Posts Tagged: patch tuesday


9
Dec 14

Microsoft, Adobe Push Critical Security Fixes

If you use Microsoft or Adobe software products, chances are that software is now dangerously out of date. Microsoft today released seven update bundles to fix two dozen security vulnerabilities in Windows and supported software. Adobe pushed patches to correct critical flaws in Acrobat, Reader and Flash Player, including a bug in Flash that already is being exploited.

brokenwindowsFour of the seven updates from Microsoft earned a “critical” rating, which means the patches on fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware or attackers to seize control over vulnerable systems without any help from users (save for perhaps visiting a hacked or malicious Web site). One of those critical patches — for Internet Explorer — plugs at least 14 holes in the default Windows browser.

Another critical patch plugs two vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word and Office Web Apps (including Office for Mac 2011). There are actually three patches this month that address Microsoft Office vulnerabilities, including MS14-082 and MS-14-083, both of which are rated “important.” A full breakdown of these and other patches released by Microsoft today is here.

Adobe’s Flash Player update brings the player to v. 16.0.0.235 for Windows and Mac users, and fixes at least six critical bugs in the software. Adobe said an exploit for one of the flaws, CVE-2014-9163, already exists in the wild.

“These updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take over the affected system,” the company said in its advisory. Continue reading →


9
Sep 14

Critical Fixes for Adobe, Microsoft Software

Adobe today released updates to fix at least a dozen critical security problems in its Flash Player and AIR software. Separately, Microsoft pushed four update bundles to address at least 42 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Lync and .NET Framework. If you use any of these, it’s time to update! Continue reading →


8
Oct 13

Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes

Adobe and Microsoft today each issued software updates to fix critical security issues in their products. Microsoft released eight patch bundles to address 26 different vulnerabilities in Windows and other software – including not just one but two zero-day bugs in Internet Explorer. Adobe’s patches fix a single critical vulnerability present in both Adobe Acrobat and Reader.

crackedwinFour of the eight patch bulletins from Microsoft earned its most dire “critical” rating, meaning the updates fix problems deemed so severe that miscreants or malware could use them to break into vulnerable systems without any help from users. The patches impact a broad range of Microsoft products, including Windows, IE, SharePoint, .NET Framework, Office and Silverlight.

Front and center in the Microsoft patch batch is MS13-080, which addresses the zero-day IE vulnerability (CVE-2013-3893) that Microsoft first warned about on Sept. 17, as well as nine other security flaws in the default Windows Web browser. Amping up the threat level on this flaw, exploit code allowing attackers to leverage the flaw was released publicly last week as a module for the Metasploit exploit framework, a penetration testing toolkit.

Microsoft late last month released a stopgap “Fix It” solution to block exploits against the zero-day flaw, and the good news is that if you already applied that solution, you don’t need to undo those changes before applying this update. The bad news is that this isn’t the only zero-day vulnerability fixed in the IE patch bundle: Researchers at Trustwave Spiderlabs say they’ve confirmed that attackers are already exploiting one of the other flaws fixed in this IE update  (CVE-2013-3897).

Continue reading →


10
Sep 13

Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes

Adobe and Microsoft each separately released a raft of updates to fix critical security holes in their software. Adobe pushed patches to plug holes in Adobe Acrobat/Reader and its Flash and Shockwave media players. Microsoft released 14 13 patch bundles to fix at least 47 security vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer and Sharepoint.

crackedwinFour of the 13 bulletins Microsoft released today earned the company’s “critical” rating, meaning that on balance they address vulnerabilities that can be exploited by miscreants or malware to break into vulnerable systems without any help from users.

For enterprises and those who need to prioritize the installation of updates, Microsoft recommends installing the Outlook, Internet Explorer and SharePoint Server fixes as soon as possible. The Sharepoint update addresses some ten vulnerabilities, including one that Microsoft says was publicly disclosed prior to today’s patch batch.

Adobe’s Flash update fixes at least four flaws in the widely-installed media player, and brings the player to version 11.8.800.168 for Mac and Windows users (users of other OSes please see the chart below). Google Chrome should auto-update itself to the latest version for Chrome (11.8.800.170 for Windows, Mac and Linux); Google says it is in the process of rolling out the update, although my test version of Chrome is still stuck at v. 11.8.800.97, even after installing updates for Chrome and restarting. Likewise, Internet Explorer 10 should auto-update to the latest version. To find out which version of Flash you have installed, see this page.

The most recent versions of Flash are available from the Adobe download center, but beware potentially unwanted add-ons, like McAfee Security Scan). To avoid this, uncheck the pre-checked box before downloading, or grab your OS-specific Flash download from here. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply this patch twice, once with IE and again using the alternative browser (FirefoxOpera, e.g.).

Continue reading →


14
May 13

Microsoft, Adobe Push Critical Security Updates

Microsoft and Adobe today each released updates to fix critical security holes in their software. Microsoft’s patch batch tackles at least 33 vulnerabilities in Windows and other products, including a fix for a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 that attackers have been exploiting. Separately, Adobe pushed security updates for Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Acrobat and Adobe AIR.

crackedwinMicrosoft’s Patch Tuesday bundle includes two separate updates for Internet Explorer; the first (MS13-037) is a cumulative update for Internet Explorer. The second is a fix (MS13-038) specifically for a critical bug in IE 8 that miscreants and malware have been using to break into Windows computers. Other, slightly less severe holes were fixed in Microsoft Publisher, Word, Visio and Windows Essentials.

Last week, Microsoft released a stopgap “Fix-it” tool to help blunt the threat from the IE8 zero-day flaw. If you installed that interim fix, Microsoft recommends taking a moment to disable it before applying today’s patches.

<soapbox>On a side note..Dear Microsoft: Please stop asking people to install Silverlight every time they visit a Microsoft.com property. I realize that Silverlight is a Microsoft product, but it really is not needed to view information about security updates. In keeping with the principle of reducing the attack surface of an operating system, you should not be foisting additional software on visitors who are coming to you for information on how to fix bugs and vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that they already have installed. </soapbox>

Silverlight required? C'mon, Microsoft!

Silverlight required? C’mon, Microsoft!

As it usually does on Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday, Adobe used the occasion to push its own security updates. A new version of Flash (v. 11.7.700.202 for Mac and Windows systems) fixes 13 vulnerabilities.  IE 10 and Google Chrome automatically update themselves to fix Flash flaws. This link should tell you which version of Flash your browser has installed. If your version of Chrome is not yet updated to v. 11.7.700.202, you may need to just restart the browser.

Continue reading →


12
Jul 11

Microsoft Fixes Scary Bluetooth Flaw, 21 Others

Microsoft today released updates to fix at least 22 security flaws in its Windows operating systems and other software. The sole critical patch from this month’s batch addresses an unusual Bluetooth vulnerability that could let nearby attackers break into vulnerable systems even when the targeted computer is not connected to a network.

Bluetooth is a wireless communications standard that allows electronic devices — such as laptops, mobile phones and headsets — to communicate over short distances (the average range is between 30 to 100 meters, but that range can be extended with specialized tools). To share data, two Bluetooth-enabled devices normally need to “pair” with one another, a process that involves the exchange of a passkey between the two devices.

But Microsoft today shipped a patch to fix a flaw in its Bluetooth implementation on Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers that it said attackers could use to seize control over a vulnerable system without any action on the part of the user.  The assailant’s computer would need to be within a short distance of the victim’s PC, and the target would merely need to have Bluetooth turned on.

Joshua Talbot
, security intelligence manager for Symantec Security Response, said the vulnerability could be exploited without any alerts being sent to the victim PC.

“An attacker would exploit this by sending specific malicious data to the targeted computer while establishing a Bluetooth connection,” Talbot said. “Because of a memory corruption issue at the heart of this vulnerability, the attacker would then gain access to the computer. All this would happen before any notification alerts the targeted user that another computer has requested a Bluetooth connection.”

Although it is unlikely, such a vulnerability could be used to power a computer worm that spreads from one Bluetooth-enabled Windows laptop to another, Talbot said.

Continue reading →


15
Jun 11

Microsoft Patches Fix 34 Security Flaws

Microsoft on Tuesday released 16 software updates to fix at least 34 security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and other software. More than half of the updates address flaws Microsoft rates “critical,” meaning the bugs can be exploited with little to no user interaction.

For organizations that need to test patches before deploying them, Microsoft said four of the updates deserve priority:

  • MS11-042 (DFS). This bulletin resolves two privately reported issues affecting all versions of Windows.
  • MS11-043 (SMB Client). This bulletin resolves one privately reported issue affecting all versions of SMB Client on Windows.
  • MS11-050 (Internet Explorer). This security bulletin resolves 11 privately reported issues in Internet Explorer.
  • MS11-052 (Windows). This bulletin resolves one privately reported issue in Windows and is also Critical.

Another update, labeled “important,” fixes at least eight security problems in all versions of Microsoft Excel, including Office for Mac.

More information on this week’s updates is available at this summary. Updates are available from Windows Update and via Automatic Updates. You may want to set aside some time for this update package: Among the critical patches is an update for Microsoft’s .NET software, and .NET updates are typically bulky. If you experience problems after applying any of the updates, please leave a note about it in the comments below.


10
May 11

Security Fixes for Microsoft Windows, Office

Microsoft issued just two updates today to fix at least three security flaws in its Windows and Microsoft Office products, a merciful respite following last month’s record-setting patch push. One of the patches issued today earned a critical rating, the company’s most serious.

The critical patch is mainly a concern for enterprises that are running Windows Server 2003 and 2008 server operating systems. The Office update fixes two vulnerabilities in Microsoft Powerpoint, and affects older versions of Office, including Office XP, Office 2003, Office 2007 and 2004 for Mac (Office 2010 for Mac and Windows are not affected).

Updates are available through Windows Update or via Automatic Updates. As always, please leave a note in the comments if you experience any troubles during or after the installation of these patches.


13
Apr 11

Microsoft Issues Monster Patch Update

Microsoft released a record number of software updates yesterday to fix at least 64 security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and Office products, including at least one that attackers are actively exploiting.

Updates are available for all versions of Windows via Windows Update or Automatic Update. Nine of the patches earned Microsoft’s “critical” rating, which means the vulnerabilities they fix could be exploited to compromise PCs with little or no action on the part of the user, apart from visiting a booby-trapped Web site or opening a tainted file.

Redmond said three of patches should be top priorities. Two of them fix critical vulnerabilities in the “server message block” or SMB service, which handles Windows networking. Attackers could exploit the flaw addressed by MS11-020 by sending a single, specially crafted evil data packet to a targeted system. This is the type of flaw that should concern any network administrator, because it has high potential to be used to power an automated computer worm.

Microsoft also called attention to MS11-018, which is a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer that fixes critical flaws in all versions of the browser except the latest IE9, which is not affected. One of the IE vulnerabilities — the MHTML flaw I wrote about in January — is currently being exploited; another was discovered at the Pwn2Own hacking competition earlier this year.

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8
Mar 11

Patch Tuesday, Etc.

Microsoft has issued security updates to fix at least four security holes in its Windows operating system and other software. Not exactly a fat Patch Tuesday from Microsoft, but depending on how agile you are in updating third-party applications like Flash, iTunes and Shockwave, you may have some additional patching to do.

One of the updates from Microsoft earned a “critical” rating, meaning Redmond believes it could be exploited to break into vulnerable systems with little to no help from users. That flaw, a bug in the way Windows Media Player and Media Center process certain types of media files, could be leveraged by convincing a user to open a tainted video file. This flaw affects Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Continue reading →