Feeds

Outlook preview pane-shatter bug fix stars in November Patch Tuesday

'Giant pool of potential victims'

New hybrid storage solutions

Microsoft's light sprinkling of just three bulletins as part of its November Patch Tuesday contains a patch to address a critical hole that is particularly ripe for exploitation.

The single "critical" update in the batch (MS10-087) affects Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010, which both currently contain a handy mechanism to push malware in booby-trapped emails while relying on minimal user interaction.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at patching firm nCircle, explained: “The bug means that anyone who receives a malformed email with the preview pane enabled need only click on it to be infected with malware. The number of people using preview panes creates a giant pool of potential victims, and that makes this bug extremely attractive to hackers."

The flaw has prompted the first security patch for Microsoft Office 2010. Joshua Talbot, security intelligence manager at Symantec Security Response, added that the flaw exploits vulnerabilities in how Word handles Rich Text Format files, rather than the more common route of bobby-trapped .doc files. Malformed files can be used to execute a buffer overflow-based code injection attack on vulnerable systems.

The two remaining patches in November's litter cover lesser ("important") updates for PowerPoint and Microsoft ForeFront Unified Access Gateway (an SSL VPN product). In total the three advisories cover 11 vulnerabilities.

What is even more significant than the vulnerabilities addressed on Tuesday is an unpatched security bug in Internet Explorer. The IE zero-day, confirmed by Redmond last week, has already appeared in targeted malware attacks but a fix may have to wait until December.

As usual a neat diagram explaining the bulletins has been put together by the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre here. Redmond's advisory is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Leak of '5 MEELLLION Gmail passwords' creates security flap
You should be OK if you're not using ANCIENT password
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Enigmail PGP plugin forgets to encrypt mail sent as blind copies
User now 'waiting for the bad guys come and get me with their water-boards'
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.