Risk
12/13/2010
07:00 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Patch Tuesday: Too Big To Ignore?

Any IT administrators hoping to get an early jump on the holidays this week face a big disappointment: 40 software updates coming from Redmond this month.

Any IT administrators hoping to get an early jump on the holidays this week face a big disappointment: 40 software updates coming from Redmond this month.According to Microsoft's advanced notification bulletin, December's Patch Tuesday will pack a whopping 40 patches detailed in 17 separate security bulletins.

Affected operating systems will include various flavors of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7. Various versions of Microsoft XP, Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2101. Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 doesn't escape either.

That's a serious line-up of flaws. However, according to this story from Mathew J. Schwartz, many companies may be planning to skip December and patch next month instead:

Expect enterprises to punt many of these patches until 2011. "The high number of advisories will present a challenge to all Windows system administrators, especially with the holidays shortening the available working hours," said Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys.

Bad plan.

All types of attackers bank of the fact that IT teams are unstaffed and over-partied during the holiday season. In fact, if your organization is being targeted expect an escalation of breach attempts during the holidays. The attackers know you are short staffed. They know your mind is elsewhere. And they know it's human nature to try to put off any absolutely unnecessary work until next year.

Don't be surprised to see a significant amount of exploit software and attacks targeting these vulnerabilities as we head closer to the new year.

So do yourself and your organization a favor: test and deploy these patches before shutting down for the year.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8142
Published: 2014-12-20
Use-after-free vulnerability in the process_nested_data function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.re in PHP before 5.4.36, 5.5.x before 5.5.20, and 5.6.x before 5.6.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted unserialize call that leverages improper handling of duplicate keys w...

CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.