Endpoint
2/25/2014
11:42 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Beefs Up EMET

Early release of anti-exploit tool shuts down bypass methods created by Bromium Labs

RSA CONFERENCE 2014 – San Francisco, Calif. – Microsoft has enhanced its popular Enhanced Mitigation Toolkit (EMET) with new functions that help halt exploits from hitting endpoint machines. The software giant today released a preliminary, technical review version of the new tool, EMET 5.0.

EMET 5.0 comes with a new feature called Attack Surface Reduction that lets organizations selectively enable Java, Flash Player, and third-party plug-ins. An organization could set EMET to allow Java to run only for internal applications that need it while disabling Java execution in non-internal applications. It does much the same for Flash: "It lets you use Flash in the browser, but blocks Flash from executing in Excel" or other Office files, for example, says Jonathan Ness, principal security development manager for Microsoft Trustworthy Computing.

RSA Conference 2014
Click here for more articles about the RSA Conference.

The new version also comes with a hardened version of EAF (Export Address Table Filtering), and also enables "deep hooks" mitigation by default, which stops the bypass attack demonstrated in research released yesterday by Bromium Labs that pokes holes in EMET 4.1.

"I'm eager to see the feedback on these" new features, Ness said in an interview. The feedback will help shape the tool's final form, he says.

The new features in EMET help block attacks Microsoft has found and analyzed over the past few months. "We've raised the bar for the attacker," Ness says. "Because of the shift in the landscape, it makes exploitation more difficult."

Dan Kaminsky, chief scientist of WhiteOps, says EMET is a useful defense tool for Windows machines because it can update security for Windows at a faster clip than the longer operating system update cycle. "It spurs the development of new features and defenses," Kaminsky says.

But EMET's main limitation is that it relies on known vectors of return-oriented programming (ROP) exploitation methods, says Rahul Kashyap, chief security architect and head of security research at Bromium.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
shjacks55
50%
50%
shjacks55,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2014 | 7:00:06 AM
re: Microsoft Beefs Up EMET
Other than Java and Flash, Win7/8 (~25% of SMB destops)(not counting SOHO/home users) are the only systems getting malware per our helpdesk tickets (2000+ desktops; multiple clients). Ever notice that most updates are security patches for previous updates? The article fails to note that current Java already includes whitelisting. Adobe makes terrible software that even crashes my Linux desktops. Not noted here is Browser options to deny the "must download latest version of Flash" or "are you sure you want to leave this page" messages that nefarious sites use.
Brian Bartlett
50%
50%
Brian Bartlett,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2014 | 11:10:59 PM
re: Microsoft Beefs Up EMET
And doesn't support XP. 'Twould have made a nice going away present.
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-2015-2086
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the live preview in the Panopoly Magic module before 7.x-1.17 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a pane title.

CVE-2015-2087
Published: 2015-02-26
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in the Avatar Uploader module before 6.x-1.3 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a file with a PHP extension, then accessing it via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2088
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in unspecified administration pages in the Term Queue module before 6.x-1.1 for Drupal allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unknown vectors.

CVE-2015-2089
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the CrossSlide jQuery (crossslide-jquery-plugin-for-wordpress) plugin 2.0.5 for WordPress allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) change plugin settings or conduct cross-site scripting (...

CVE-2015-2090
Published: 2015-02-26
SQL injection vulnerability in the ajax_survey function in settings.php in the WordPress Survey and Poll plugin 1.1.7 for Wordpress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the survey_id parameter in an ajax_survey action to wp-admin/admin-ajax.php.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.