Tag Archives: microsoft

Poodle’s Back – WSWiR Episode 132

Another week, another batch of information security (infosec) news. Would you like a quick summary, rather than hunting it down yourself? No problem! Just check out our weekly video every Friday.

Today’s episode covers the Patch Day bonanza, lots of updates on the Sony Pictures breach, and a new twist on the “Poodle” SSL/TLS vulnerability. Press play for the scoop, and check our the References and Extras section for more stories and details.

(Episode Runtime: 7:13)

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



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft’s Last Patch Day Until 2015; Three Critical Patches

It’s that time of the month again; Microsoft Patch Day. Yesterday, Microsoft posted their regular batch of security updates, so it’s time you patch your Windows systems. I’ll summarize some Patch Day highlights below, but you should visit Microsoft’s December Patch Day Summary page for more details

By the Numbers:

On Tuesday, Microsoft released seven security bulletins, fixing a total of 25 security vulnerabilities in many of their products. The affected products include:

  • all current versions of Windows,
  • Internet Explorer (IE),
  • Office,
  • and Exchange Server.

They rate three bulletins as Critical, four as Important.

Patch Day Highlights:

The Exchange update is the most interesting one, but lets start with what you should patch first. I’d start with the Internet Explorer (IE) update, as it closes a bunch of holes bad guys can use for drive-by download attacks. Next, even though Microsoft doesn’t rate it as Critical, the Exchange update fixes a few flaws attackers could leverage to access your users’ email (if they can get those users to click links). Since email is so important, I’d take care of that next. Then move on to the various Office updates, to make sure your users aren’t affected by malicious Office documents. Finally, even though it poses minimal risk, finish with the Graphics component update.

Quick Bulletin Summary:

We summarize December’s security bulletins below in order of severity. We recommend you apply the updates in the same order of priority, assuming you use the affected products.

  • MS14-080 – Critical – Cumulative Internet Explorer update fixes 14 vulnerabilities – The Internet Explorer (IE) update primarily fixes a bunch of memory corruption flaws remote attackers could leverage to execute code. These are the types of flaws typically used in drive-by download attacks. If an attacker can get you to visit a site with malicious code, he could exploit these flaws to run code on your machine. If you have local administrator privileges, the attacker gains full control of your PC.
  • MS14-075 – Important- Four Exchange Server Vulnerabilities – Microsoft’s email server, Exchange, suffers from four security flaws. The worst are a pair of cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws. If an attacker can trick you into clicking a specially crafted link on a system you use for OWA, he could exploit these flaws to gain access to your email as you. The remaining flaws allow attackers to spoof emails to appear to come from someone else, or to spoof links that appear to link to somewhere else.
  • MS14-081 – Critical – Two Word Remote Code Execution Flaws – Word suffers from two flaws involving how it handles specially crafted Office files. In short, if an attacker can get you to open a malicious Office file, she can exploit these flaws to execute code on your computer.
  • MS14-082 – Important – Office Code Execution Flaw – Word, an Office component, suffers from yet another code execution vulnerability, similar to the two described above. I’m not sure why Microsoft included this is a separate bulletin, with a lower severity, since it seems to have a similar impact and mitigating factors as the flaws above.
  • MS14-083 – Important – Two Excel Code Execution Flaws - Excel suffers from a pair of code execution vulnerabilities attackers could exploit by getting you to interact with malicious spreadsheets.
  • MS14-084 – Important – Windows VBScript Memory Corruption Flaw - The Windows VBScript component suffers from a memory corruption flaw that attackers could leverage through your browser. If an attacker can lure you to a website with malicious code, he could exploit this flaw to execute code with your privileges.
  • MS14-085 – Important – Windows Graphic Component Information Disclosure Flaw - The Graphics component of Windows suffers from a minor flaw that attackers could leverage to learn about the current memory state of your computer. This flaw serves little purpose alone, but could help attackers exploit other memory corruption vulnerabilities easier.

Solution Path:

If you use any of the software mentioned above, you should apply the corresponding updates as soon as you can. I recommend you apply the Critical updates immediately, try to get to the Important ones as a soon as possible, and leave the moderate ones for last.

You can get the updates three ways:

  1. Let Windows Automatic Update do it for you – While patches sometimes introduce new problems, these occasional issues don’t seem to affect clients as often as they do servers. To keep your network secure, I recommend you set Windows clients to update automatically so they get patches as soon as possible.
  2. Manually download and install patches – That said, most businesses strongly rely on production servers and server software. For that reason, I recommend you always test new server updates before applying them manually to production servers. Virtualization can help you build a test environment that mimics your production one for testing.  You can find links to download the various updates in the individual bulletins I’ve linked above.
  3. Download December’s full Security Update ISO –  Finally, Microsoft eventually posts an ISO image that consolidates all the security updates. This ISO conveniently packages the updates in one place for administrators. You’ll eventually find a link to the monthly security ISOs here, but Microsoft may not post it until a few days after Patch Day

For WatchGuard Customers:

Good News! WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus (GAV), Intrusion Prevention (IPS), and APT Blocker 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 many of the attacks described in Microsoft’s alerts:

  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-8966)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6376)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6375)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6374)
  • WEB Microsoft Graphics Component Information Disclosure Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6355)
  • FILE Microsoft Word Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6357)
  • FILE Microsoft Excel Global Free Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6360)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer ASLR Bypass Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6368)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6369)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6373)
  • EXPLOIT Adobe Flash Player Memory Corruption (CVE-2014-0574)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6327)
  • WEB MIcrosoft Internet Explorer XSS Filter Bypass Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6328)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6329)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6330)
  • FILE Microsoft Excel Invalid Pointer Remote Code Execution Vulnerability  (CVE-2014-6361)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft VBScript Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6363)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft VBScript Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6366)
  • FILE Adobe Flash Player opcode pushwith Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0586)
  • FILE Adobe Flash Player opcode pushscope Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0585)

Your Firebox or 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. Nevertheless, we still recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from all of these flaws. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)


#OpKKK – WSWiR Episode 130

Emergency Windows Patch, Malware Vs. Passwords, and #OpKKK

Nowadays, researchers, hackers, and the media bombard us with tons of information security (InfoSec) news each week. There’s so much, it’s hard to keep upespecially when it’s not your primary job. However, I believe everyone needs to be aware of the latest InfoSec threats. If you want to protect your network, follow our weekly video so I can quickly get you up to speed every Friday.

Today’s episode covers a critical out-of-cycle Microsoft patch, talks about the latest updates to a nasty piece of mobile malware, and explores the ethical issues surrounding a recent Anonymous attack campaign, Operation KKK. Press play for the details, and see the references below for more stories.

As an aside, after shooting this week’s video, I learned attackers may have stolen a bunch of passwords from many popular online services. It may be a hoax, but if you use Windows Live, PSN, or 2K Games, you should probably change you password… just to be safe. Have a great weekend!

(Episode Runtime: 10:44)

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



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Grab Microsoft’s Out-of-Cycle Kerberos Patch

During last week’s Microsoft Patch Day, I pointed out that Microsoft had delayed two of the expected bulletins. This week, they released one of those delayed updates, and rate it as a Critical issue.

According to the MS14-068 Security Bulletin, Kerberos suffers from a local privilege elevation flaw that could allow attackers to gain full control of your entire domain. Kerberos is one of the authentication protocols used by Windows Servers. Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) is the network service that supplies kerberos “tickets.” Unfortunately, Windows Servers suffers from a KDC vulnerability that allows local users to gain full domain administrator privileges simply by sending maliciously forged tickets to your KDC server. The good news is, an attacker needs valid domain login credentials, and local network access to leverage this flaw. The bad news is, if they can exploit the flaw, they basically gain access to ALL your Windows machines easily. This is a great flaw for advanced attackers. If they can pwn even one of your least privileged users, they can leverage it to gain full control of Windows networks, and easily move laterally throughout your network. I consider this a pretty serious issue.

I recommend you patch your Windows Servers, especially your Active Directory controller, as soon as possible. Check out the Affected Software section of Microsoft’s bulletin for patch details. Though I recommend you update quickly, your Authentication server is a critical network component. I highly recommend you test this update on a non-production server first, to make sure it doesn’t cause and unexpected problems. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

DarkHotel & iOS Masque – WSWiR Episode 129

MS Patch Day, DarkHotel, and iOS Masque

Too much Information Security (InfoSec) news, too little time? I sometimes feel the same way. If you don’t have time to keep up yourself, why not watch our weekly InfoSec video to catch the highlights.

This week, I share the highlights from Microsoft Patch Day, talk about a targeted attack preying on executives in hotels, and warn of a new vulnerability that affects anyone with an iPhone or iPad. Click play below to learn all about it, and check out other stories from the week in the Extras section below.

Stay vigilant online and enjoy your weekend!

(Episode Runtime: 12:39)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwxEksw3j-Q



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Evil Tor Exit Node – WSWiR Episode 127

Security FUD, Black Energy, and Tor Terror

Happy Halloween!

The Internet “threatscape” has changed drastically over the past few years, with many more cyber security incidents each year and tons of information security (infosec) news in the headlines. Can you keep up? If not, maybe my weekly infosec video will help.

In today’s quick update, I rant a bit about infosec misinformation, share the latest on the Black Energy ICS attack campaign, and talk about an Evil Tor exit node that dynamically adds malware to downloads. Press play for the scoop, and enjoy your spooky Halloween weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 10:44)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjejYd_9Oik

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Cryptowall Malvertising – WSWiR Episode 126

Windows 0day, iCloud MitM, and Cryptowall Rises

You’re a busy IT guy that barely has time to brush your teeth before running off to work, so who has time to follow security news too? Does this sound like you? If so, let our short weekly video inform you of the most important security news in the time it takes you to enjoy your first cup of coffee.

Today’s episode covers another Microsoft zero day flaw, a recent man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack against iCloud, and the latest developments with a nasty piece of ransomware called CryptoWall. Press play below to learn about all that and more, and peruse the Reference section for other stories.

(Episode Runtime: 8:40)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y5lBIQ0CEI

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

POODLE Bites SSL – WSWiR Episode 125

October Patch Bonanze, Leaky Apps, and POODLE

Cyber security has gone main stream, which means we’re getting a lot more security news each week than we used to. This week was even busier than usual, with updates fixing hundreds and hundreds of security vulnerabilities, as well as a significant vulnerabilities in a encryption standards. If you’re having trouble keeping track of the most important security info on your own, let our week video summary do it for you.

Today’s episode covers a ton of updates for October’s Patch Day, data leaks affecting SnapChat and DropBox, and a relatively serious SSL vulnerability called POODLE. The video is a bit longer than usual in order to better describe the POODLE flaw. Press play to learn more, and check the references for other interesting stories.

Enjoy your weekend, and beware what you click online.

(Episode Runtime: 16:37)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFX9DXDizu4

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Printer Doom Hack – WSWiR Episode 122

Apple Patches, Kindle XSS, and Doom Printer Hack

If you want to stay current with the Internet “threatscape,” our weekly video can help. It summarizes each week’s top information and network security news in one convenient place. Subscribe today!

Today’s episode covers, Apple and Adobe security updates, a cross-site scripting flaw that affects Kindle users, and an interesting printer hack that allowed an attacker to run doom on a printer. Watch the video for details and see the Reference section below for more info.

Enjoy your weekend!

(Episode Runtime: 5:39

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ7-LdlMYHc

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Windows 8.x and Server 2012 Suffer From Local EoP Vulnerability

Severity: Medium


  • These vulnerabilities affect: Windows 8.x, Server 2012, and RT
  • How an attacker exploits it: By running a specially crafted application
  • Impact: A local low privileged attacker can gain SYSTEM privileges on your Windows computers
  • What to do: Deploy the appropriate update at your convenience, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you


In a security bulletin released as part of Patch Day, Microsoft described an Elevation of Privilege (EoP) vulnerability that affects the latest versions of Windows—specifically, Windows 8.x, Server 2012, and RT.

The flaw lies in the Windows Task Scheduler, a service that allows you to automate the execution of tasks at certain times. Microsoft doesn’t describe the vulnerability in much detail, only saying the Task Scheduler does not properly check the integrity of tasks. By running a specially crafted application, an underprivileged local attacker could take advantage of this to execute programs with full SYSTEM privileges. Of course, the local attacker would have to log into a vulnerable system using valid credentials, which significantly lower the impact of this flaw.

Solution Path:

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

For All WatchGuard Users:

This is a local vulnerability. We recommend you install Microsoft’s updated to completely protect yourself from this flaw.


Microsoft has released patches to fix this vulnerability.


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


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