December Patch Tuesday 2016

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December Patch Tuesday has a flurry of exploits and public disclosures. Coming in to Patch Tuesday, we already had one zero day from Mozilla (CVE-2016-9079) which updated on November 30. Today, Adobe released nine bulletins, including a critical update for Adobe Flash that resolves a zero day (CVE-2016-7892). Microsoft is updating Flash for IE and also has five publicly disclosed vulnerabilities being resolved.

Starting with Firefox, Mozilla announced an update on November 30 that resolved a zero day in SVG Animation. This was identified in attacks targeting unmasking users of the Tor anonymity network. In an article from ZDNet, there was speculation from researchers that this exploit was very similar to an exploit known to have been used by the FBI back in 2013 that was used to unmask IP addresses of Tor users.

Today Mozilla is releasing version 50.1, which includes the Zero Day fix from 50.0.2, which released a couple weeks ago. If you have not already done so, ensure that Firefox is on your priority list this month.

Adobe has released nine bulletins today, but only one is rated as critical. I am sure most of you have guessed that it is for Flash Player and also includes a zero day.  APSB16-39 resolves 17 total vulnerabilities and the exploited CVE-2016-7892, which has been used in limited targeted attacks against Windows systems running Internet Explorer (32-bit).

According to an article from Threat Post, analysts from the Google Threat Analysis Group discovered the vulnerability and privately disclosed details to Adobe. Adobe did not have details around the specific attack and the Google researches have not disclosed any more detail publicly at this time.

As always, when there is a Flash Player update, you need to make sure to update all instances of Flash on systems. This means Flash plug-ins for IE, Chrome and Firefox. Some of these will auto update, others may take some prodding before they will update. This is why having a solution that can scan for all four variations is critical to make sure you have plugged all the vulnerabilities in your environment.

On to Microsoft. Microsoft has released a total of 12 bulletins, six of which are critical. Microsoft is resolving 42 unique vulnerabilities this month.

Aside from Flash for IE, Microsoft does not have any additional zero days to report, but they do have several public disclosures. A public disclosure means that enough detail has been released to the public to give a threat actor a jump start in developing an exploit. This puts their vulnerabilities at higher risk of exploit.

MS16-144 is a critical update for Internet Explorer that resolves eight vulnerabilities, three of which are publicly disclosed (CVE-2016-7282, CVE-2016-7281, CVE-2016-7202). Many of the vulnerabilities resolved in this update target a user through specially hosted websites and ActiveX controls and through taking advantage of user-provided content or advertisements or compromised websites.

MS16-145 is a critical update for the Edge browser that resolves 11 vulnerabilities, three of which are publicly disclosed (CVE-2016-7206, CVE-2016-7282, CVE-2016-7281). Similar to the IE vulnerabilities, many of the vulnerabilities resolved in this update target a user through specially hosted websites and ActiveX controls and through taking advantage of user-provided content or advertisements or compromised websites.

MS16-146 and MS16-147 are both rated as critical and affect components of the Windows Operating System. Both resolved vulnerabilities that would target a user and can be mitigated by running as less than a full administrator on the system.

MS16-148 is a critical update for Office, Sharepoint and Web Apps that resolves 16 vulnerabilities. Many of the vulnerabilities resolved in this update can target a user through specially crafted files. An attacker can also host specially crafted web content to exploit many of these vulnerabilities. CVE-2016-7298 is also able to use the Preview Pane as an attack vector.

MS16-155 is an important update for .Net Framework and resolves one vulnerability. Although only rated as important, this bulletin resolves a vulnerability that has been publicly disclosed (CVE-2016-7270), putting it at higher risk of being exploited.

There are additional bulletins from Adobe and Microsoft this month, but these are the bulletins that should be on your priority list for December.

As always, we will be running our monthly Patch Tuesday webinar, where we will go deeper into the bulletins released and recommendations to prioritize what updates need to be put in place sooner than others. Make sure to sign up for the December Patch Tuesday webinar to catch playbacks of previous months and get access to our infographics and presentations to give you the information you need going into your monthly maintenance. www.shavlik.com/Patch-Tuesday

 

 

 

 

August Patch Tuesday 2016

Patch Tuesday Infographic

Third-party coverage for the August Patch Tuesday is pretty light. But just because we have no releases from Adobe, Google, Apple or Mozilla doesn’t mean there is nothing to worry about. Last week Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox released security updates. Mozilla addressed four critical vulnerabilities in Firefox 48 and Chrome resolved four high vulnerabilities (their critical equivalent) in Chrome 52.

Microsoft has released nine bulletins this month. Five are rated as critical and four as important. There are no public disclosures or exploits in the wild this month! Also, for those of you looking at Windows 10 1607, you may want to hold off for a little bit. There are a lot of issues circulating because systems did not successfully upgrade, and the recovery options are not spectacular.

Let’s take a closer look at the five critical bulletins this month. All five include fixes for user targeted vulnerabilities and many of them could be reduced in impact if the user is running as less than a full administrator. User-targeted vulnerabilities are easier for an attacker to exploit as they only have to convince a user to click on specially crafted content; it is an easy and quick way for them to gain entry to your network. Understanding which bulletins include vulnerabilities that are user targeted can help you prioritize where to focus your attention first. Endpoints are the entry point for many forms of attacks, from APTs to Ransomware. Plugging as many user-targeted vulnerabilities on the endpoints is a good practice to reduce entry points to your network.

The Five Critical Bulletins

MS16-095 is a cumulative update for Internet Explorer. This bulletin is rated critical and resolves nine vulnerabilities, most of which are user targeted.

MS16-096 is a cumulative update for Edge. This bulletin is rated as critical and resolves 10 vulnerabilities, most of which are user targeted.

MS16-097 resolves three vulnerabilities in Microsoft Graphics Component. The bulletin is rated as critical and affects both Windows and Office. In Office, the Preview Pane is an attack vector for these three vulnerabilities, so an attacker does not even need to convince a user to click on content if the preview is enabled.

MS16-099 resolves seven vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. This bulletin is rated as critical and one of the resolved vulnerabilities is exploitable through the Preview Pane.

MS16-102 is rated as critical and resolves one vulnerability in Microsoft PDF. This vulnerability is user targeted. If you are using the Edge browser on Windows 10 it is possible to exploit this vulnerability simply by visiting a website with specially crafted PDF content. On all other OS versions, the attacker would need to convince users to click on the specially crafted content because Internet Explorer does not render PDF content automatically.

For more details on Patch Tuesday, Patch Tuesday Infographics or to sign up for our Monthly Patch Day webinar visit us at www.shavlik.com/Patch-Tuesday.

March Patch Tuesday 2016

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March Patch Tuesday has a great deal of updates, but no public disclosures or exploited vulnerabilities as of yet. Let’s start with what we know for sure: Microsoft has released 13 bulletins, five of which are critical and eight are rated as important. With these bulletins, Microsoft is resolving 39 total vulnerabilities this month. On the non-Microsoft front, Adobe is releasing two bulletins, rated as Priority 2 and 3, that resolve four vulnerabilities. Additionally, Mozilla FireFox 45 has been released and is rated critical, as it resolves 22 vulnerabilities.

First, taking a closer look at Microsoft, we have critical updates for Internet Explorer (MS16-023) and Edge (MS16-024), as expected. These updates resolve 13 and 11 vulnerabilities, respectively. Microsoft’s claim that Edge is more secure appears to be valid, although this month’s activity does not make that big of a difference. So far in 2016, IE has had 27 vulnerabilities, as compared to Edge’s 19. As you would expect, the vulnerabilities resolved in both browsers involve exploiting a user through specially crafted web content. In this situation, an attacker who convinces a user to click on specific content can gain the same user rights as the actual user. If that user is a full admin, the attacker would gain complete control of the system, allowing them to create accounts, install, remove apps and delete data, among other things.

10 of the Microsoft updates affect Windows, including the other three critical updates from Microsoft. MS16-026 resolves vulnerabilities in graphic fonts, while MS16-027 resolves vulnerabilities in Windows Media and MS16-028 resolves vulnerabilities in Windows PDF Library. In all three cases, the attacker would exploit vulnerabilities by convincing a user to open specifically concocted files and media content. As a result, the attacker would gain equal privileges as the current user; so least-privilege rules will reduce the impact of these vulnerabilities. In the case of MS16-026, Windows 10 mitigates one of the vulnerabilities further by reducing the attacks privileges because they can only execute out of the sandbox.

Microsoft Office and Sharepoint are both affected by MS16-029, which is rated as important and resolves three vulnerabilities. For all of you ops guys out there, I know there is some uneasiness around patching Sharepoint because the updates cannot be rolled back easily if something goes wrong. If you are on a virtual machine, you can take a snapshot prior to the update. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can quickly revert back. If you are not yet virtualized, consider making the switch – doing so will make life a lot easier.

There are six more important updates affecting Windows components, including Kernel-Mode Drivers, USB Mass Storage Class Driver, Secondary Logon, and OLE. Last on the list is an update for .Net Framework. .Net is always interesting because you can have various versions on a machine. As a result, it can also take a bit longer to install updates for .Net. So, if your servers take a while to install updates, know that it’s due to multiple .Net versions requiring updates.

Now, switching to the non-Microsoft updates:

Mozilla has released FireFox 45, which resolves 22 total vulnerabilities, eight of which are critical. The vulnerabilities range from buffer overflows to font vulnerabilities, with the sheer number of updates making this update a priority for this month.

Adobe has released two bulletins so far. The first is APSB16-006, a Priority 3 update for Digital Editions that resolves a critical vulnerability. Although there is only one, it is critical and could lead to code execution; which makes me wonder about the priority. The second Adobe bulletin is for Adobe Acrobat and Reader. APSB16-009 resolves three vulnerabilities, including yet another critical that could lead to code execution. This bulletin is rated as a Priority 2.

While we haven’t seen it yet, there is evidence a Flash update could be on its way. If you look through the Flash Player distribution page, a new version has appeared, but none of the links have been updated to distribute it. This could signal the change in distribution that Adobe has warned us about for a few months now. Either way, if Flash Player drops, expect a bulletin from Microsoft for Flash for Internet Explorer, as well as an update from Google Chrome to support the latest plug-in and updates for Flash Player at the OS and FireFox plug-in levels.

Join us tomorrow for the March Patch Tuesday webinar where we will discuss the bulletins in more detail.

February Patch Tuesday 2016

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February Patch Tuesday started a bit early with Oracle releasing an out-of-band update for Java to resolve a critical vulnerability that allows DLL Hijacking. Microsoft has released 13 bulletins, six of which are critical, resolving a total of 42 vulnerabilities. Of the vulnerabilities being resolved, two have been publicly disclosed. We also have releases from Adobe for Flash and Photoshop, Mozilla for Firefox, and Google is expected to release a Chrome update with security fixes and support for the latest Flash Plug-In.

Starting with Oracle, the vulnerability resolved by Java 8u73 (CVE-2016-0603) affects many other products, but so far, Oracle and SUSE VirtualBox are the only vendors to release updates to resolve it so far. Researchers are still reporting additional products affected, but the notables include Firefox, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader, 7Zip, WinRAR, OpenOffice, VLC Media Player, Nmap, Python, TrueCrypt, and Apple iTunes. So far there is no confirmation on the Firefox or Chrome releases resolving this vulnerability. Expect to see some more security release in the coming weeks.

As noted, Microsoft has released 13 total bulletins, six of which are rated as critical. Of the 42 vulnerabilities resolved, two have been publicly disclosed – these are part of MS16-014 (CVE-2016-0040) and MS16-015 (CVE-2016-0039). Public disclosures are a risk indicator that we use to rate threat risk, signaling a threat actor has a jump-start on the vendor and is able to exploit the vulnerability before companies can get an update in place. MS16-014 may only be rated as important by Microsoft, but the fact that it has a public discloser means it is at higher risk of exploit.

Here are some things to watch out for this month with Microsoft:

There is a Sharepoint update included in the Office bulletin, MS16-015. I know, all of your Sharepoint admins just cringed, but it has to be updated. This is a critical bulletin and has a publicly disclosed vulnerability, CVE-2016-0039. One of the complicating factors with Sharepoint is the fact that rollback is not an easy thing if something breaks. If you have not already done so, we highly recommend virtualizing your Sharepoint servers so you can take advantage of snapshot capabilities to roll back to a good state, in case something goes wrong.

MS16-014 is rated as important and affects the Windows Operating System. The threat around this bulletin should be considered high, as it does have a public disclosure. CVE-2016-0040 resolves a vulnerability with improper handling of objects in memory by the Kernel. According to the Microsoft bulletin, if exploited “an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.” The reason this is likely reduced in severity is because the attacker would need to log on to the system and then run a specially crafted application to exploit the vulnerability.

MS16-018 affects Kernel-Mode Drivers, so both MS16-014 and MS16-018 are making changes to Kernel behavior this month. As always, it is good to test Kernel updates thoroughly before deploying.

One change Microsoft made this month, that I hope is permanent, is making the Adobe Flash Player Plug-In update for Internet Explorer officially a Security Bulletin instead of a Security Advisory. This is a major change to how they have identified the Flash Player Plug-In updates in the past, and one that is warranted, because you have not completely resolved Flash vulnerabilities unless you’ve update the OS and all browser plug-ins. So keep an eye out for MS16-022, which is the critical update for Adobe Flash Player, for all currently supported versions of Windows and IE.

Speaking of Adobe Flash, APSB16-04 is a Priority 1 update resolving 22 vulnerabilities that should be on your priority list this month, especially since Adobe Flash has been highly targeted because it is so widely distributed. Remember, you need to update Adobe Flash, and Flash for IE, Flash for Google Chrome, and Flash for Firefox to completely plug all of these 22 vulnerabilities.

Adobe Photoshop is a Priority 3 update this month that resolves for three lower severity security vulnerabilities.

Mozilla has released Firefox 44.0.1. So far, there’s no report on if security fixes were included in this release or not.

You can also expect to see a Google Chrome release coming out which will be resolve for some security vulnerabilities and will include support for the Flash Player APSB16-04 update. Do make sure this is on your priority list this month.

Join us tomorrow for the February Patch Tuesday webinar where we will discuss the bulletins in more detail.

Patch Tuesday February 2015

SecurityImageIt is February and already we have seen some excitement so far this year. Between Microsoft dissolving the ANS (Advanced Notification Service), to Google’s Project Zero team rigidly adhering to their 90-day disclosure policy (disclosing a Windows vulnerability days before the January Bulletin released, not to mention the disclosure of three high severity Apple vulnerabilities in late January), and a series of Flash Zero Day’s that were discovered in the wild and quickly turned around by Adobe. My take on each of these:

  • Microsoft ANS – I’m not a fan of dissolving this program. Not all companies may have used this to their full advantage, but customers of ours relied on the ANS to give them a couple of day jumpstart on prepping for their monthly maintenance. If Microsoft introduces patches to a product that has never been updated prior to the patch cycle, admins will need time to prep test machines. Now they will be condensing that time along with change control processes into a tighter window.
  • Google Project Zero disclosures – Anyone who has read my blogs or commentary before knows that I am a proponent for vendors being responsible about disclosures, but after a resolution is in place. Yes the time to resolution is important, and for vendors who are negligent I fully agree with the Google stance. By Chris Betz’s comments in a blog post just after Google’s disclosure of the Windows OS vulnerability, they had communicated to Google, prior to the 90-day date, that the update was coming just a couple of days later. What purpose did this disclosure serve other than to stir up a lively debate?
  • Flash Zero Day’s – I do not envy the Adobe Security Team so far this year. Browsers, browser plug-ins and media players are prime targets for hackers. They are on practically every device we use, so naturally they will become a target. I do think that the turnaround from discovery to resolution on these three instances was very fast and applaud the Adobe team for ensuring the resolutions were delivered quickly.

For February Patch Tuesday the non-Microsoft updates are going to be light this month. With three Zero Day’s in a row, Flash Player has had a number of updates pushed recently. Companies that have not pushed the most recent Flash Player updates should do so immediately. Since January there have been three Flash Player updates to cover a series of Zero Day’s discovered in the wild. The most recent update on Feb. 5 also included 17 other vulnerability fixes. The expectation is that we will not be seeing a Flash Player update this Patch Tuesday, but you definitely have updates to push if you have not done so since January.

With the series of Flash Player updates, you will also need to push the latest IE Advisory 3021953 to update the Flash Plug-in, otherwise you have not fully plugged the three Zero Day’s and additional vulnerabilities from the Flash releases.

Google Chrome also released prior to patch Tuesday to accommodate the urgent Flash Player updates. The latest Chrome update resolves the Feb. 5 Flash Player plug-in update along with 11 security fixes. This should be another high priority update for you this month. Google has announced a Beta Channel Update for Chrome, which usually indicates a release is not far off. I would expect it to be a feature release since Google updated so many security fixes on Feb. 5.

Mozilla Firefox released an update last week including 10 security vulnerabilities. Four of these are Critical. This should be among your top priorities this month to get updated.

On the Microsoft front we will see a fairly average-sized Patch Tuesday. Three Critical and six Important updates have been released. The impact this month includes the operating system, Internet Explorer, Office, SharePoint and System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Internet Explorer is a critical update this month. Having not pushed an update in January, it is not surprise that there are 41 vulnerabilities being resolved in this Security Rollup. Definitely a Priority 1 this month. One of these has been publicly disclosed.

There are two Critical updates for the Windows Operating System updates this month. The first is a Critical Kernel Mode Driver update this month, so test diligently lest you blow up the brains of the machine. Then we have a Critical update group policy that could allow remote code execution. The VMM update applies to both server and client installs. If you have the admin console installed on the VMM server you should update the VMM server patch first, then the administrator console patch.

There are no Critical updates for Office this month, but there are multiple Important updates including a SharePoint update. The thing about SharePoint updates is the lack of rollback. Test adequately, especially if you have a lot of SharePoint plug-ins. If you have not already done so, you should look into virtualizing your SharePoint servers. The ability to snapshot the VM prior to updating will allow you to rollback even if the patch does not support it. If you are running VMware vSphere and Shavlik Protect, you can take advantage of our snapshot feature to do a pre-deploy snapshot automatically during the patch process.

Here is a bulletin-by-bulletin summary of the updates you should be planning for this February (first three released prior to Patch Tuesday):

APSB15-04: Security updates available for Adobe Flash Player
Vendor Severity: Priority 1
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 18 (+2 more if you have not pushed APSB15-03 yet)
Impact: 1 Zero Day currently being exploited in the wild (+2 more if you did not push -03), use-after-free, memory corruption, type confusion, heap buffer overflow, buffer overflow, and null pointer vulnerabilities.

Chrome 40.0.2214.111 : Stable Channel Update
Vendor Severity: High
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 11 (Also includes support for latest Flash plug-in)
Impact: 3 Highs resolving use-after-free, cross-origin-bypass, and privilege escalation

Firefox: 34 and 35 updates
Vendor Severity: Critical
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 10
Impact: 4 critical updates resolving sandbox escape, read-after-free, memory safety, and update to the OpenH254 plug-in.  Also includes uninitialized memory use, origin header, memory use, wrapper bypass and other vulnerability fixes.

MS15-009: Security Update for Internet Explorer (3034682)
Vendor Severity: Critical
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 41 (1 is publicly disclosed)
Impact: Remote Code Execution, Security Feature Bypass

MS15-010: Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Driver Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3036220)
Vendor Severity: Critical
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 6 (1 is publicly disclosed)
Impact: Elevation of privilege, Security feature bypass,

MS15-011: Vulnerability in Group Policy Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3000483)
Vendor Severity: Critical
Shavlik Priority: Priority 1 – Should be pushed out as soon as possible
Vulnerability Count: 1
Impact: Remote code execution

MS15-012: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3032328)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 3
Impact: Remote Code Execution

MS15-013: Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3033857)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 1 (publicly disclosed)
Impact: Security Feature Bypass

MS15-014: Vulnerability in Group Policy Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3004361)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 1
Impact: Security Feature Bypass

MS15-015: Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3031432)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 1
Impact: Elevation of Privilege

MS15-016: Vulnerability in Microsoft Graphics Component Could Allow Information Disclosure (3029944)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 1
Impact: Information Disclosure

MS15-017: Vulnerability in Virtual Machine Manager Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3035898)
Vendor Severity: Important
Shavlik Priority: Priority 2 – Should be pushed within 10 days
Vulnerability Count: 1
Impact: Elevation of Privilege

Join us tomorrow on our monthly Patch Tuesday webinar as we discuss the priorities and pitfalls you will want to watch out for.

Get in the Driver's Seat with Shavlik at MMS 2011

Shavlik is looking forward to participating in the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas next week. We’ll be in booth #523 where we’ll be demonstrating Shavlik SCUPdates, our 3rd party patching solution that plugs into Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

In every conversation we have with our customers, partners, industry experts and IT managers, everyone agrees that patching 3rd party applications is a critical need. In fact, Gartner, CERT and SANS all say that 90+% all exploits take advantage of known vulnerabilities where patches have been made available but not applied. Furthermore, four of the five most exploited applications were not Microsoft products. So, if you’re using SCCM to patch your Microsoft infrastructure, what are you doing for the 3rd party applications on your network?

Shavlik SCUPdates plugs into System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) and delivers the detection and deployment logic to patch non-Microsoft applications (we actually cover the Microsoft apps too). With Shavlik SCUPdates your Adobe Reader, Flash, Firefox, iTunes, to name a few, will all be patched and up to date.

SCUPdates will maximize your investment in SCCM and save your system administrators time and aggravation.

So, if you’re in Las Vegas next week, please stop by and say hello (you could win an Xbox 360 with Kinect).

Click here to learn more about Shavlik SCUPdates.

-Mike Bleakmore
Product Marketing Director
Shavlik Technologies