Vulnerabilities / Threats
10/23/2008
04:06 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Releases Emergency Patch For Windows Vulnerability

The out-of-band security update addresses a critical flaw that could allow a remote attacker to take over Windows computers without any user interaction.

Microsoft has released an out-of-band security update to address a critical flaw that could allow a remote attacker to take over Windows computers without any user interaction.

"This security update resolves a vulnerability in the Server service that affects all currently supported versions of Windows," said Christopher Budd, a MSRC security program manager, in a blog post. "Windows XP and older versions are rated as 'Critical' while Windows Vista and newer versions are rated as 'Important.' Because the vulnerability is potentially wormable on those older versions of Windows, we're encouraging customers to test and deploy the update as soon as possible."

In Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067, the company warns that the vulnerability resides in its Server service. It could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code using a specially crafted remote procedure call request.

"This was completely unannounced to anyone in the industry," said Jason Miller, security and data team manager at Shavlik Technologies, a patch management company. "It's is not unheard of for Microsoft, but it's pretty uncommon."

The last time Microsoft released a patch outside of its regularly scheduled cycle, the second Tuesday of every month, was in April 2007.

Miller said that the reason Microsoft issued this emergency patch is because it has seen attacks based on this vulnerability being used online.

As Budd explained in his blog post, "We discovered this vulnerability as part of our research into a limited series of targeted malware attacks against Windows XP systems that we discovered about two weeks ago through our ongoing monitoring. As we investigated these attacks we found they were utilizing a new vulnerability and initiated our Software Security Incident Response Process (SSIRP)."

Budd identified the malware used in these attacks as "TrojanSpy:Win32/Gimmiv.A" and "TrojanSpy:Win32/Gimmiv.A.dll." He said that Microsoft has released corresponding signatures through the Microsoft Malware Protection Center.

"This vulnerability is pretty nasty," said Miller. "It affects every version of the Windows operating system. Attackers don't need to have any credentials or access to the machine. They don't have to trick the user into doing anything."

His biggest fear, he said, is that a worm will be developed to take over vulnerable machines en masse. And he fully expects that to happen. "You're talking about a vulnerability that does not need user interaction," he said. "That's a gold mine if you're trying to build a botnet."

Echoing Budd's call to action, Miller advises everyone to apply the patch immediately. "Normally I'll tell people you should test the patch," he said. "On something like this, I would definitely just deploy it as soon as possible."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5426
Published: 2014-11-27
MatrikonOPC OPC Server for DNP3 1.2.3 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (unhandled exception and DNP3 process crash) via a crafted message.

CVE-2014-2037
Published: 2014-11-26
Openswan 2.6.40 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and IKE daemon restart) via IKEv2 packets that lack expected payloads. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE 2013-6466.

CVE-2014-6609
Published: 2014-11-26
The res_pjsip_pubsub module in Asterisk Open Source 12.x before 12.5.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via crafted headers in a SIP SUBSCRIBE request for an event package.

CVE-2014-6610
Published: 2014-11-26
Asterisk Open Source 11.x before 11.12.1 and 12.x before 12.5.1 and Certified Asterisk 11.6 before 11.6-cert6, when using the res_fax_spandsp module, allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via an out of call message, which is not properly handled in the ReceiveFax dia...

CVE-2014-7141
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read and crash) via a crafted type in an (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?