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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Windows Update

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft Issues Fix for Actively Exploited 'Follina' Vulnerability

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft Issues Fix for Actively Exploited 'Follina' Vulnerability
June 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft finally released fixes to address an actively exploited Windows zero-day vulnerability known as Follina as part of its Patch Tuesday updates. Also addressed by the tech giant are  55 other flaws , three of which are rated Critical, 51 are rated Important, and one is rated Moderate in severity. Separately, five more shortcomings were resolved in the Microsoft Edge browser. Tracked as  CVE-2022-30190  (CVSS score: 7.8), the  zero-day bug  relates to a remote code execution vulnerability affecting the Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) when it's invoked using the "ms-msdt:" URI protocol scheme from an application such as Word. The vulnerability can be trivially exploited by means of a specially crafted Word document that downloads and loads a malicious HTML file through Word's remote template feature. The HTML file ultimately permits the attacker to load and execute PowerShell code within Windows. "An attacker who successfully exploits this vuln

Microsoft Issues Patches for 2 Windows Zero-Days and 126 Other Vulnerabilities

Microsoft Issues Patches for 2 Windows Zero-Days and 126 Other Vulnerabilities
April 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates for the month of April have addressed a  total of 128 security vulnerabilities  spanning across its software product portfolio, including Windows, Defender, Office, Exchange Server, Visual Studio, and Print Spooler, among others. 10 of the 128 bugs fixed are rated Critical, 115 are rated Important, and three are rated Moderate in severity, with one of the flaws listed as publicly known and another under active attack at the time of the release. The updates are in addition to  26 other flaws  resolved by Microsoft in its Chromium-based Edge browser since the start of the month. The actively exploited flaw ( CVE-2022-24521 , CVSS score: 7.8) relates to an elevation of privilege vulnerability in the Windows Common Log File System (CLFS). Credited with reporting the flaw are the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and CrowdStrike researchers Adam Podlosky and Amir Bazine. The second publicly-known zero-day flaw ( CVE-2022-26904 , CVSS score: 7.0)

Microsoft's New Autopatch Feature to Help Businesses Keep Their Systems Up-to-Date

Microsoft's New Autopatch Feature to Help Businesses Keep Their Systems Up-to-Date
April 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft last week announced that it intends to make generally available a feature called Autopatch as part of Windows Enterprise E3 in July 2022. "This service will keep Windows and Office software on enrolled endpoints up-to-date automatically, at no additional cost,"  said  Lior Bela, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, in a post last week. "The second Tuesday of every month will be 'just another Tuesday.'" Windows Autopatch is intended to work with all supported versions of Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows 365 for Enterprise. Windows Server OS and Windows 365 for Business, however, are not supported. The tech giant said the feature is aimed at tackling the complexity associated with software updates in enterprise IT environments as well as closing security gaps introduced as a result of not applying patches in a timely fashion, thereby opening the door to potential new threats.  The managed service works by applying the updates acro

Critical Security Patches Issued by Microsoft, Adobe and Other Major Software Firms

Critical Security Patches Issued by Microsoft, Adobe and Other Major Software Firms
March 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft's  Patch Tuesday update  for the month of March has been made officially available with 71 fixes spanning across its software products such as Windows, Office, Exchange, and Defender, among others. Of the total 71 patches, three are rated Critical and 68 are rated Important in severity. While none of the vulnerabilities are listed as actively exploited, three of them are publicly known at the time of release. It's worth pointing out that Microsoft separately  addressed 21 flaws  in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser earlier this month. All the three critical vulnerabilities remediated this month are remote code execution flaws impacting HEVC Video Extensions ( CVE-2022-22006 ), Microsoft Exchange Server ( CVE-2022-23277 ), and VP9 Video Extensions ( CVE-2022-24501 ). The Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability, which was reported by researcher Markus Wulftange, is also noteworthy for the fact that it requires the attacker to be authenticated to be able to

Microsoft Issues Windows Update to Patch 0-Day Used to Spread Emotet Malware

Microsoft Issues Windows Update to Patch 0-Day Used to Spread Emotet Malware
December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has rolled out  Patch Tuesday updates  to address multiple security vulnerabilities in Windows and other software, including one actively exploited flaw that's being abused to deliver Emotet, TrickBot, or Bazaloader malware payloads. The latest monthly release for December fixes a total of 67 flaws, bringing the total number of bugs patched by the company this year to 887, according to the  Zero Day Initiative . Seven of the 67 flaws are rated Critical and 60 are rated as Important in severity, with five of the issues publicly known at the time of release. It's worth noting that this is in addition to the  21 flaws  resolved in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. The most critical of the lot is  CVE-2021-43890  (CVSS score: 7.1), a Windows AppX installer spoofing vulnerability that Microsoft said could be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution. The lower severity rating is indicative of the fact that code execution hinges on the logged-on user level,

Microsoft Issues Patches for Actively Exploited Excel, Exchange Server 0-Day Bugs

Microsoft Issues Patches for Actively Exploited Excel, Exchange Server 0-Day Bugs
November 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has released security updates as part of its monthly  Patch Tuesday  release cycle to address 55 vulnerabilities across Windows, Azure, Visual Studio, Windows Hyper-V, and Office, including fixes for two actively exploited zero-day flaws in Excel and Exchange Server that could be abused to take control of an affected system. Of the 55 glitches, six are rated Critical and 49 are rated as Important in severity, with four others listed as publicly known at the time of release.  The most critical of the flaws are  CVE-2021-42321  (CVSS score: 8.8) and  CVE-2021-42292  (CVSS score: 7.8), each concerning a  post-authentication remote code execution flaw  in Microsoft Exchange Server and a security bypass vulnerability impacting Microsoft Excel versions 2013-2021 respectively. The Exchange Server issue is also one of the bugs that was demonstrated at the  Tianfu Cup  held in China last month. However, the Redmond-based tech giant did not provide any details on how the two aforem

Microsoft Releases Patch for Actively Exploited Windows Zero-Day Vulnerability

Microsoft Releases Patch for Actively Exploited Windows Zero-Day Vulnerability
September 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A day after  Apple  and  Google  rolled out urgent security updates, Microsoft has  pushed software fixes  as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday release cycle to plug 66 security holes affecting Windows and other components such as Azure, Office, BitLocker, and Visual Studio, including an  actively exploited zero-day  in its MSHTML Platform that came to light last week.  Of the 66 flaws, three are rated Critical, 62 are rated Important, and one is rated Moderate in severity. This is aside from the  20 vulnerabilities  in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser that the company addressed since the start of the month. The most important of the updates concerns a patch for  CVE-2021-40444  (CVSS score: 8.8), an actively exploited remote code execution vulnerability in MSHTML that leverages malware-laced Microsoft Office documents, with EXPMON researchers noting "the exploit uses logical flaws so the exploitation is perfectly reliable." Also addressed is a publicly disclose

Microsoft Releases Windows Updates to Patch Actively Exploited Vulnerability

Microsoft Releases Windows Updates to Patch Actively Exploited Vulnerability
August 10, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out  security updates  to address a total of 44 security issues affecting its software products and services, one of which it says is an actively exploited zero-day in the wild. The update, which is the smallest release since December 2019, squashes seven Critical and 37 Important bugs in Windows, .NET Core & Visual Studio, Azure, Microsoft Graphics Component, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Scripting Engine, Microsoft Windows Codecs Library, Remote Desktop Client, among others. This is in addition to  seven security flaws  it patched in the Microsoft Edge browser on August 5. Chief among the patched issues is  CVE-2021-36948  (CVSS score: 7.8), an elevation of privilege flaw affecting Windows Update Medic Service — a service that enables remediation and protection of Windows Update components — which could be abused to run malicious programs with escalated permissions. Microsoft's Threat Intelligence Center has been credited with reporting the flaw

Update Your Windows PCs to Patch 117 New Flaws, Including 9 Zero-Days

Update Your Windows PCs to Patch 117 New Flaws, Including 9 Zero-Days
July 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft rolled out  Patch Tuesday updates  for the month of July with fixes for a total of 117 security vulnerabilities, including nine zero-day flaws, of which four are said to be under active attacks in the wild, potentially enabling an adversary to take control of affected systems.  Of the 117 issues, 13 are rated Critical, 103 are rated Important, and one is rated as Moderate in severity, with six of these bugs publicly known at the time of release.  The updates span across several of Microsoft's products, including Windows, Bing, Dynamics, Exchange Server, Office, Scripting Engine, Windows DNS, and Visual Studio Code. July also marks a dramatic jump in the volume of vulnerabilities, surpassing the number Microsoft collectively addressed as part of its updates in  May  (55) and  June  (50). Chief among the security flaws actively exploited are as follows — CVE-2021-34527  (CVSS score: 8.8) - Windows Print Spooler Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (publicly disclosed

Microsoft's Emergency Patch Fails to Fully Fix PrintNightmare RCE Vulnerability

Microsoft's Emergency Patch Fails to Fully Fix PrintNightmare RCE Vulnerability
July 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Even as Microsoft  expanded patches  for the so-called PrintNightmare vulnerability for Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2016, it has come to light that the fix for the remote code execution exploit in the Windows Print Spooler service can be bypassed in certain scenarios, effectively defeating the security protections and permitting attackers to run arbitrary code on infected systems. On Tuesday, the Windows maker issued an  emergency out-of-band update  to address  CVE-2021-34527  (CVSS score: 8.8) after the flaw was accidentally disclosed by researchers from Hong Kong-based cybersecurity firm Sangfor late last month, at which point it emerged that the issue was different from another bug — tracked as  CVE-2021-1675  — that was patched by Microsoft on June 8. "Several days ago, two security vulnerabilities were found in Microsoft Windows' existing printing mechanism," Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point, told The Hack

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch for Critical Windows PrintNightmare Vulnerability

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch for Critical Windows PrintNightmare Vulnerability
July 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has shipped an  emergency out-of-band security update  to address a critical zero-day vulnerability — known as "PrintNightmare" — that affects the Windows Print Spooler service and can permit remote threat actors to run arbitrary code and take over vulnerable systems. Tracked as  CVE-2021-34527  (CVSS score: 8.8), the remote code execution flaw impacts all supported editions of Windows. Last week, the company warned it had detected active exploitation attempts targeting the vulnerability. "The Microsoft Windows Print Spooler service fails to restrict access to functionality that allows users to add printers and related drivers, which can allow a remote authenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges on a vulnerable system," the CERT Coordination Center said of the issue. It's worth noting that PrintNightmare includes both remote code execution and a local privilege escalation vector that can be abused in attacks to run com

Update Your Windows Computers to Patch 6 New In-the-Wild Zero-Day Bugs

Update Your Windows Computers to Patch 6 New In-the-Wild Zero-Day Bugs
June 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday released another round of  security updates  for Windows operating system and other supported software, squashing 50 vulnerabilities, including six zero-days that are said to be under active attack. The flaws were identified and resolved in Microsoft Windows, .NET Core and Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based and EdgeHTML), SharePoint Server, Hyper-V, Visual Studio Code - Kubernetes Tools, Windows HTML Platform, and Windows Remote Desktop. Of these 50 bugs, five are rated Critical, and 45 are rated Important in severity, with three of the issues publicly known at the time of release. The vulnerabilities that being actively exploited are listed below - CVE-2021-33742  (CVSS score: 7.5) - Windows MSHTML Platform Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2021-33739  (CVSS score: 8.4) - Microsoft DWM Core Library Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability CVE-2021-31199  (CVSS score: 5.2) - Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider Elevation

NSA Discovers New Vulnerabilities Affecting Microsoft Exchange Servers

NSA Discovers New Vulnerabilities Affecting Microsoft Exchange Servers
April 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
In its April slate of patches, Microsoft rolled out fixes for a total of  114 security flaws , including an actively exploited zero-day and four remote code execution bugs in Exchange Server. Of the  114 flaws , 19 are rated as Critical, 88 are rated Important, and one is rated Moderate in severity. Chief among them is  CVE-2021-28310 , a privilege escalation vulnerability in Win32k that's said to be under active exploitation, allowing attackers to elevate privileges by running malicious code on a target system.  Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which discovered and reported the flaw to Microsoft in February, linked the zero-day exploit to a threat actor named Bitter APT, which was found exploiting a similar flaw ( CVE-2021-1732 ) in attacks late last year. "It is an escalation of privilege (EoP) exploit that is likely used together with other browser exploits to escape sandboxes or get system privileges for further access," Kaspersky researcher Boris Larin  said . NS

Microsoft Issues Security Patches for 89 Flaws — IE 0-Day Under Active Attacks

Microsoft Issues Security Patches for 89 Flaws — IE 0-Day Under Active Attacks
March 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft plugged as many as  89 security flaws  as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday updates released today, including fixes for an actively exploited zero-day in Internet Explorer that could permit an attacker to run arbitrary code on target machines. Of these flaws, 14 are listed as Critical, and 75 are listed as Important in severity, out of which two of the bugs are described as publicly known, while five others have been reported as under active attack at the time of release. Among those five security issues are a clutch of vulnerabilities known as  ProxyLogon  (CVE-2021-26855, CVE-2021-26857, CVE-2021-26858, and CVE-2021-27065) that allows adversaries to break into Microsoft Exchange Servers in target environments and subsequently allow the installation of unauthorized web-based backdoors to facilitate long-term access. But in the wake of Exchange servers coming under  indiscriminate assault  toward the end of February by multiple threat groups looking to exploit the vulner

Microsoft Issues Patches for In-the-Wild 0-day and 55 Others Windows Bugs

Microsoft Issues Patches for In-the-Wild 0-day and 55 Others Windows Bugs
February 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday  issued fixes for 56 flaws , including a critical vulnerability that's known to be actively exploited in the wild. In all, 11 are listed as Critical, 43 are listed as Important, and two are listed as Moderate in severity — six of which are previously disclosed vulnerabilities. The updates cover .NET Framework, Azure IoT, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Edge for Android, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows Codecs Library, Skype for Business, Visual Studio, Windows Defender, and other core components such as Kernel, TCP/IP, Print Spooler, and Remote Procedure Call (RPC). A Windows Win32k Privilege Escalation Vulnerability The most critical of the flaws is a Windows Win32k privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2021-1732, CVSS score 7.8) that allows attackers with access to a target system to run malicious code with elevated permissions. Microsoft credited JinQuan, MaDongZe, TuXiaoYi, and LiHao of DBAPPSecurity for discovering and re
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