Tag Archives: Black Tuesday

Microsoft Black Tuesday: Fix for IE8 Zero Day and More

Calling all Microsoft administrators. It’s time to spin up your virtual test machines and download, test, and deploy May’s batch of Microsoft security updates. This month’s theme is IE updates; with a focus on a recent IE zero day vulnerability, as well as a continuation of the “use after free” vulnerability theme I commented on last month.

According to their summary post, Microsoft released ten security bulletins today, fixing around 33 security vulnerabilities in many of their popular products. The affected software includes Internet Explorer (IE), Windows and related components, products from the Office suite (Word, Visio, and Publisher), Lync, and Windows Essentials. Microsoft rates the IE updates as Critical, and the rest as Important.

As I mentioned earlier, today’s theme definitely centers around IE. Last week’s security video covered how attackers have recently been exploiting a zero day IE8 vulnerability in the wild—most notably against the Department of Labor web site. One of today’s updates completely fixes this serious flaw. The other IE update continues to fix more “use after free” vulnerabilities, a class of memory corruption flaws that researchers and attackers have focused on lately. I highly recommend you install today’s IE updates immediately, then follow with the Windows and Office updates.

As an aside, Microsoft also released or updated four security advisories today. One of the updates has to do with one of today’s bulletins, but the other three are new. Once you’re finished handling today’s patches, you should check out Microsoft’s security advisory page as well.

We’ll share more details about today’s bulletins in upcoming alerts. Until then, feel free to check out Microsoft’s May bulletin summary.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Remote Desktop and IE Updates Top April’s Patch Day List

Unless you’re new to IT, you’re probably aware that todaythe second Tuesday of the monthis Microsoft Patch Day.

As expected, Microsoft released nine security bulletins today, fixing 13 vulnerabilities across products like Internet Explorer (IE), Windows and its components, Sharepoint Server, and a few other Office server products. The worst two, Critical-rated updates fix security problems in IE and the Remote Desktop Client (RDC) that ships with Windows (specifically, its ActiveX control). The vulnerabilities in both these products could help remote attackers launch drive-by download attacks. If an attacker can get your IE or RDC users to visit a specially crafted web site (or a legitimate, hijacked web site), they could leverage these flaws to execute arbitrary code with those users’ privileges. You should download, test, and apply these Critical updates as soon as you can, or let Windows’ automatic updater do it for you.

As an aside, some experts had expected today’s IE update to fix some publicly disclosed vulnerabilities from the recent Pwn2Own contest at a Canadian security conference. In their IE alert, Microsoft credits two Google security researchers for discovering the flaws they fixed today. However, the Pwn2Own IE 10 flaws were disclosed by different researchers from VUPEN. So it appears the Pwn2Own IE flaws are still open issues.

Microsoft also released seven other updates, which they rate as Important. While not as serious as the ones mentioned above, they all fix some relatively risky issues too. In general, I recommend you always install all of Microsoft’s monthly patches as quickly as you can. That said, be sure to at least try and test the server updates before deploying them to your production network.

I’ll post more detailed alerts about these security bulletins as the day progresses. Stay tuned. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Kicks Off Spring with Nine Security Bulletins

The advanced notification results are in, and it’s looking good for Patch Day.

Next Tuesday, Microsoft will release nine security bulletins, two of which the Redmond-based software company rates as Critical. The bulletins will fix flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office, and some of Microsoft’s server and security software. As usual, they haven’t shared many details yet, but some experts expect the critical IE update to fix the zero day vulnerabilities disclosed at CanSecWest’s recent Pwn2Own contest. Either way, I expect the IE flaws to pose the greatest risk to most users, so you should plan on applying that patch as quickly as possible.

While nine bulletins may sound like a lot, it’s pretty average for Patch Day lately. Nonetheless, you should prepare your IT staff for a busy day of testing and patching next Tuesday. We’ll know more about these bulletins next week, and will publish alerts about them here. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.01.09 PM

Microsoft Black Tuesday: Security Flaws in a Menagerie of Products

Though today’s Patch Day might seem pretty average as far as the number of security bulletins released, it does cover a rather eclectic range of Microsoft products. In fact, a few of the updates affect Mac users as well, and one is even exclusive to Mac.

During today’s Patch Day, Microsoft released seven security bulletins fixing  20 vulnerabilities in the following products:

  •  Windows (all versions)
  • Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Office Suite updates
    • Visio Viewer 2010
    • SharePoint Server 2010
    • OneNote 2010
    • Office Outlook for Mac
  • Silverlight 5 (For PC and Mac)

They rate four of the bulletins as Critical, and three as Important. Many of the Critical issues can allow remote attackers to execute code on affected systems. So we highly recommend you patch them quickly.

We’ll share more details about today’s bulletins in upcoming alerts. Until then, feel free to check out Microsoft’s March bulletin summary.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Leprechaun Leaves a Pot Full of Patches

We’re coming upon that time of the month again for Microsoft administrators; patch time.

According to the latest Advanced Notification page, our Microsoft friends plan on releasing seven security bulletins next Tuesday. The bulletins will including updates to fix security vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer (IE), Silverlight, and some of their Server Software. They rate more than half (4/7) of the bulletins as Critical, which typically means remote attackers can likely exploit them to gain control of vulnerable computers.

MS Notification 3/13At this point you’re probably quite familiar with the monthly update routine, and know you should prepare your IT team for Patch Day so that they can apply Microsoft’s fixes as soon as possible; especially the Critical ones.

As always, I highly recommend you take some extra time to test the updates before applying them. Lately, there have been a few more reported incidents of Microsoft patches causing issues. You should at least take the time to test the server related updates before deploying them to production machines.

I’ll know more about these bulletins next Tuesday, and will publish alerts about them then.

In an unrelated aside, some business travel has delay production of my weekly security news video. For those waiting, it will come out today, but it may be later in the afternoon. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP

MS Black Tuesday: 12 Bulletins, 57 Flaws, and Lots of Work

Though not the biggest on record, today’s Patch Day is no slouch.

As expected, Microsoft released a dozen security bulletins, fixing 57 vulnerabilities that affect a range of their software, including:

  • Windows (and its components)
  • .NET Framework
  • Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Exchange Server
  • Fast Search Server 2010

According to the summary alert, Microsoft rates five of the bulletins as Critical, which typically means remote attackers can exploit them to gain control of affected computers (usually with little to no user interaction). In general, I recommend you apply these Critical updates first.

In particular, I’d start with the two IE updates since attackers often target users with drive-by download attacks. Also, jump on the Exchange server update immediately, as it fixes an issue attackers could easily exploit with a specially crafted email and attachment—not to mention, your email server is a pretty critical asset.

Though not as serious as other issues, one of Microsoft’s alerts describes a Windows TCP/IP Denial of Service vulnerability, which it sounds like attackers could exploit with a single malicious packet. I haven’t seen this sort of “Ping of Death”-like DoS vulnerability in a while.

As always, I recommend you test the updates before deploying them to a production environment. If you don’t have time or resources to test all of them, at least try to test the server-related updates.

As an aside, WatchGuard’s IPS signature team gets early warning about Patch Day, and will release a new signature update that detects some of the described issues shortly. The have developed signatures for the following Patch Day-related issues:

  • CVE-2013-0015
  • CVE-2013-0018
  • CVE-2013-0019
  • CVE-2013-0020
  • CVE-2013-0021
  • CVE-2013-0022
  • CVE-2013-0023
  • CVE-2013-0024
  • CVE-2013-0025
  • CVE-2013-0026
  • CVE-2013-0027
  • CVE-2013-0028
  • CVE-2013-0029
  • CVE-2013-0030
  • CVE-2013-0077
  • CVE-2013-1313

We’ll post consolidated alerts throughout the day, sharing more details about these bulletins and updates. Stay tuned.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Patch  Day: Feb. 2013

Microsoft Piles on Patches Next Tuesday

February looks to be a busy month for Microsoft administrators. According to the latest advanced patch notification, the Redmond-based software company plans to release a dozen security bulletins next Tuesday. The bulletins will fix security flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office, the .NET Framework, and Exchange server. Microsoft rates five of the  bulletins as Critical, and the rest as Important.

In the middle of last month, Microsoft released an out-of-cycle IE update to fix a flaw attackers were leveraging in the wild. It appears that update didn’t fix everything in IE since at least two of the upcoming bulletins affect the popular web browser.

As always, we’ll share more about these updates, and the vulnerabilities they correct, next week. You can also expect our IPS signature team to have signatures prepared for any known exploits that Microsoft shares with us. In the meantime, prepare your IT team for a pretty full plate of patches. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Patch Day: Feb. 2013

Minor Microsoft System Center Operations Manager XSS Vulnerabilities

Besides all the Windows and Windows component-related bulletins from today, Microsoft also released a relatively minor bulletin about two cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities that affect Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007.

For those unaware of this specialized product, SCOM is a centralized, cross-platform management system for 0perating systems and hypervisors, targeted to data centers. It basically helps network operators monitor the health of all their systems, and offers these management capabilities via a web interface.

According to today’s security bulletin, SCOM’s web console suffers from two XSS vulnerabilities. If an attacker knows you use Microsoft SCOM, and can entice you to click on a specially crafted URL, she could exploit this flaw to execute script in your browsers with your privileges. Among other things, this could allow the attacker to do anything on your SCOM server that you could do.

I don’t suspect the majority of WatchGuard’s customers use SCOM, and even if you do, it’s relatively difficult for an attacker to know whether you use it or not. So I doubt many attackers will leverage this vulnerability in the wild. That said, if you do use SCOM, you should apply Microsoft’s update. Furthermore, if you use one of our XTM appliances with the IPS service, we have a signature (EXPLOIT Microsoft SCOM Web Console XSS Vulnerability) that detects this XSS attack. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Black Tuesday: Updates Correct .NET and MSXML Flaws

Are you ready for the first Patch Day of 2013? If you run a Microsoft shop (Mac users need not apply this month), get ready as you’ll want to install some of today’s updates as soon as you can.

As promised, Microsoft released seven security bulletins and software updates today, two of which they rate as Critical. The seven updates fix 12 vulnerabilities in products like Windows, XML Core Services, the .NET Framework, and their System Center Operation Manager. The impact of these vulnerabilities ranges widely from allowing a remote user to execute arbitrary code, to basic Denial of Service (DoS) issues. If you manage any of the affected products, I recommend you apply the updates quickly—particularly the Critical ones.

As I mentioned in last week’s notification, Microsoft is not releasing a fix for the recent Internet Explorer (IE) zero day vulnerability today. They simply haven’t had time to fully craft the patch since the exploit’s first discovery. However, Microsoft has released a FixIt, which partially mitigates the issue. While I recommend you apply the FixIt, do know a security research organization has found it doesn’t prevent all forms of this particular attack. So you’ll still want to jump on Microsoft’s real patch once they release it. In the meantime, if you use one of WatchGuard’s XTM appliances with the IPS service, we have a signature that protects you from the known exploits for this IE zero day flaw.

I’ll post more detailed alerts throughout the day, but until then feel free to refer to Microsoft’s January bulletin matrix below (click the image for more detail).  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

MS Patch Day: January 2013

Ring in the New Year with Seven Microsoft Patches

If you, like me, are still basking in the afterglow of a relaxing holiday respite, the relentless re-introduction of Microsoft Patch Day may seem like a harsh reminder of some of the drudgery suffered by an InfoSec professional. Don’t get me wrong! Patching is one of the most effective ways of keeping your systems safe. Yet, its ceaseless nature can’t help but put me into a Sisyphean mood.

That said, here comes another round of Microsoft patches, so get ready to push that security boulder back up another hill next Tuesday.

According to their first advanced Notification post for the year, Microsoft plans to release seven new security bulletins next Tuesday, as part of their January Patch Day. The bulletins will include updates to fix security vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, the .NET Framework, and some of Microsoft’s Server Software. Microsoft rates two of the  bulletins as Critical, and the rest as Important.

Microsoft Patch Day: January 2013

Regular followers might notice that a fix for the recent Internet Explorer (IE) zero day vulnerability is missing from Microsoft’s expected updates. Researchers discovered this issue very recently, so I frankly wasn’t expecting a fix yet. It wouldn’t surprise me though if Microsoft releases an “out-of-cycle” update later in the month. In any case, if you applied the  FixIt workaround I recommended previously, you should be fine. As an aside, WatchGuard’s signature writers developed a signature for the known exploit, so if you use our IPS service you are further protected.

I’ll post more information about Microsoft’s updates next week, so keep posted. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)


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