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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats //

Vulnerability Management

Microsoft Blocks Zero-Day Attacks Targeting IE, Office

Security updates patch bugs being exploited via in-the-wild attacks, except for Windows XP, which now becomes a sitting duck.

 

10 Ways To Fight Digital Theft & Fraud
10 Ways To Fight Digital Theft & Fraud
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft has released a slew of security updates, including fixing two sets of vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited by in-the-wild attacks. But for the first time ever, Windows XP holdouts didn't receive any related security updates.

Microsoft published eight security bulletins Tuesday -- as part of its regularly scheduled monthly patch release cycle -- including fixes for 13 different vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, SharePoint Server, Group Policy preferences, as well as the .NET Framework and iSCSI.

Microsoft's cumulative IE security update includes a fix for an "out-of-band" patch that it originally released May 1, to patch a critical IE bug (CVE-2014-1776) that Google's security team found was being actively exploited by attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code. In a surprise twist, Microsoft had released the patch for Windows XP, which it officially stopped supporting last month.

Microsoft also issued a fix for a new critical IE bug Tuesday, saying that it was aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.

[Should government investigators be given expanded powers to battle cybercriminals? Read FBI Seeks License To Hack Bot-Invested PCs.]

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, described the patch in a blog post as "another surgical fix" similar to the May 1 patch. He noted that anyone who has yet to install the May 1 patch -- aside from XP users -- can install Microsoft's May 13 update instead, because it includes the fix.

Microsoft said that most customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically.

According to Dustin C. Childs, group manager for incident response communications at Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, the IE update should top the list of enterprise patching priorities, followed by installing fixes a vulnerability in the MSCOMCTL common controls library included in Office -- which Microsoft said is also being actively exploited by in-the-wild attacks -- and a Group Policy preferences flaw.

Kandek concurred with that patch prioritization assessment, noting that the MSCOMCTL fix comes in the form of a new DLL that has ASLR set, an easy fix for the developers to implement (basically a recompile), but one that took extensive testing as this DLL is widely used. Thanks to ASLR -- address space layout randomization -- the update will also better block future attacks. Meanwhile, Kandek added, the Group Policy patch prevents the storage of credentials in Group Policies, where they are relatively easily accessed by hackers and pen testers alike.

CrowdStrike CTO Dmitri Alperovitch, via Twitter, lauded the latter fix. "Very good security update from Microsoft today that disables a number of password dumping tools including Mimikatz," he said.

Rounding up other security updates, any business that uses SharePoint should also prioritize a related patch from Microsoft, Kandek advised, especially if you expose SharePoint to the Internet. That's because the patch fixes a flaw that would allow a remote attacker to upload files to SharePoint and trigger remote-code execution, thus allowing the attacker to take control of the server.

"The silver lining is that this is what's known as an authenticated vulnerability,

Next Page

Mathew Schwartz served as the InformationWeek information security reporter from 2010 until mid-2014. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Randy Naramore
50%
50%
Randy Naramore,
User Rank: Ninja
5/14/2014 | 4:06:20 PM
Microsoft Blocks Zero-Day Attacks Targeting IE, Office
Maybe I am wrong but aren't most vulnerabilities found by someone other than the one who developed it. Seems a little QA would be in order. Microsoft has a history of fixing things that are wrong with their software but it would be nice if they found one themselves. Thoughts?
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
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
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.
CVE-2020-2279
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A sandbox bypass vulnerability in Jenkins Script Security Plugin 1.74 and earlier allows attackers with permission to define sandboxed scripts to provide crafted return values or script binding content that can result in arbitrary code execution on the Jenkins controller JVM.
CVE-2020-2280
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Jenkins Warnings Plugin 5.0.1 and earlier allows attackers to execute arbitrary code.
CVE-2020-2281
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Jenkins Lockable Resources Plugin 2.8 and earlier allows attackers to reserve, unreserve, unlock, and reset resources.
CVE-2020-2282
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
Jenkins Implied Labels Plugin 0.6 and earlier does not perform a permission check in an HTTP endpoint, allowing attackers with Overall/Read permission to configure the plugin.