Tag Archives: windows

Heartbleed Bug- WSWiR Episode 102

April Patch Day, Raided Pen-Tester, and OpenSSL Heartbleed

Information security news never stops, even if I have to post it from a Changi Airport lounge. If you need to learn the latest cyber security news, including what to do about the biggest vulnerability of the year (so far), you’ve found the right weekly video blog.

This week’s “on-the-road” episode covers Adobe and Microsoft’s Patch Day, an allegory on why you should avoid greyhat pen-testing, but most important of all, information and advice about the major OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability. If you use the Internet, you need to know about the Heartbleed flaw, so click play below to watch this week’s video. Finally, make sure to check the Reference section for links to the stories and some extras; especially if you are interested in all the WatchGuard Heartbleed information.

(Episode Runtime: 8:05)

Direct YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEw-o2GQd1U

Episode References:

Extras:

Heartbleed described by XKCD

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Windows File Handling Remote Code Execution Flaw

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Windows
  • How an attacker exploits them: By tricking your users into running a .bat or .cmd file from a network location
  • Impact: 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:

As part of Patch Day, Microsoft released a Windows security bulletin describing a code execution vulnerability involving the way it handles .bat and .cmd files, otherwise known as Windows batch files. Windows batch files allow you to write multiple, scripted commands which will run together (as a batch) when you run the file. Window’s suffers from a vulnerability in they way they process these files, which attackers could exploit to execute arbitrary code. If an attacker can trick one of your users into running a .bat or .cmd file from a network location, they could exploit this issue to execute any code with that user’s privileged. In most Windows environments, users have local administrator privileges, so this attack could give hackers full control of your machine.

That said, this flaw takes significant user interaction to succeed, and most savvy Windows users know batch files could be dangerous, and don’t run them randomly. Nonetheless, we recommend you patch Windows as soon as you can.

Also note, this will be the last security update for Windows XP. If you haven’t figured out your Windows XP migration path yet, you really should start thinking about it. That said, security companies like WatchGuard will continue to develop IPS and anti-malware signatures to detect and block threats against Windows XP systems. If you absolutely cannot upgrade XP, be sure to at least implement IPS, AV, and UTM systems to protect your vulnerable computers.

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released updates that correct this vulnerability. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate update throughout your network as soon as you can. 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. Especially, server related updates.

For All WatchGuard Users:

Though WatchGuard’s XTM appliances offer defenses that can mitigate some of the risk of this flaw (such as allowing you to block .bat and cmd files, or enabling GAV or IPS services to detect attacks and the malware they distribute), attackers can exploit it over the local network too. 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.

IE Patch Squashes Six Memory Corruption Flaws

Summary:

  • This vulnerability affects: 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 today as part of Patch Day, Microsoft describes six new vulnerabilities that affect all current versions of Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft rates the aggregate severity of these new flaws as Critical.

Though these vulnerabilities differ technically, they share the same general scope and impact, and involve various memory corruption flaws having to do with how IE handles certain HTML objects. If an attacker can lure one of your users to a web page containing malicious web code, he could exploit any one of these memory corruption vulnerabilities to execute code on that user’s computer, inheriting that user’s privileges. Typically, Windows users have local administrative privileges. In that case, the attacker could exploit these flaws to gain complete control of the victim’s computer.

Technical differences aside, the memory corruption flaws in IE pose significant risk. You should download and install the IE cumulative patch immediately.

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 many of the memory corruption vulnerabilities described in Microsoft’s alert:

  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-1755)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-1753)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-1751)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-1752)

Your XTM appliance should get this new IPS 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: Word 0day Fix & More

Microsoft’s monthly Patch Day went live earlier today. As expected they released four security bulletins, fixing flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), and Office. Microsoft rates two of the bulletins as critical, one that fixes Word vulnerabilities (including a zero day one I warned about earlier) and another that fixes IE flaws.

If you use the affected Microsoft products, you should apply these patches as soon as you can. I’d apply the updates in the order Microsoft recommends; the Word update first, the IE one second, and the Windows and Publisher updates last.

In any case, I’ll share more details about today’s Patch Day bulletins on the blog throughout the day.  However, I am currently traveling in Asia, so my blog posts may be late due to timezone issues and travel. So I recommend you check out the April bulletin summary in the meantime, if you’d like an early peek. Also, keep in mind that Adobe released a Flash update today as well. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

APT Blocker – WSWiR Episode 101

April Patch Day, NSA Encryption Backdoors, and APT Blocker

Ready for your weekly summary of InfoSec news? Well here it is.

This week’s episode covers what you need to know about next week’s Microsoft patch day, shares details about the latest NSA/RSA encryption scandal, and unveils WatchGuard’s latest security service, which can protect you from zero day malware. Watch the video for the whole scoop, and scope out the references for links to other news.

I continue my travels in Asia next week, so the video may continue to post at unusual times. We’ll be back to our normal scheduling soon.

(Episode Runtime: 5:23)

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

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Only Four Microsoft Security Bulletins in April

Yesterday, Microsoft released their advanced notification, warning that they plan to release four security bulletins next Tuesday. The bulletins will include patches for Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer, and two have received Microsoft’s Critical severity rating. I suspect the Office updates will include a fix for the recent zero day Word flaw I mentioned in an earlier post.

Also note, April’s Patch Day marks the last time Microsoft will release Windows XP updates. They’ve been warning about XP’s End-of-Life for awhile now, and it’s finally upon us. Though some people think Microsoft’s using the opportunity to force people to upgrade, I believe XP has hung around longer than any operating system before it (13 years), and frankly it’s about time you update. I suspect hackers are holding onto an XP zero day or two, so it may be dangerous to keep it around much longer. That said, WatchGuard will continue to release IPS signatures for any future XP network flaws and AV signatures for XP malware.

In any case, I’ll post details about Microsoft bulletins next week, and if Adobe releases any updates you’ll hear about them here too. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Paranoia 2014 – WSWiR Episode 100

Word 0day, Cisco DoS, and Bricked Androids

My weekly InfoSec summary arrives bit late this time due to business travel. Last week, I spoke at Watchcom’s Paranoia conference in Oslo Norway, so I couldn’t post my security news summary until the weekend. Nonetheless, why not start your week off by quickly catching up on last week’s news.

This week’s episode includes a quick summary of the Paranoia show, news of a new Word zero day flaw, information about Cisco IOS updates, and a story about a new android vulnerability attackers can use to brick phones. Check out the video for the details, and scroll down to the Reference section for a few extra stories.

As an aside, I’ll be traveling the next two weeks as well, so my weekly video may show up either earlier or later than normal, due to travel.

(Episode Runtime: 5:27)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNiCOytV5sg

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Operation Windigo – WSWiR Episode 99

MH370 Scams, Google Play DDoSed, and Operation Windigo

Each week I summarize the biggest information security news in a short video, so you don’t have to go searching for it yourself. If you’re interested in the latest infosec updates, be sure to watch each Friday. 

Today’s late episode covers a few cyber security stories around the disappeared MH370 flight, news about a penetration tester downing Google Play, and a report about a cyber attack campaign that hijacked 25,000 Linux servers. Watch the video for the full scoops, and check the Reference section below for more info.

Have a great weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 8:41)

Direct YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ3Ei1WDyIY

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

NSA’s Turbine – WSWiR Episode 98

Patch Day, Missed Logs, and Snowden’s Latest

What to learn about the latest information security (infosec) news in under eight minutes? You’ve found the right place. Check out my weekly security news summary video below.

This week’s episode covers all the big updates from this month’s Adobe & Microsoft Patch Day, the latest news suggesting Target’s breach could have been averted, and another top secret document leak, detailing how the NSA hacks its targets. Check out the video below for the details, and don’t forget the Reference section for links to other stories. 

Enjoy your weekend, and stay safe!

(Episode Runtime: 8:21)

Direct YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h87aqWmaCtQ

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Four Windows Updates: Hijack Windows with Malicious Images

Severity: High

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Windows (and related components like Silverlight)
  • How an attacker exploits them: Multiple vectors of attack, including luring users into viewing malicious images
  • Impact: 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 four security bulletins describing five vulnerabilities in Windows and related components, such as Silverlight. 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.

  • MS14-013DirectShow JPEG Handling Vulnerability

DirectShow (code-named Quartz) is a multimedia component that helps Windows handle various media streams, images, and files. It suffers from an unspecified memory corruption vulnerability having to do with how it handles specially crafted JPEG (JPG) images. By getting your users to view such a malicious image, perhaps via a web site or email, an attacker could leverage this flaw to execute code on that user’s computer, with the user’s privileges. If your users have local administrative privileges, the attacker gains full control of the users’ machines.

Microsoft rating: Critical

  • MS14-015:  Multiple Kernel-Mode Driver Code Execution Flaws

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 two security vulnerabilities. The worst is an elevation of privilege flaw having to do with it handles memory. In a nutshell, if a local attacker can run a specially crafted application, he could leverage this flaw 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. The second issue could allow attackers to gain access to information in restricted sections of your computer’s memory, but doesn’t pose as high a risk as the first.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-016:  SAMR Lockout Bypass Vulnerability

The Security Account Manager or SAM file is a database file on Windows computers that contains all the hashed user credentials. The Security Account Manager Remote (SAMR) protocol is a client-to-server communication protocol Windows uses to check credentials against a SAM database. SAMR suffers from a flaw that allows attackers to bypass its user lockout feature. Windows allows you to lockout a user who has entered the wrong password a certain number of times. This makes it harder for attackers to launch “brute-force” password cracking attacks, since it limits the amount of failed password attempts. However, by sending specially crafted SAMR messages, an attacker can bypass this lockout feature, and try unlimited passwords against your Windows system. While this doesn’t directly give the attacker access to your computer, it does allow attackers on your local network to try and brute-force your passwords.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-014:  Silverlight DEP/ASLR Bypass Flaw

Silverlight is a cross-platform and cross-browser software framework used by developers to create rich media web applications. Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is a memory obfuscation technique that some operating systems (OS) 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. Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is another such feature that makes it hard for attackers to execute code from memory. Unfortunately, Silverlight does not implement Windows’ DEP and ASLR protection properly. This means that it’s relatively easy for attackers to exploit any memory corruption flaws in Silverlight. By itself, this bypass flaw is worthless. It doesn’t give an attacker access to your computer. However, assuming attackers find memory corruption flaws in Silverlight, this bypass flaw would make it easier for them to exploit those flaws to execute code. You should apply this update simply to improve the general security of Silverlight.

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. Especially, server related updates.

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 allowing you to block .jpg files, or enabling GAV or IPS services to detect attacks and the malware they distribute), 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.

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