October 25, 2014

Microsoft, Adobe and Google release security patches for Critical vulnerabilities

binarycodeMicrosoft, Adobe and Google have released patches for their products to fix Critical security vulnerabilities. Microsoft released eight security bulletins – two rated Critical and six rated Important – to address 13 different vulnerabilities in .NET Framework, Office, SharePoint, Internet Explorer, and Windows. Adobe released security updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Reader, Acrobat, Flash Player, and Illustrator. For both companies, some of the vulnerabilities could allow hackers to run arbitrary code and take control of the affected system. Google also updated its Chrome web browser with the new version of Adobe Flash, but it also took the opportunity to patch some vulnerabilities in the internals of its browser.

Microsoft

Listed among Microsoft’s updates is a patch for IE which fixes the zero-day vulnerability that attackers were using against the browser at the end of April. Microsoft released this particular patch on May 1 2014 and the patch also applied to Windows XP. However the same can’t be said of the rest of Microsoft’s updates. XP is now officially dead, from a support point of view anyway.

May’s patches also include another update for IE. This time to fix two privately reported vulnerabilities in the browser. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. IE 6 to IE 11 are all affected.

Microsoft are also recommending that system administrators ensure that their systems are updated with  MS14-024 and MS14-025. The former fixes a vulnerability in the MSCOMCTL common controls library that could allow a security feature bypass if a user views a specially crafted webpage with a web browser capable of instantiating COM components, such as Internet Explorer. The latter patches a vulnerability in Windows that could allow elevation of privilege if the Active Directory Group Policy preferences are used to distribute passwords across the domain. The update removes the ability to configure and distribute passwords that use certain Group Policy preference extensions because such actions could allow an attacker to retrieve and decrypt the password stored with Group Policy preferences.

Adobe

Adobe’s updates cover three main product groups: Adobe Reader and AcrobatAdobe Flash Player and Adobe Illustrator (CS6). The affected versions are as follows:

  • Adobe Reader XI 11.0.07 for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Reader X 10.1.10 for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Acrobat XI (11.0.07) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Acrobat X (10.1.10) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Flash Player 13.0.0.214 for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.359 for Linux
  • Adobe AIR SDK and Compiler 13.0.0.111 for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Illustrator (subscription) 16.2.2 for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Illustrator (non-subscription) 16.0.5 for Windows and Macintosh

The patch for Adobe Illustrator (CS6) for Windows and Macintosh fixes a “vulnerability that could be exploited to gain remote code execution on the affected system”, while the updates for Adobe Flash Player “address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” All the updates are rated as Critical including the third set which patch Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI to “address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.”

Google

With the release of a new version of Adobe Flash, Google released Chrome 34.0.1847.137 for Windows, Mac and Linux to include Flash Player 13.0.0.214. However the search giant also took the opportunity to fix three security problems. The non-Google researchers who contributed to finding the vulnerabilities where rewarded $4500 between them for their efforts:

  • [$2000][358038] High CVE-2014-1740: Use-after-free in WebSockets. Credit to Collin Payne.
  • [$1500][349898] High CVE-2014-1741: Integer overflow in DOM ranges. Credit to John Butler.
  • [$1000][356690] High CVE-2014-1742: Use-after-free in editing. Credit to cloudfuzzer.

Microsoft releases 11 bulletins including a patch for Vista zero-day exploit, but XP still under attack

microsoft logoMicrosoft has released 11 security bulletins to address 24 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and Exchange. Among them is the fix for the TIFF file vulnerability in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Office 2003 to 2010, and all supported versions of Microsoft Lync. However a fix for the zero-day vulnerability in Windows XP, which is being actively exploited in the wild via a malicious PDF file, is missing.

MS13-096 fixes the publicly disclosed vulnerability that can allow remote code execution if a user views content that contains specially crafted TIFF files. According to Microsoft an attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability can execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user who viewed the TIFF file.

The vulnerability is currently being exploited in the wild and targeting PC users mainly in the Middle East and South Asia. The attack uses an email with a specially crafted Word attachment.  However the security bulletin points out that this isn’t the only possible attack vector. The vulnerability can be exploited in a web-based attack scenario, where an attacker creates a website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability and then convinces a user to view the website, or via email.

Another Critical rated fix is MS13-097, a cumulative update for Internet Explorer. The patch resolves seven privately reported vulnerabilities in IE, the most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage. The update affects Internet Explorer 6 through to Internet Explorer 11.

MS13-099 resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Scripting Runtime Object Library that could allow remote code execution if a user visits a specially crafted website. The update is rated as Critical for Windows Script 5.6, Windows Script 5.7, and Windows Script 5.8 where affected on all supported releases of Microsoft Windows.

Security Bulletin MS13-106 fixes a publicly disclosed vulnerability in a Microsoft Office shared component that is currently being exploited in the wild. The problem exists because hxds.dll in Microsoft Office 2007 SP3 and 2010 SP1 and SP2 do not implement the ASLR protection mechanism, which makes it easier for remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted COM component on a web site that is visited with IE. The security feature bypass by itself does not allow arbitrary code execution. However, an attacker could use this ASLR bypass vulnerability in conjunction with another vulnerability, such as a remote code execution vulnerability that could take advantage of the ASLR bypass to run arbitrary code.

patch.tuesday.dec.2013.deployment

The other Critical bulletins are:

  • MS13-098 – Resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that could allow remote code execution if a user or application runs or installs a specially crafted, signed portable executable (PE) file on an affected system.
  • MS13-105  – Resolves three publicly disclosed vulnerabilities and one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Server. The most severe of these vulnerabilities exist in the WebReady Document Viewing and Data Loss Prevention features of Microsoft Exchange Server.

The Important bulletins from Microsoft are:

  • MS13-100 – Resolves multiple privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office server software. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an authenticated attacker sends specially crafted page content to a SharePoint server.
  • MS13-101 – Resolves five privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of these vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to a system and runs a specially crafted application.
  • MS13-102 – Addresses a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker spoofs an LRPC server and sends a specially crafted LPC port message to any LRPC client.
  • MS13-103 – Fixes a privately reported vulnerability in ASP.NET SignalR. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker reflects specially crafted JavaScript back to the browser of a targeted user.
  • MS13-104 – Resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office that could allow information disclosure if a user attempts to open an Office file hosted on a malicious website.

Microsoft fixes Critical IE and Remote Desktop flaws

Windows(LiveHacking.Com) – Microsoft has released a series of nine security bulletins, (two Critical and seven Important) to fix 14 different vulnerabilities in a range of its products including Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Antimalware and Windows Server Software.

The first of the two Critical level bulletins patches Internet Explorer against a remote code execution attack which could occur if users visited a specially crafted webpage using IE. A successful exploited would mean that the attacker would gain the same rights as the current user. The good news is that both of these IE issues were privately disclosed and Microsoft has not detected any attacks or customer impact. The vulnerabilities affect Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, and Internet Explorer 10.

There is also a remote code execution patch for Windows in connection with the Windows Remote Desktop Client ActiveX control. As with the IE bugs, this vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker convinces a customer to view a website containing specially crafted content that exploits the vulnerability. This bug is seen as Critical for the Remote Desktop Connection 6.1 Client and the Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 Client on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Although Windows 8 was not affected by the Remote Desktop vulnerability, it isn’t immune to other problems including an exclusive patch for problems with the Windows 8 antimalware client used in Windows Defender.

Microsoft received a private report about a vulnerability that could allow elevation of privilege due to the pathnames used by the Microsoft Antimalware Client. If successfully exploited an attacker could execute arbitrary code and take complete control of an affected system. This would allow them to install programs and create new accounts. The bulletin is marked as Important (and not Critical)  for Windows 8 and Windows RT as an attacker must have valid logon credentials to exploit the vulnerability.

Microsoft to fix 57 unique vulnerabilities in February’s Patch Tuesday, also updates Flash in IE 10

microsoft logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Microsoft has published an advanced notification of security patches that it intends to release on Tuesday February 12, 2013. It will  release 12 bulletins, five of which are rated as Critical and seven as Important. These bulletins address 57 unique vulnerabilities in various Microsoft products including Windows, Internet Explorer and Exchange Software, Office, .NET Framework, and Microsoft Server Software.

All five Critical bulletins resolve remote code execution problems while the Important class advisories will address denial of service and elevation of privilege problem along with another less harmful remote code execution vulnerability.

Windows XP is affected by four of the five Critical bulletins, while Windows 8 is affected by only two of them. The common vulnerabilities between the oldest and newest of Microsoft’s current supported operating systems are all connected with Internet Explorer. It seems that Microsoft will patch some holes in IE which can be found in IE 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The version of IE 10 in Windows RT is also affected.

The other Critical bulletin will be issued regarding Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

IE 10 and Adobe Flash Player

Microsoft has also issued an update for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 to update the built-in version of Adobe Flash Player which Adobe recently updated.  Adobe released security updates for Adobe Flash Player on Windows, OS X, Linux and Android to address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Adobe is reporting that at least two of the vulnerabilities addressed are being exploited in the wild. In one targeted attack, users are tricked  into opening a Microsoft Word document delivered as an email attachment which contains malicious Flash (SWF) content. The other vulnerability is being exploited via malicious Flash (SWF) content hosted on websites that target Flash Player in Firefox or Safari on the Macintosh platform, as well as attacks designed to trick Windows users into opening another Microsoft Word document.

Adobe fixes Flash Player and Microsoft patches IE 10 to update its built-in version

adobe-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, OS X, Linux and Android. These updates address a vulnerability that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to executable arbitrary code on the affected system.

These updates fix a buffer overflow vulnerability in Flash that could lead to code execution.

Affected Versions

  • Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.135 and earlier versions for Windows
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.136 and earlier versions for Macintosh
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.258 and earlier versions for Linux
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.1.115.34 and earlier versions for Android 4.x
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.1.111.29 and earlier versions for Android 3.x and 2.x
  • Adobe AIR 3.5.0.880 and earlier versions for Windows
  • Adobe AIR 3.5.0.890 and earlier versions for Macintosh
  • Adobe AIR 3.5.0.880 for Android
  • Adobe AIR 3.5.0.880 SDK and Adobe AIR 3.5.0.890 SDK

IE10

Microsoft has also revised Security Advisory 2755801 to include the latest Adobe updates. IE10 comes with a built-in version of Flash (like Chrome). An IE10 update is availbale as a cumulative update, which means customers do not need to install previous updates as a prerequisite for installing the current update.

“We remain committed to working closely with Adobe to deliver quality protections that are aligned with Adobe’s update process,” wrote Dustin Childs from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing unit.

IE lets web pages track mouse movements, bad news for virtual keyboards, great news for unscrupulous ad companies

(LiveHacking.Com) –  Details have emerged about how Microsoft Internet Explorer allows web pages with JavaScript to track the whereabouts of the mouse anywhere on the screen, even outside of the currently viewed web page. The ramifications of this are two fold. First those using virtual keyboard as a way to avoid possible keyloggers can now no longer assume that the virtual keyboard is safe. Secondly it appears that unscrupulous ad companies have been using this flaw for a while to  measure the viewability of display ads.

Spider.io, a web analytics firm, told Microsoft about the flaw in October, but Redmond has done nothing about it. The issues affects all version of Internet Explorer from version 6 to version 10 and only since the finding have been made public has Microsoft commented on the vulnerability. At the moment Microsoft has no plans to patch the flaw.

The team at Spider.io have created a game to illustrate how easy it is to exploit IE and compromise the security of virtual keyboards. The game may be found at iedataleak.spider.io. There is also a demonstration showing how the flaw can be used to track the mouse over the Skype keypad despite the fact that the Internet Explorer window is not active.

According to  Doug de Jager, chief executive of spider.io, the vulnerability is already being exploited by at least two display ad analytics companies across billions of page impressions per month.

“The vulnerability is being exploited rather mischievously by these companies to measure the viewability of display ads – arguably the hot topic in display advertising at the moment,” de Jager told the Guardian. “Almost every US-based user of Internet Explorer will have their mouse cursor tracked via this exploit almost every day they browse the web.”

Microsoft’s lack of action is a little surprising and it is Redmond’s indifference that has caused Spider.io to disclose the details of the flaw. “We are currently investigating this issue, but to date there are no reports of active exploits or customers that have been adversely affected,” Microsoft said in a statement, adding that it would take “appropriate action to protect our customers”.

Details of the vulnerability

Due to a design flaw, Internet Explorer is populating the global Event object with attributes relating to mouse events, even when it shouldn’t. This means that a web page can be created which uses the fireEvent() method to poll for the mouse position anywhere on the screen and at any time. The reason why the flaw allows programs like Skype to be tracked is that the fireEvent() method and the mouse positions are processed even when the page isn’t active or focused.

Microsoft to patch critical bugs including first fixes for Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT

(LiveHacking.Com) – Microsoft has published its advance notification for November’s Patch Tuesday. This month the company plans to release six bulletins which will fix 19 separate vulnerabilities. Four of the six bulletins are ranked at Critical and will  address 13 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and the .NET Framework. Of the remaining two, the first is rated as Important and will address four vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office and finally, the last bulletin is rated as moderate and will address two issues in Microsoft Windows.

Five of the six bulletins fix vulnerabilities which could allow remote code execution. If exploited it would mean that attackers could use this bugs to install malware on to a vulnerable PC. The first bulletin is for Internet Explorer 9 and applies to Windows Vista and above (as IE9 isn’t available for XP) except for Windows 8 which runs IE10 by default, similarly bulletin three (the moderate update that addresses two issues in Windows) only applies to Windows Vista and above except Windows 8. However the remaining three Windows related bulletins affect all supported versions of Windows from XP upwards.

Microsoft’s latest operating system is not immune to these bugs as Windows 8 receives three critical updates this month. This isn’t surprising as large parts of the code (especially the various libraries  are common across many versions of Windows. What is more surprising is that Windows 8 RT (the version that runs on ARM tablets) receives one critical and one important update. This again highlights the amount of source code shared between the different version and the bugs are related to the platform.

The bulletins are scheduled for release on the second Tuesday of this month, November 13, 2012, at approximately 10 a.m. PST.

In brief: Microsoft updates Internet Explorer 10 to address vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player

(LiveHacking.Com) – Adobe has released a new version of its ubiquitous Flash Player to address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially be exploited by an attacker to infect a PC with malware. As a result Microsoft has issued a patch to IE10 to update the browser’s built-in version of Flash Player.

Microsoft has revised Security Advisory 2755801 to reflect the changes. The new version of IE is available for all supported editions of Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and Windows RT. For more information about the update, including download links, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2770041

“We remain committed to taking the appropriate actions to help protect customers and will continue to work closely with Adobe to deliver quality protections that are aligned with Adobe’s update process,” said Dave Forstrom, Director, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing.

Adobe has released a security update for Adobe Flash Player

(LiveHacking.Com) – Adobe has released a security update for Adobe Flash Player to address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially be exploited by an attacker to infect a PC with malware.

The update applies to Adobe Flash Player 11.4.402.287 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.243 and earlier versions for Linux, Adobe Flash Player 11.1.115.20 and earlier versions for Android 4.x, and Adobe Flash Player 11.1.111.19 and earlier versions for Android 3.x and 2.x.

The update addresses six different memory issues and a security bypass vulnerability:

  • Buffer overflow vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2012-5274, CVE-2012-5275, CVE-2012-5276, CVE-2012-5277, CVE-2012-5280).
  • Memory corruption vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2012-5279).
  • Security bypass vulnerability that could lead to code execution (CVE-2012-5278).

If you need to check the version of Adobe Flash Player installed on your system, access the About Flash Player page, or right-click on content running in Flash Player and select “About Adobe (or Macromedia) Flash Player” from the menu. For those with multiple browsers installed you should perform the check for each browser. Android users should tap on Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Adobe Flash Player x.x.

The built-in version of Flash Player has also been updated in Internet Explorer 10 and Chrome.

Google Sponsored Report Says Chrome is the Safest Browser

(LiveHacking.Com) – Accuvant has published a report, commissioned by Google, called “Browser Security Comparison: A Quantitative Approach” which evaluates the security of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The report finds that Google Chrome is currently the browser that is most secured against attacks.

“Anybody who surfs the internet is familiar with malware, spyware and viruses. These malicious programs can lead to system pop-ups, slowdowns, account takeovers, and theft of credit card data, social security numbers and other personally identifiable information. While antivirus and anti-malware can help prevent infection, the first line of defense is using a secure web browser,” said Ryan Smith, chief scientist for Accuvant. “Accuvant is dedicated to providing essential services, like this in-depth, proactive research, that help protect vendors, companies, government agencies, and the public-at-large against those with malicious intent.”

Although the report was commissioned by Google, Accuvant says its analysis is independent and based on the premise that all software of sufficient complexity has vulnerabilities. As such the web browser with the best anti-exploitation techniques is the most resistant to attack.

“Our researchers used a completely different and more extensive methodology than previous, similar studies,” said Chris Valasek, Accuvant LABS senior research scientist. “We compared web browsers from a layered perspective, taking into account security architecture and anti-exploitation techniques. Like antivirus or anti-malware software, each provides an additional layer of defense. This methodology requires a greater depth of technical expertise than statistical analysis of vulnerabilities, and also provides a more accurate window into the security of each browser.”

The Conclusion

The reports executive conclusion reads “the URL blacklisting services offered by all three browsers will stop fewer attacks than will go undetected. Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art antiexploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening. While both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement the same set of anti-exploitation technologies, Google Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures are implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner. Therefore, we believe Google Chrome is the browser that is most secured against attack.