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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Microsoft

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

Reminder: Microsoft to end support for Windows 7 in 1-year from today

Reminder: Microsoft to end support for Windows 7 in 1-year from today
January 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A new reminder for those who are still holding on to the Windows 7 operating system—you have one year left until Microsoft ends support for its 9-year-old operating system. So it's time for you to upgrade your OS and say goodbye to Windows 7, as its five years of extended support will end on January 14, 2020—that's precisely one year from today. After that date, the tech giant will no longer release free security updates, bug fixes and new functionalities for the operating system that's still widely used by people, which could eventually leave a significant number of users more susceptible to malware attacks. However, the end of free support doesn't end Windows 7 support for big business and enterprise customers. As always, Microsoft does make exceptions for certain companies that are willing to pay a lot of money to continue their support. According to a 'Death of Windows 7' report from content delivery firm Kollective, as many as 43% of enterprises

Hackers Using Zero-Width Spaces to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

Hackers Using Zero-Width Spaces to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection
January 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have been warning about a simple technique that cybercriminals and email scammers are already being using in the wild to bypass security features of Microsoft Office 365, including Safe Links, which are originally designed to protect users from malware and phishing attacks. Safe Links has been included by Microsoft in Office 365 as part of its ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) solution that works by replacing all URLs in an incoming email with Microsoft-owned secure URLs. Therefore, every time users click on a link provided in an email, Safe Links first sends them to a Microsoft owned domain, where it immediately checks the original link for anything suspicious. If Microsoft's security scanners detect any malicious element, it then warns the users about it, and if not, it redirects them to the original link. However, researchers at the cloud security company Avanan have revealed how attackers have been bypassing both Office 365's URL reputation check a

Microsoft building Chrome-based browser to replace Edge on Windows 10

Microsoft building Chrome-based browser to replace Edge on Windows 10
December 04, 2018Mohit Kumar
It is no secret how miserably Microsoft's 3-year-old Edge web browser has failed to compete against Google Chrome despite substantial investment and continuous improvements. According to the latest round of tech rumors, Microsoft has given up on Edge and reportedly building a new Chromium -based web browser, dubbed project codename " Anaheim " internally, that will replace Edge on Windows 10 operating system as its new default browser, a journalist at WindowsCentral learned. Though there is no mention of Project Anaheim on the Microsoft website as of now (except Anaheim Convention Center at California), many speculate that the new built-in browser could appear in the 19H1 development cycle of Microsoft's Insider Preview program. According to the report, the new browser will be powered by Blink rendering engine used by Chromium, one that also powers Google's Chrome browser, instead of Microsoft's own EdgeHTML engine. Chromium is an open-source Web b

63 New Flaws (Including 0-Days) Windows Users Need to Patch Now

63 New Flaws (Including 0-Days) Windows Users Need to Patch Now
November 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
It's Patch Tuesday once again…time for another round of security updates for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products. This month Windows users and system administrators need to immediately take care of a total of 63 security vulnerabilities, of which 12 are rated critical, 49 important and one moderate and one low in severity. Two of the vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant this month are listed as publicly known at the time of release, and one flaw is reported as being actively exploited in the wild by multiple cybercriminal groups. Zero-Day Vulnerability Being Exploited by Cyber Criminals The zero-day vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2018-8589 , which is being exploited in the wild by multiple advanced persistent threat groups was first spotted and reported by security researchers from Kaspersky Labs. The flaw resides in the Win32k component (win32k.sys), which if exploited successfully, could allow a malicious program to execute arbitrary code

Unpatched MS Word Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Infect Your Computer

Unpatched MS Word Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Infect Your Computer
October 30, 2018Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers have revealed an unpatched logical flaw in Microsoft Office 2016 and older versions that could allow an attacker to embed malicious code inside a document file, tricking users into running malware onto their computers. Discovered by researchers at Cymulate, the bug abuses the ' Online Video ' option in Word documents, a feature that allows users to embedded an online video with a link to YouTube, as shown. When a user adds an online video link to an MS Word document, the Online Video feature automatically generates an HTML embed script, which is executed when the thumbnail inside the document is clicked by the viewer. Researchers decided to go public with their findings three months after Microsoft refused to acknowledge the reported issue as a security vulnerability. How Does the New MS Word Attack Works? Since the Word Doc files (.docx) are actually zip packages of its media and configuration files, it can easily be opened and edited. Acco

Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON
October 29, 2018Mohit Kumar
Microsoft Windows built-in anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, has become the very first antivirus software to have the ability to run inside a sandbox environment. Sandboxing is a process that runs an application in a safe environment isolated from the rest of the operating system and applications on a computer. So that if a sandboxed application gets compromised, the technique prevents its damage from spreading outside the closed area. Since antivirus and anti-malware tools run with the highest level of privileges to scan all parts of a computer for malicious code, it has become a desired target for attackers. The need for sandboxing an antivirus tool has become necessary after multiple critical vulnerabilities were discovered in such powerful applications, including Windows Defender, in past years that could have allowed attackers to gain full control of a targeted system. That's why Microsoft announced to add a sandbox mode to its Windows Defender. So, even if an att

Microsoft October Patch Tuesday Fixes 12 Critical Vulnerabilities

Microsoft October Patch Tuesday Fixes 12 Critical Vulnerabilities
October 09, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft has just released its latest monthly Patch Tuesday updates for October 2018, fixing a total of 49 security vulnerabilities in its products. This month's security updates address security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Edge Browser, Internet Explorer, MS Office, MS Office Services and Web Apps, ChakraCore, SQL Server Management Studio, and Exchange Server. Out of 49 flaws patched this month, 12 are rated as critical, 35 are rated as important, one moderate, and one is low in severity. Three of these vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant are listed as "publicly known" at the time of release, and one flaw is reported as being actively exploited in the wild. Windows Update Patches An Important Flaw Under Active Attack According to the Microsoft advisory , an undisclosed group of attackers is actively exploiting an important elevation of privilege vulnerability (CVE-2018-8453) in Microsoft Windows operating system to take full control over the targete

Microsoft Issues Software Updates for 17 Critical Vulnerabilities

Microsoft Issues Software Updates for 17 Critical Vulnerabilities
September 11, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Times to gear up your systems and software. Just a few minutes ago Microsoft released its latest monthly Patch Tuesday update for September 2018, patching a total of 61 security vulnerabilities, 17 of which are rated as critical, 43 are rated Important, and one Moderate in severity. This month's security updates patch vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Edge, Internet Explorer, MS Office, ChakraCore, .NET Framework, Microsoft.Data.OData, ASP.NET, and more. Four of the security vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant this month have been listed as "publicly known" and more likely exploited in the wild at the time of release. CVE-2018-8475: Windows Critical RCE Vulnerability One of the four publicly disclosed vulnerabilities is a critical remote code execution flaw ( CVE-2018-8475 ) in Microsoft Windows and affects all versions Windows operating system, including Windows 10. The Windows RCE vulnerability resides in the way Windows handles specially cra
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