnerabilities in their product, including a relatively serious Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) flaw. More details about these vulnerabilities and their impact are available at the WatchGuard Security Center. If you are not already signed up, we recommend that you subscribe to the blog to get regular updates about security vulnerabilities, WatchGuard products, and general security news.

Here are the releases that have been posted to patch the vulnerable version of OpenSSL.  As always, maintenance releases also include many significant bug fixes. Full details are listed in the Release Notes for each release.

  • 11.3.8 for e-Series devices
  • 11.6.8 for XTM 21,22,and 23 devices
  • 11.7.5 for XTM devices
  • 11.8.4 for XTM and Firebox T10 devices, which is also localized into all of the WatchGuard supported languages.
  • 11.9.1 for XTM and Firebox T10 devices
  • Hotfixes for version 9.2 and 10.0 for XCS appliances
  • SSL 3.2 Update 2 for SSL 100 and 560 appliances.

Other highlights in the new Fireware 11.9.1 release include:

  • Support for default gateway on different subnet
  • Several improved warning and informational messages throughout the product

More information including screenshots are available in the What’s New presentation.

Do These Releases Pertain to Me?

The OpenSSL patch is available for all e-Series, XTM appliances, and Firebox T10. Please choose the version that is relevant for your environment and devices. Upgrade to 11.9.1 to get the latest enhancements to the product.

How Do I Get the Release?

e-Series, XTM, and Firebox appliances owners who have a current LiveSecurity Service subscription can obtain updates without additional charge by downloading the applicable packages from the Articles & Software section of WatchGuard’s Support Center. To make it easier to find the relevant software, be sure to uncheck the “Article” and “Known Issue” search options, and press the Go button. Select the appropriate downloads for your devices. Please read the Release Notes before you upgrade, to understand what’s involved.

If you need support, please enter a support incident online or call our support staff directly. (When you contact Technical Support, please have your registered Product Serial Number, LiveSecurity Key, or Partner ID available.)

  • U.S. End Users: 877.232.3531
  • International End Users: +1.206.613.0456
  • Authorized WatchGuard Resellers: +1.206.521.8375

Don’t have an active LiveSecurity subscription for your XTM appliance? It’s easy to renew. Contact your WatchGuard reseller today. Find a reseller ?

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