Microsoft Corrects Lync Server and .NET Framework DoS Flaws

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Lync Server and .NET Framework
  • How an attacker exploits them: Various, including by sending maliciously crafted packets or launching specially crafted calls
  • Impact: An attacker could slow down or disrupt connections to the server, or stop it from responding at all.
  • 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 pair of Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerabilities in two of their products; Lync Server and the .NET Framework. If you used either of these products, you should update them as soon as you can. We summarize the two DoS bulletins below:

  • MS13-053: .NET Framework DoS Vulnerability

The .NET Framework is a software framework used by developers to create custom Windows and web applications. Though it only ships by default with Windows Vista, you’ll find it on many Windows computers. It suffers from a DoS vulnerability involving the way it handles communications that are hashed. In short, if a remote attacker sends a small amount of specially crafted packets to a server that uses .NET Framework ASP applications, he can cause the server to slow down, and eventually stop responding. If you have any public servers or web applications that use .NET, you should download and install the update as soon as possible.

Microsoft rating: Important

 Lync is a unified communications tool that combines voice, IM, audio, video, and web-based communication into one interface. It’s essentially the replacement for Microsoft Communicator. It suffers from three vulnerabilities, including a DoS flaw involving the way it handles specially crafted calls. By sending a malicious call to your Lync server, a remote attacker can exploit the DoS flaw to cause the Lync Server to stop responding. If you rely on Lync for communications, you should patch your servers as soon as you can.

Microsoft rating: Important

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released patches that correct both 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.

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:

Though you can use your XTM appliance to block the ports necessary for Lync, or use application control to restrict it, this would prevent you from using it externally at all. Right now, Microsoft’s patch are your best solution to these issues.

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.

Mega IE Update Corrects 37 Vulnerabilities; Including Zero Day

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 posted an update that fixes a 37 new vulnerabilities in all current versions of Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft rates the aggregate severity of these new flaws as Critical.

All but one of the vulnerabilities described in this alert 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.

These types of memory corruption vulnerabilities are ideal for attackers launching drive-by download attacks—a class of attack where malicious code hidden on a web page can silently install malware on your computer. 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. In fact, one of today’s fixes closes a zero day vulnerability that attackers have exploited in the wild. I highly recommend you install this update immediately

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-2014-4095)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4094)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability -1 (CVE-2014-4092)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability -2 (CVE-2014-4092)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4089)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4082)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4081)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4086)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4087)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4088)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4084)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4065)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4080)
  • 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).

Microsoft Black Tuesday: Windows, IE, Lync, and .NET Patches

As you may know, today was Microsoft Patch Day. If you manage a Windows-based network, it’s time to get the latest updates.

According to Microsoft’s summary post, the Redmond-based software company released four security bulletins fixing 41 vulnerabilities in many of their popular products. The affected software includes, Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Lync Server, and the .NET Framework. Microsoft rates the IE update as Critical, and the rest as Important.

As you might guess from the severity ratings, the IE update is the most important. It fixes over 37 security flaws in the popular browser, many of which attackers could use in drive-by download attacks (where just visiting a web site results in malware on your computer). Furthermore, one of the fixes closes a zero day vulnerability that attackers have exploited in the wild. If you use IE, I recommend you apply its update as quickly as your can. You should also install the other updates as well, however, their mitigating factors lessen their risk, so you can install them at your convenience.

In summary, if you use any of the affected products, download, test, and deploy these updates as quickly as you can or let Windows’ Automatic Update do it for you. For the server related updates, I highly recommend you test them before installing them on production servers, as Microsoft has released a few problem causing updates recently. You can find more information about these bulletins and updates in Microsoft’s September Summary advisory.

Also note today is Adobe’s Patch Day as well, and they released one security update fixing 12 vulnerabilities in Flash Player. If you use Flash, you should update it quickly. Adobe also pre-announced a Reader update earlier this month. However, it appears they have had to delay the update for some reason.

I’ll share more details about today’s patches on the blog throughout the day. However, I am traveling internationally, so the updates may not arrive as regularly as usual. If you are in a hurry to patch, I recommend you visit the links above, and start now.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

Celeb Selfie Hack – WSWiR Episode 120

Software Patches, Home Depot Breach, and Celebrity Selfie Hack

If you need a quick source for all your information security (infosec) news, you’ve come to the right place. I summarize the most important infosec news in this weekly video, and provide links to other security stories as well.

Unfortunately, today’s episode includes a pretty creepy hack. The show covers next week’s upcoming software patches, another credit card leak that seems to come from Home Depot, and a gross story about hackers stealing hundreds of celebrities’ most private pictures. Find the details in the video below and see what you can learn from these unfortunate cyber attacks.

As always, check the Reference section if you are interested in other stories that I didn’t cover in the video. Also, I will be traveling the next few weeks, which means I may not be able to post this video as regularly as usual. Expect the video to turn up at irregular times, otherwise I may post a written version of the weekly summary instead. Have a great weekend, and stay safe online!

(Episode Runtime: 13:17)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRjltM-tc0&

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

JP Morgan Hacked – WSWiR Episode 119

Gaming DDoS, Malvertising, and U.S. Banks Breached

You really need to keep up with the latest attacks to learn how to adjust your defenses to survive. However, with so much infosec news and so little time, it’s hard for many administrators to stay current. This weekly videos tries to keep you in the loop by summarizing the top news items each week.

Today’s show covers a big DDoS campaign against gaming sites that included a diverted plane, a malicious advertising attack that infected popular web sites, and an allegedly Russian attack against U.S. banks. See the video for the details, and check the references for other stories.

If you live in the U.S., enjoy your Labor Day weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 11:26)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4dz4wjY5hQ

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Breach Trio – WSWiR Episode 118

Healthcare, UPS, and US Nuclear Organization Breached

Need to learn the latest security news so you can figure out how to protect your network from evolving threats? Well, this weekly video series will help. Every Friday I summarize the biggest security stories and share some advice in a video, as well as compile a list of other important stories below. Subscribe to this blog and the YouTube channel to follow along.

This week’s episode is all about breaches. Three organizations disclosed major network and data breaches this week; a healthcare record management company, UPS, and the US Nuclear Regulator Commission. Today’s video covers those breaches, and more importantly explores what we can learn about them. Watch below.

As an aside, sorry the episode is going up a bit late. Note to the video producers out there… Always check that your microphone is on so you don’t have to shoot the whole thing twice. Oops! Have a great weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 10:16 plus a optional extra)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDHCnCNBq7w

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

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)

Blackhat and More – WSWiR Episode 116

Blackhat Summary,Lots of Patches, and MonsterMind

Times have changed. Cyber attacks have increased 10-fold, causing a ton of information security (infosec) news each week. Can’t keep up with it all? Let me help out. In this weekly video summary, I highlight the biggest information and security news every week.

Last week, I had meant to post a Black Hat video summary, but simply couldn’t find the time during my two week travel schedule. I try to make up for it in this week’s episode. In today’s video, I share a bit about Black Hat, cover the latest security patches, comment on the alleged huge password theft, and highlight Snowden’s latest interview and disclosures. Watch the video for the details.

Also, don’t forget to check out the big reference section below for two weeks of security news links, and some videos from Black Hat. Have a great weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 9:09)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1fUT15AP8

Episode References:

Extras:

— 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.

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