Feeds

More cracks appear in Windows

Never-ending patch cycle

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft released two more critical patches on Tuesday - days after it released an emergency fix for a critical WMF vulnerability that has been exploited by hackers and virus writers. The two latest updates - which, unlike the WMF patch, came out as part of Microsoft's regular Patch Tuesday update cycle - fix a flaw in the way Microsoft Windows processes embedded web fonts (MS06-002) and a Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) decoding vulnerability (MS06-003).

Exploitation of these vulnerabilities creates a means for hackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service on a vulnerable system. The earlier WMF vulnerability remains the easiest to exploit, but security vendors warn that the embedded web-forms flaw also caries a computer worm risk.

Alan Bentley, UK managing director at security tools firm PatchLink, commented: "It has clearly been a bad year for downloadable file formats in the Windows world and it is only 10 days into the New Year. The new patches show some critical issues in Microsoft WMF, MS-TNEF and Web Font download file formats that can all allow remote code execution.

"The new MS06-002 Web Font vulnerability looks to be just as much of a problem as the WMF issue discovered last week. Once again, there is the opportunity for an attacker to use a spam HTML email or web page to impact users within an organisation. Failing to install the third critical security update released this month could compromise both your Microsoft Exchange email server and the Microsoft Outlook email client, once again, because of a file format problem that allows remote execution when decoding a hacked file."

Users are urged to apply the latest patches as soon as possible. "With an increasing trend in zero-day exploits, it is important for IT staff to plan ahead and really minimise the cycle time to get critical updates installed in a timely manner. Last year’s industry average of 30 days for organisations to deploy a patch from the time it is made available will clearly not be acceptable in the 2006 threat climate," Bentley added. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.