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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Microsoft

Microsoft Issues Patches for 3 Bugs Exploited as Zero-Day in the Wild

Microsoft Issues Patches for 3 Bugs Exploited as Zero-Day in the Wild
April 14, 2020Mohit Kumar
It's April 2020 Patch Tuesday , and during these challenging times of coronavirus pandemic, this month's patch management process would not go easy for many organizations where most of the resources are working remotely. Microsoft today released the latest batch of software security updates for all supported versions of its Windows operating systems and other products that patch a total of 113 new security vulnerabilities, 17 of which are critical and 96 rated important in severity. Patches for 4 Zero-Days Exploited In the Wild Most importantly, two of the security flaws have been reported as being publicly known at the time of release, and the 3 are being actively exploited in the wild by hackers. One of the publicly disclosed flaws, which was also exploited as zero-day, resides in the Adobe Font Manager Library used by Windows, the existence of which Microsoft revealed last month within an early security warning for its millions of users. Tracked as CVE-2020-10

Microsoft Issues March 2020 Updates to Patch 115 Security Flaws

Microsoft Issues March 2020 Updates to Patch 115 Security Flaws
March 11, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft today released security updates to fix a total of 115 new security vulnerabilities in various versions of its Windows operating system and related software—making March 2020 edition the biggest ever Patch Tuesday in the company's history. Of the 115 bugs spanning its various products — Microsoft Windows, Edge browser, Internet Explorer, Exchange Server, Office, Azure, Windows Defender, and Visual Studio — that received new patches, 26 have been rated as critical, 88 received a severity of important, and one is moderate in severity. However, unlike last month , none of the vulnerabilities the tech giant patched this month are listed as being publicly known or under active attack at the time of release. It's worth highlighting that the patch addresses critical flaws that could be potentially exploited by bad actors to execute malicious code by specially crafted LNK files and word documents. Titled "LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability" ( CVE-2020

Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide

Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide
March 10, 2020Wang Wei
Microsoft today announced that it has successfully disrupted the botnet network of the Necurs malware, which has infected more than 9 million computers globally, and also hijacked the majority of its infrastructure. The latest botnet takedown was the result of a coordinated operation involving international police and private tech companies across 35 countries. The operation was conducted successfully after researchers successfully broke the domain generation algorithm (DGA) implemented by the Necurs malware, which helped it remain resilient for a long time. DGA is basically a technique to unpredictably generate new domain names at regular intervals, helping malware authors to continuously switch the location of C&C servers and maintain undisrupted digital communication with the infected machines. "We were then able to accurately predict over six million unique domains that would be created in the next 25 months. Microsoft reported these domains to their respective r

Microsoft Brings Defender Antivirus for Linux, Coming Soon for Android and iOS

Microsoft Brings Defender Antivirus for Linux, Coming Soon for Android and iOS
February 21, 2020Mohit Kumar
Almost within a year after releasing Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for macOS computers , Microsoft today announced a public preview of its antivirus software for various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS and Debian. If this news hasn't gotten you excited yet... Microsoft is also planning to soon release Defender ATP anti-malware apps for smartphones and other devices running Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile operating systems. "We know our customers' environments are complex and heterogeneous. Providing comprehensive protection across multiple platforms through a single solution and streamlined view is more important than ever," the company said . "Next week at the RSA Conference, we'll provide a preview of our investments in mobile threat defense with the work we're doing to bring our solutions to Android and iOS." I am sure you might have heard this many times that 'Linux doesn&#

Microsoft Azure Flaws Could Have Let Hackers Take Over Cloud Servers

Microsoft Azure Flaws Could Have Let Hackers Take Over Cloud Servers
January 30, 2020Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers at Check Point today disclosed details of two recently patched potentially dangerous vulnerabilities in Microsoft Azure services that, if exploited, could have allowed hackers to target several businesses that run their web and mobile apps on Azure. Azure App Service is a fully-managed integrated service that enables users to create web and mobile apps for any platform or device, and easily integrate them with SaaS solutions, on-premises apps to automate business processes. According to a report researchers shared with The Hacker News, the first security vulnerability ( CVE-2019-1234 ) is a request spoofing issue that affected Azure Stack, a hybrid cloud computing software solution by Microsoft. If exploited, the issue would have enabled a remote hacker to unauthorizedly access screenshots and sensitive information of any virtual machine running on Azure infrastructure—it doesn't matter if they're running on a shared, dedicated or isolated vir

250 Million Microsoft Customer Support Records Exposed Online

250 Million Microsoft Customer Support Records Exposed Online
January 22, 2020Wang Wei
If you have ever contacted Microsoft for support in the past 14 years, your technical query, along with some personally identifiable information might have been compromised. Microsoft today admitted a security incident that exposed nearly 250 million "Customer Service and Support" (CSS) records on the Internet due to a misconfigured server containing logs of conversations between its support team and customers. According to Bob Diachenko, a cybersecurity researcher who spotted the unprotected database and reported to Microsoft, the logs contained records spanning from 2005 right through to December 2019. In a blog post, Microsoft confirmed that due to misconfigured security rules added to the server in question on December 5, 2019, enabled exposure of the data, which remained the same until engineers remediated the configuration on December 31, 2019. Microsoft also said that the database was redacted using automated tools to remove the personally identifiable info

Latest Microsoft Update Patches New Windows 0-Day Under Active Attack

Latest Microsoft Update Patches New Windows 0-Day Under Active Attack
December 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
With its latest and last Patch Tuesday for 2019, Microsoft is warning billions of its users of a new Windows zero-day vulnerability that attackers are actively exploiting in the wild in combination with a Chrome exploit to take remote control over vulnerable computers. Microsoft's December security updates include patches for a total of 36 vulnerabilities, where 7 are critical, 27 important, 1 moderate, and one is low in severity—brief information on which you can find later in this article. Tracked as CVE-2019-1458 and rated as Important, the newly patched zero-day Win32k privilege escalation vulnerability, reported by Kaspersky, was used in Operation WizardOpium attacks to gain higher privileges on targeted systems by escaping the Chrome sandbox. Although Google addressed the flaw in Chrome 78.0.3904.87 with the release of an emergency update last month after Kaspersky disclosed it to the tech giant, hackers are still targeting users who are using vulnerable versions of th

Microsoft to Reward Hackers for Finding Bugs in Open Source Election Software

Microsoft to Reward Hackers for Finding Bugs in Open Source Election Software
October 18, 2019Mohit Kumar
Fair elections are the lifelines of democracy, but in recent years election hacking has become a hot topic worldwide. Whether it's American voting machines during the 2016 presidential election or India's EVMs during 2014 general elections, the integrity, transparency, and security of electronic voting machines remained questionable, leaving a wound in the minds of many that is difficult to heal. Many countries, including the largest democracy in the world i.e., India, believe the best way to ensure the security of EVMs is to make its technology opaque to bad actors, but in recent years a large section of the population is losing trust in any system that has been certified by a closed group of experts only. To make a balance between transparency and security, in May 2019, Microsoft released a free, open-source software development kit (SDK) called ElectionGuard that aims to enable end-to-end verification of voting. Microsoft's ElectionGuard SDK can be integra

Microsoft Releases October 2019 Patch Tuesday Updates

Microsoft Releases October 2019 Patch Tuesday Updates
October 08, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft today rolling out its October 2019 Patch Tuesday security updates to fix a total of 59 vulnerabilities in Windows operating systems and related software, 9 of which are rated as critical, 49 are important, and one is moderate in severity. What's good about this month's patch update is that after a very long time, none of the security vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant this month is being listed as publicly known or under active attack. Moreover, there is no roll-up patch for Adobe Flash Player bundled in Windows update for this month. Besides this, Microsoft has also put up a notice as a reminder for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users, warning them that the extended support for these two operating systems is about to end in the next two months and that they will no longer receive updates as of January 14, 2020. Two of the critical vulnerabilities patched this month are remote code execution flaws in the VBScript engine, and both exist in the way VBS

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers
September 27, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Watch out Windows users! There's a new strain of malware making rounds on the Internet that has already infected thousands of computers worldwide and most likely, your antivirus program would not be able to detect it. Why? That's because, first, it's an advanced fileless malware and second, it leverages only legitimate built-in system utilities and third-party tools to extend its functionality and compromise computers, rather than using any malicious piece of code. The technique of bringing its own legitimate tools is effective and has rarely been spotted in the wild, helping attackers to blend in their malicious activities with regular network activity or system administration tasks while leaving fewer footprints. Independently discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft and Cisco Talos, the malware — dubbed " Nodersok " and " Divergent " — is primarily being distributed via malicious online advertisements and infecting users using

Google Discloses 20-Year-Old Unpatched Flaw Affecting All Versions of Windows

Google Discloses 20-Year-Old Unpatched Flaw Affecting All Versions of Windows
August 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Update — With this month's patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has finally addressed this vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-1162 , by correcting how the Windows operating system handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC). A Google security researcher has just disclosed details of a 20-year-old unpatched high-severity vulnerability affecting all versions of Microsoft Windows, back from Windows XP to the latest Windows 10. The vulnerability resides in the way MSCTF clients and server communicate with each other, allowing even a low privileged or a sandboxed application to read and write data to a higher privileged application. MSCTF is a module in Text Services Framework (TSF) of the Windows operating system that manages things like input methods, keyboard layouts, text processing, and speech recognition. In a nutshell, when you log in to your Windows machine, it starts a CTF monitor service that works as a central manager to handle communications between all c

Microsoft Releases July 2019 Security Updates, 2 Flaws Under Active Attack

Microsoft Releases July 2019 Security Updates, 2 Flaws Under Active Attack
July 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft today released its monthly batch of software security updates for the July month to patch a total of 77 vulnerabilities, 14 are rated Critical, 62 are Important, and 1 is rated Moderate in severity. The July 2019 security updates include patches for various supported versions of Windows operating systems and other Microsoft products, including Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, Azure DevOps, Open Source Software, .NET Framework, Azure, SQL Server, ASP.NET, Visual Studio, and Exchange Server. Details of 6 security vulnerabilities, all rated important, were made public before a patch was released, none of which were found being exploited in the wild. However, two new privilege escalation vulnerabilities, one affects all supported versions of the Windows operating system, and the other affects Windows 7 and Server 2008, have been reported as being actively exploited in the wild. Both actively exploited vulnerabilities lead to elevation of privilege, one (CVE-2019-1132)

Microsoft Releases June 2019 Security Updates to Patch 88 Vulnerabilities

Microsoft Releases June 2019 Security Updates to Patch 88 Vulnerabilities
June 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
After Adobe , the technology giant Microsoft today—on June 2019 Patch Tuesday—also released its monthly batch of software security updates for various supported versions of Windows operating systems and other Microsoft products. This month's security updates include patches for a total of 88 vulnerabilities, 21 are rated Critical, 66 are Important, and one is rated Moderate in severity. The June 2019 updates include patches Windows OS, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge browser, Microsoft Office and Services, ChakraCore, Skype for Business, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Azure. Four of the security vulnerabilities, all rated important and could allow attackers to escalate privileges, patched by the tech giant this month were disclosed publicly, of which none were found exploited in the wild. Unpatched Issue Reported by Google Researcher However, Microsoft failed to patch a minor flaw in SymCrypt , a core cryptographic function library currently used by

Update: Hacker Disclosed 4 New Microsoft Zero-Day Exploits in Last 24 Hours

Update: Hacker Disclosed 4 New Microsoft Zero-Day Exploits in Last 24 Hours
May 22, 2019Mohit Kumar
Less than 24 hours after publicly disclosing an unpatched zero-day vulnerability in Windows 10 , the anonymous hacker going by online alias "SandboxEscaper" has now dropped new exploits for two more unpatched Microsoft zero-day vulnerabilities. The two new zero-day vulnerabilities affect Microsoft's Windows Error Reporting service and Internet Explorer 11. Just yesterday, while releasing a Windows 10 zero-day exploit for a local privilege escalation bug in Task Scheduler utility, SandboxEscaper claimed to have discovered four more zero-day bugs, exploits for two has now been publicly released. AngryPolarBearBug2 Windows Bug One of the latest Microsoft zero-day vulnerabilities resides in the Windows Error Reporting service that can be exploited using a discretionary access control list (DACL) operation—a mechanism that identifies users and groups that are assigned or denied access permissions to a securable object. Upon successful exploitation, an attacker can del

Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts

Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts
April 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you have an account with Microsoft Outlook email service, there is a possibility that your account information has been compromised by an unknown hacker or group of hackers, Microsoft confirmed The Hacker News. Earlier this year, hackers managed to breach Microsoft's customer support portal and access information related to some email accounts registered with the company's Outlook service. Yesterday, a user on Reddit publicly posted a screenshot of an email which he received from Microsoft warning that unknown attackers were able to access some information of his OutLook account between 1 January 2019 and 28 March 2019. Another user on Reddit also confirmed that he/she too received the same email from Microsoft. According to the incident notification email, as shown below, attackers were able to compromise credentials for one of Microsoft's customer support agents and used it to unauthorisedly access some information related to the affected accounts, but not

Microsoft Releases April 2019 Security Updates — Two Flaws Under Active Attack

Microsoft Releases April 2019 Security Updates — Two Flaws Under Active Attack
April 09, 2019Mohit Kumar
Microsoft today released its April 2019 software updates to address a total of 74 CVE-listed vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and other products, 13 of which are rated critical and rest are rated Important in severity. April 2019 security updates address flaws in Windows OS, Internet Explorer, Edge, MS Office, and MS Office Services and Web Apps, ChakraCore, Exchange Server, .NET Framework and ASP.NET, Skype for Business, Azure DevOps Server, Open Enclave SDK, Team Foundation Server, and Visual Studio. None of the vulnerabilities addressed this month by the tech giant were disclosed publicly at the time of release, leaving the two recently disclosed zero-day flaws in Internet Explorer and Edge browsers still open for hackers. However, two new privilege escalation vulnerabilities, which affect all supported versions of the Windows operating system, have been reported as being actively exploited in the wild. Both rated as important, the flaws ( CVE-2019-0803

Unpatched Zero-Days in Microsoft Edge and IE Browsers Disclosed Publicly

Unpatched Zero-Days in Microsoft Edge and IE Browsers Disclosed Publicly
March 30, 2019Mohit Kumar
Exclusive — A security researcher today publicly disclosed details and proof-of-concept exploits for two 'unpatched' zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft's web browsers after the company allegedly failed to respond to his responsible private disclosure. Both unpatched vulnerabilities—one of which affects the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer and another affects the latest Edge Browser —allow a remote attacker to bypass same-origin policy on victim's web browser. Same Origin Policy (SOP) is a security feature implemented in modern browsers that restricts a web-page or a script loaded from one origin to interact with a resource from another origin, preventing unrelated sites from interfering with each other. In other words, if you visit a website on your web browser, it can only request data from the same origin [domain] the site was loaded from, preventing it from making any unauthorized request on your behalf in order to steal your data, from othe

Microsoft Releases Patches for 64 Flaws — Two Under Active Attack

Microsoft Releases Patches for 64 Flaws — Two Under Active Attack
March 12, 2019Mohit Kumar
It's time for another batch of "Patch Tuesday" updates from Microsoft. Microsoft today released its March 2019 software updates to address a total of 64 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and other products, 17 of which are rated critical, 45 important, one moderate and one low in severity. The update addresses flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge, MS Office, and MS Office SharePoint, ChakraCore, Skype for Business, and Visual Studio NuGet. Four of the security vulnerabilities, all rated important, patched by the tech giant this month were disclosed publicly, of which none were found exploited in the wild. Microsoft Patches Two Zero-Day Flaws Under Active Attack Microsoft has also patched two separate zero-day elevation of privilege vulnerabilities in Windows. Both flaws, also rated as important, reside in Win32k component that hackers are actively exploiting in the wild, including the one that Google warned of last w

Microsoft Patch Tuesday — February 2019 Update Fixes 77 Flaws

Microsoft Patch Tuesday — February 2019 Update Fixes 77 Flaws
February 12, 2019Mohit Kumar
Microsoft has issued its second Patch Tuesday for this year to address a total of 77 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and other products, 20 of which are rated critical, 54 important and 3 moderate in severity. February security update addresses flaws in Adobe Flash Player, Internet Explorer, Edge, Windows, MS Office, and Office Services and Web Apps, ChakraCore, .NET Framework, Exchange Server, Visual Studio, Azure IoT SDK, Dynamics, Team Foundation Server, and Visual Studio Code. Four of the security vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant this month have been reported as being publicly known at the time of release, and one is being actively exploited in the wild. The vulnerability actively being exploited in the wild is rated as important and resides in the way Internet Explorer handles objects in the memory. An attacker can trick victims into landing on a specially crafted website and exploit this vulnerability, identified as CVE-201

China Blocks Microsoft's Bing Search Engine, Despite Offering Censored Results

China Blocks Microsoft's Bing Search Engine, Despite Offering Censored Results
January 24, 2019Wang Wei
Update: Microsoft's search engine Bing has been restored in China after being inaccessible in the country for almost two days. According to sources familiar with the matter, Bing was blocked due to an accidental technical error and not due to an attempt at censorship. China has blocked Microsoft-owned search engine Bing , the company confirmed after receiving complaints from users throughout the country who took to social media beginning late Wednesday to express concerns. So, Bing becomes the latest service to be shut down by Chinese government behind its so-called Great Firewall of China , which blocks thousands of websites originating in the west including Facebook, WhatsApp , Twitter, Yahoo, and Google. The news came as a surprise because Microsoft's search engine actually followed China's strict rules on censoring search results. Online service WebSitePulse that tracks outages in China also confirmed that cn.bing.com—the web address for Bing in China since
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