Vulnerabilities / Threats

04:58 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft Stands By Its Latest Patch

The company is defending against claims that its MS09-008 security fix doesn't work and that the vulnerabilities could be used to hijack network traffic.

To counter claims that its MS09-008 patch doesn't work, Microsoft on Friday explained the proper way to fix the vulnerabilities identified in its Windows DNS server and Windows WINS server software.

"There are claims that this update is ineffective," Maarten Van Horenbeeck, Microsoft's Security Research and Defense Center program manager, said in a blog post on Friday. "Let me be clear that this update will protect you and it should be deployed as soon as possible."

The vulnerabilities have to do with DNS spoofing vulnerabilities, with the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery, or WPAD, and with the Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol, or ISATAP. If exploited, these flaws could be used to hijack network traffic.

WPAD provides a way to automatically configure the proxy settings of computers on a network.

"This vulnerability could be used to launch 'man-in-the-middle' attacks on Windows DNS servers," explained Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, in a blog post. "The Web browsers of the PCs in the network are configured through these WPAD entries, so a user that is getting the proxy configuration automatically could be redirected to a malicious proxy and the attacker will have access to all the traffic of the user. To perform this attack, the attacker could insert a WPAD entry in the DNS server when dynamic updates are enabled."

To fix this problem, Microsoft's patch adds a block list to its DNS server. The names on the list no longer resolve as domain names. This prevents an attack from registering a WPAD or ISATAP entry going forward.

But the patch does nothing to fix an entry registered before the patch was applied, a feature that Microsoft says is necessary to avoid negatively impacting legitimate users of these services. As a consequence, systems on which the MS09-008 vulnerability has already been exploited will remain infected after the patch.

"This is indeed not a scenario the security update, or any security update released by Microsoft, aims to address," explained Van Horenbeeck. "Security updates are intended to help protect the system against future exploitation, and don't aim to undo any attack that has taken place in the past. The update does not actively change the current configuration. When installing the update, it has no way of knowing whether the WPAD entry was configured by an administrator or an attacker."

To fix this, add "wpad" as one of the values in the GlobalQueryBlockList registry key and restart the DNS service, explained Corrons. This may not be the end of it, however, as compromised systems may have acquired additional malware.

Further details about MS09-008 can be found at the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
IoT Product Safety: If It Appears Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Pat Osborne, Principal - Executive Consultant at Outhaul Consulting, LLC, & Cybersecurity Advisor for the Security Innovation Center,  3/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.