Tag Archives: patch day

A Dozen Microsoft Updates – Daily Security Byte EP. 174

If you use Microsoft or Adobe productsas the majority of computer users do—it’s that time again… Patch Day.

For November’s Patch Day, Microsoft released a dozen bulletins fixing many flaws in their most popular products. Watch today’s video for the quick highlights about these and Adobe’s updates.

UPDATE: As gung-ho as I am about applying patches quickly, there have been reports that some of the Windows 10 updates can cause problems. You may want to test these updates before deploying them throughout your network.

(Episode Runtime: 1:43)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGj2grkLQfk


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Patch Day Improves Browser Security – Daily Security Byte EP.157

As boring and repetitive as it may seem, patching is one of the most effective things you can do to improve your security. That’s why I suggest you keep up with Microsoft Patch Day on the second Tuesday of every month. Today, I quickly highlight Microsoft’s October security updates, so that you know the types of holes you’ll be patching. I even throw in an Adobe update as an extra. Whether or not you stick around to watch the video, I highly recommend you at least follow the links below to get the latest Microsoft patches, or let Windows’ auto-update feature apply them for you.

(Episode Runtime: 2:37)

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


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Adult Ransomware and Hacked WhatsApp – WSWiR Episode 164

Do you have little time for security news, but wish you could keep abreast of the latest threats? In that case, our weekly summary video can help. Every Monday, we summarize last week’s infosec news for you, often in under ten minutes.

This week’s show includes Microsoft and Adobe patches, some adult-themed mobile ransomware, and a sneaky new malware command and control technique. Watch the episode below, and don’t forget to glance at the Reference section if you are interested in other news.

(Episode Runtime: 8:44)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnJivvR7nRw



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

September Patch Day – Daily Security Byte EP.138

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, which means you’re in for a pile of Microsoft and Adobe patches. Watch today’s video for a quick summary of the issues, and how WatchGuard appliances can help.

(Episode Runtime: 1:42)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvHYJGpr4rc


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Black Hat & DEF CON Aftermath – WSWiR Episode 160

Two weeks ago, the Black Hat and DEF CON conferences unveiled tons of new security research, which means last week was packed with interesting security stories. If you find yourself falling behind on security news, and need a “one stop shop” to keep you up to date, this weekly video does just that.

Last week’s stories included many car hacks, a OS X firmware worm, a big UK breach, tons of patches, and more. If you don’t watch my Daily Bytes, you can catch up all at once with the weekly video below. More importantly, I couldn’t cover many other interesting stories from last week, so if you are interested in those, check out the Reference section below.

(Episode Runtime: 15:10)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAIiPp3os1k



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Piles of August Patches – Daily Security Byte EP.124

While there’s lots of interesting security stories I could share today, one of the most practical infosec actions you can take is to keep your software patched. Yesterday was Microsoft and Adobe patch day, and Mozilla also recently released a pretty important Firefox update. Watch the video to learn about these important fixes, and more importantly, follow the links below to learn how to apply the relevant updates.

UPDATE: On Thursday, Apple released a hand full of security advisories and updates as well, fixing flaws in iOS, OS X, and Safari. This wasn’t covered in the video, but check the links below for more info on those updates.

(Episode Runtime: 2:25)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ6A09t5oWA


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Microsoft Posts Critical Patches – Daily Security Byte EP.95

It happens every month… Microsoft released their June patches on Tuesday, fixing 45 vulnerabilities in a range of popular products. If you manage a Windows network, you should watch this video to get the Patch Day highlights, and to learn which products to update first. As an aside, I recorded this video Wednesday, but was not able to edit and post it until today due to travel.


(Episode Runtime: 2:07)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dUGG1eP3A8


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

US Federal Sites Use HTTPS – Daily Security Byte EP.94

HTTPS usage has skyrocketed over the last few years, largely due to the “Snowden effect.” Today, the US government mandated that federal web sites must use HTTPS. Ultimately, this is a good thing. However, malicious actors can hide in HTTPS too. Watch today’s video to learn what you should do to secure HTTPS.


(Episode Runtime: 2:48)

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


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

VM Venom, MS Patches, & GTA V Malware – WSWiR Episode 152

Last week was full of a wide range of information security news; from the latest critical Microsoft updates, to a new virtualization system vulnerability, and finishing off with malware targeting a popular video game. If you find yourself falling behind with the latest security intelligence, you’re not alone. Don’t worry though, we’re here to pick up the slack.

Press play below to hear the highlights from last week, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get regular updates. If you’re hungry for more security news, also check out our References section for links to other stories.

(Episode Runtime: 8:37)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLIL0Yxnkn8



— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

May Day! Microsoft’s Patch Day is Not Dead… Yet

Despite Microsoft’s recent Ignite Conference announcement—that they’d no longer follow a monthly patch cycle for Windows 10—Patch Tuesday is in full effect for May. Today, Microsoft released 13 security bulletins, including three Critical ones. If you’re a Microsoft administrator, you should get to these updates quickly.

By the Numbers:

February Microsoft Patch DayToday, Microsoft released 13 security bulletins, fixing a total of 48 security vulnerabilities in many of their products. The affected products include:

  • current versions of Windows (and its components),
  • Internet Explorer (IE),
  • Office,
  • SharePoint Server,
  • the .NET Framework,
  • and Silverlight.

They rate three bulletins as Critical and the rest as Important. As an aside, Microsoft’s main summary post contains a wealth of useful information, including their vulnerability exploitability index, which helps you prioritize the updates based on how dangerous each vulnerability is in the real world.

Patch Day Highlights:

Today’s Patch Day highlights revolve around the Critical rated issues. Most organizations will want to apply the IE update first. Not only does it fix 22 vulnerabilities, but also ones that attackers can leverage in drive-by download attacks, which are one of the most common attacks today.

You should also prioritize the various document related vulnerabilities, since threat actors are increasingly using malicious documents in their spear phishing emails. I recommend you prioritize the Windows Font Driver, Journal, and Office updates as well.

In short, if you apply the updates quickly, in the order Microsoft lists, you’ll do well.

Quick Bulletin Summary:

We summarize the April 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.

  • MS15-043 – Critical – IE Update Corrects 22 Vulnerabilities – You can normally count on Microsoft releasing a cumulative Internet Explorer (IE) update each month, often fixing many memory corruption vulnerabilities. This month’s IE update fixes a slightly more diverse set of flaws, including some privilege elevation issues, and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) bypass vulnerabilities. However, the memory corruption issues still probably pose the highest risk. 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. The other IE flaws also make it easier for attackers to bypass Windows’ security mechanisms, and even gain more privilege on your system. Combined, these are perfect vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit in drive-by download attacks. I’d make this IE update a top priority.
  • MS15-044 – Critical – Windows Font Driver Code Execution Flaw – The Font Driver Windows uses to display OpenType and TrueType fonts suffers from two security flaws; one worse than the other. In essence, if an attacker can get you to view a document or web page that contains a maliciously crafted font, he can exploit the more critical flaw to execute arbitrary code on your computer with your privileges.
  • MS15-045 – Critical – Six Journal Code Execution Flaws – Journal is the basic word processing or note taking program that ships with Windows. It suffers from six flaws that share the same scope and impact. If an attacker can get you to view a specially crafted Journal document, she can exploit any of these flaws to execute code on your computer, with your privileges.
  • MS15-046 – Important – Two Office Code Execution Flaws – Office suffers from two memory corruption flaws with the same scope and impact. If you open a maliciously crafted Office document, an attacker could exploit either flaw to execute code on your computer.
  • MS15-047 – Important – SharePoint Code Execution Flaw – SharePoint Server suffers from a somewhat unspecified code execution vulnerability having to do with its inability to properly sanitize uploaded page content. If an attacker can upload specially crafted content to your Sharepoint Server, they could execute code with the server’s W3WP service account (which has less privilege than the full SYSTEM account).
  • MS15-048 – Important – Two .NET Framework Vulnerabilities – The Windows Task Scheduler suffers from an elevation of privilege flaw. If an attacker can log onto your Windows system with valid credentials (even underprivileged ones), she can run a program that exploits this flaw to gain complete control of the computer.
  • MS15-049 – Important – Silverlight EoP Flaw – Silverlight suffers from an “out of browser” elevation of privilege vulnerability. While most Silverlight applications are supposed to run with limited permissions, attackers could exploit this vulnerability to escape that “privilege sandbox” and run with your user privileges, or higher. However, an attacker would either have to log into your system with valid credentials and run a malicious Silverlight application, or entice you to run such an application yourself.
  • MS15-050 – Important – Local SCM EoP Vulnerability – The Windows Service Control Manager (SCM) suffers from a local privilege escalation vulnerability. By running a specially crafted program, an attacker could leverage this flaw to gain elevated privileges on your Windows systems. However, they’d need valid credential on your systems to do so, which somewhat limits the severity of this flaw.
  • MS15-051 – Important – Six Kernel-Mode Driver flaws – Windows’ Kernel-Mode driver suffers from six vulnerabilities. The worst is a local elevation of privilege flaw. If a local attacker can run a malicious application, she can exploit this flaw to gain complete control of your Windows computer, regardless of the malicious user’s original privileges. The five remaining flaws are information disclosure issues, that could help an attacker learn more about your system, and potentially bypass some of Window’s security features (like ASLR).
  • MS15-052 – Important – Windows Kernel Security Bypass Flaw – 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. Kernel ASLR (KASLR) is essentially the same thing, in regards to kernel memory. The Windows kernel suffers from an information disclosure vulnerability which could help attackers bypass this protection. While it doesn’t allow them to execute code alone, it does make it easier for them to exploit other memory based vulnerabilities.
  • MS15-053 – Important – VBScript and JScript ASLR Bypass Flaws – Windows’ JScript and VBScript components suffer from ASLR bypass flaws similar to the ones above. Again, these flaws don’t allow an attacker to execute code by themselves, but they do make it easier for them to exploit other memory corruption vulnerabilities.
  • MS15-054 – Important – MMC DoS Vulnerability – The Windows Microsoft Management Console (MMC) suffers from flaw in the way it handles icon information in a .MSC file. If an attacker can lure you into running a maliciously crafted .MSC file, they could cause you system to stop responding.
  • MS15-055 – Important – Schannel Information Disclosure Flaw Secure Channel (Schannel) is Microsoft’s SSL/TLS implementation. Schannel still allows the use of a weaker cryptographic key length (specifically a 512-byte DFE key), which is susceptible to known attacks. This update increases the minimum key length, making it harder to crack.

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.

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 May’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-2015-1658)
  • FILE Microsoft Windows Journal Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1675)
  • FILE Microsoft Windows Journal Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
  • FILE Microsoft Office Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1682)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer ASLR Bypass (CVE-2015-1685)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer VBScript and JScript ASLR Bypass (CVE-2015-1686)
  • FILE Microsoft Internet Explorer Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1688)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1689)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1691)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Clipboard Information Disclosure Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1692)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1705)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1706)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1708)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1718)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1717)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1714)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1712)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1711)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1710)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2015-1709)

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.

As an aside, Microsoft also released two new security advisories today. If you are interested in how Microsoft is improving their cipher suite priority and Flash security, be sure to check their advisory page for those new updates. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)



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