Feeds

Serious IE and Windows flaws left to fester

No Microsoft fix in sight

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft won't fix vulnerabilities in the latest versions of Internet Explorer or Windows during its regularly scheduled patch release on Tuesday, meaning users will have to wait at least another month to get updates that correct the security risks.

The software maker on Thursday said January's Patch Tuesday will include a single bulletin that fixes a vulnerability that carries a severity rating of "critical" in Windows 2000 and "low" in all other versions of the operating system. That's one of the slimmest ever offerings since Microsoft began the practice of releasing security fixes on the second Tuesday of every month.

That may lighten the load on IT admins, but it also means potentially serious vulnerabilities known to affect Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 will be allowed to fester for at least another 28 days.

As reported previously by El Reg, the IE 8 bug can enable attacks against people browsing websites that are otherwise safe to view. The flaw can be exploited to introduce XSS, or cross-site scripting, exploits on webpages, allowing attackers to inject malicious content and code. Ironically, it resides in a feature Microsoft added to harden the browser against that very type of attack.

There are no reports of hackers targeting the vulnerability, but several months ago, Google began overriding the XSS protection on many of its web properties citing a "significant flaw" in the IE8 feature. Jeremiah Grossman, a web application expert at WhiteHat Security, offers guidance here on whether webmasters should follow Google's lead.

Also remaining unfixed is a bug that allows an attacker to completely lock up systems running windows 7 and Windows 2008R2. The flaw, which resides in the OSes' SMB, or server message block, can be triggered remotely by sending malformed traffic that specifies incoming packets that are smaller or larger than they actually are. SMB is a network protocol used to provide shared access to files and printers.

Microsoft's Jerry Bryant said the company is still working on a fix for the SMB flaw and is not aware of any in-the-wild attacks that target the weakness.

Also coming Tuesday is an update for a critical vulnerability in Adobe's Reader and Acrobat applications that allow attackers to remotely execute malicious code on people who open booby-trapped PDF files. That vulnerability is being actively exploited in attacks aimed at specific individuals. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.