Feeds

Microsoft delivers four critical updates

Patch Tuesday train arrives

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft has issued four critical security updates that patch at least eight vulnerabilities in the various Windows operating systems and Office programs. If you use either, you'll want to install them sooner rather than later.

The most serious of the updates is one patching Microsoft's graphics device interface, the component in Windows that renders JPEGs and many other types of images. The GDI engine contains five separate vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to install malware on a system when it loads a specially crafted image file.

For whatever reason, GDI flaws seem to be the vulnerability of choice of attackers. Earlier this year, after Microsoft repaired a previous image-rendering bug, exploits found their way onto the net two days later. Four years ago, a toolkit exploiting a similar GDI flaw was released shortly after it was patched. Take note: There seems to be a pattern here of reverse engineering these types of updates to create in-the-wild attack code.

Microsoft also patched a bug in multiple versions of Office that could lead to remote code execution when a user clicks on a maliciously crafted OneNote protocol handler. The remaining two bulletins fix flaws in Windows Media Player and Windows Media Encoder, both of which could also allow an attacker to remotely install malware on a victim's machine.

As always, the SANS Internet Storm Center has a highly readable summary, which is available here.

This month's Patch Tuesday batch was notable in that all four updates carried the "critical" rating, Microsoft's most serious severity designation. Lest Apple users feel left out, that company has issued a raft of its own security fixes, and some of those look equally important. Looks like household-appointed admins will be working overtime today. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.