Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

11/5/2016
08:20 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Extends Support For Doomed EMET To July 2018

After that date, Microsoft officially will pull the plug on a toolkit that enterprises have used for years to protect against advanced threats.

Responding to what it described as customer feedback, Microsoft this week extended support for its widely used Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).

Instead of the originally planned end-of-life date of January 27, 2017, Microsoft will now continue to support the security toolkit through July 31, 2018.

After that date, there are no plans to offer security patches or other support for EMET, Microsoft principal program lead manager Jeffrey Sutherland announced in a blog post on the company’s TechNet this week.

"For improved security, our recommendation is for customers to migrate to Windows 10," Sutherland said.

The news is likely to come both as a surprise and a bit of relief for organizations using EMET. In announcing the extension, Microsoft for the first time also disclosed plans about finally pulling the plug on a technology that has served as an important bulwark against malicious exploits for many Windows organizations for the past. But its new deadline of July 2018 at least gives organizations 18 months to prepare for it.

Microsoft introduced EMET in 2009 as a measure to help enterprises mitigate and manage security vulnerabilities in Windows. Among other things, the company intended for the free toolkit to be used by administrators to activate settings and security features that were not always enabled by default in Windows and for locking down application access to OS features that they didn’t need.

At the time, Microsoft had described EMET as a necessary toolkit to help secure their Windows environment in the three- to four years it used to take the company to release new and updated Windows versions. Over the years, administrators have used the technology to thwart everything from ordinary exploits to advanced zero-day threats.

"It allowed us to interrupt and disrupt many of the common exploit kits employed by attackers at the time without waiting for the next Windows release," Sutherland said this week. The toolkit also offered the company a place to assess the functionality of new security features, he said.

Recently, though, EMET’s usefulness has diminished somewhat, as many of the security controls in the tool were integrated into successive Windows versions - most notably, Windows 10.

The stopgap nature of EMET’s features means that many of them are no longer robust enough to handle the challenges posed by current security exploits, Sutherland said. As a result, multiple, sometimes trivial, exploits are available in the wild currently for bypassing EMET, he noted.

Earlier this year, several security researchers warned of how some exploits from the Angler Exploit kit were completely getting around EMET. "This is something we are seeing for the first time in the wild, and we only observed it affecting systems running Windows 7," FireEye warned at that time.

The exploit allowed attackers to install TeslaCrypt ransomware on Windows 7 systems, prompting concern about the effectiveness of EMET in stopping such threats.

Sutherland noted other problems with EMET as well. Because EMET hooks into low-level areas of Windows in a manner not originally intended by developers, it has caused performance and reliability problems for systems running it. "And this presents an ongoing problem for customers since every OS or application update can trigger performance and reliability issues," due to compatibility issues, he said.

Related stories:

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5783
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the login functionality does not contain any CSRF protection mechanisms.
CVE-2020-11031
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In GLPI before version 9.5.0, the encryption algorithm used is insecure. The security of the data encrypted relies on the password used, if a user sets a weak/predictable password, an attacker could decrypt data. This is fixed in version 9.5.0 by using a more secure encryption library. The library c...
CVE-2020-5781
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the langSelection parameter is stored in the luci configuration file (/etc/config/luci) by the authenticator.htmlauth function. When modified with arbitrary javascript, this causes a denial-of-service condition for all other users.
CVE-2020-5782
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, if a user logs in and sets the ‘wan_type’ parameter, the wan interface for the device will become unreachable, which results in a denial of service condition for devices dependent on this connection.
CVE-2020-24213
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An integer overflow was discovered in YGOPro ygocore v13.51. Attackers can use it to leak the game server thread's memory.