Microsoft released three critical patches last night, including a fix for the flaw being exploited by the sandworm gang.
As part of what it now calls Update Tuesday, Microsoft said in an advisory that the three critical-rated and five important patches will address 24 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) in Windows, Office, .NET Framework, .ASP.NET and Internet Explorer. “We encourage you to apply all of these updates, but for those who need to prioritise deployment planning, we recommend focusing on the Critical updates first,” it said.
Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, said that this mainly focuses on desktop software with the attack vector targeting end-users.
He said: “Several of the vulnerabilities are in use by attackers in the wild and should receive an extra urgent treatment by both enterprises and end-users alike. Overall, five of the eight bulletins allow for remote code execution (RCE) attacks, a higher than usual number. Microsoft had originally announced nine bulletins, but the vulnerability in Office rated as moderate in Bulletin #4 will be held back.”
Commentators agreed that the critical-rated MS14-058 should be the highest priority. Russ Ernst, director of product management at Lumension, said: “It patches two CVEs in Windows Kernel-Mode Driver that could allow a remote code execution. Note this is under active attack and is applicable to all shipping versions of Windows, including the Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, so it should be patched quickly.”
Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave, said: “The final critical bulletin in this release patches two vulnerabilities in the Windows Kernel-Mode Driver. The first vulnerability allows for privilege escalation for a currently logged in user due to memory corruption. The second vulnerability allows for arbitrary remote code execution because of the mishandling of TrueType fonts. To exploit the RCE vulnerability an attacker would need the victim to simply view a document with a maliciously crafted TrueType font. This could be a webpage or any office document.”
The fix for the flaw being exploited by the Sandworm gang is MS14-060. Rated important, Kandek said: “This bulletin fixes a vulnerability (CVE-2014-4114) that has been actively targeted in the wild and may lead to malicious programs being executed on victim machines. Using a UAC setting to ‘Always Prompt’ helps mitigate the impact of this vulnerability.”
Patch updates were also released by Oracle and Adobe last night.