Feeds

Windows, Office zero-day vuln must wait for next Patch Tuesday, says MS

November's updates promise relief for critical IE and Windows bugs

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft is lining up eight bulletins for the November edition of patch Tuesday (12 November), including three critical fixes, but there's no relief in sight for a zero-day vulnerability in how Office handles .TIFF graphics files.

Hackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in a graphics library that is used by Microsoft Office and older versions of Windows in a targeted attack, as revealed by The Register this week. There is no patch available for this, and nothing is scheduled to arrive next Tuesday.

However, Redmond's security gnomes have at least issued a workaround to defend against possible attacks that works by disabling TIFF rendering in the affected graphics library. TIFF is a format used frequently when scanning documents and in the publishing industry.

A comprehensive patch against the vulnerability, which only surfaced last week, will probably have to wait until December.

In the meantime there's November's eight-strong bulletin to consider, which covers flaw in both Windows and Microsoft Office software. The three “critical” bulletins affect IE and Windows, with the remaining five "important" bulletins affecting Office and Windows.

“All of the critical bulletins and one of the important bulletins result in a remote code execution and should be prioritised higher," explains Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of cloud security firm Qualys, in a blog post. "The rest of the important bulletins result in the elevation of privileges or a denial of service condition.”

Microsoft's pre-release advisory - which leaves out details of the vulnerabilities to be addressed pending their release next Tuesday - is here.

Ross Barrett, senior manager of security engineering at Rapid7, said November's medium to lightweight Patch Tuesday is likely to provoked mixed feelings among sysadmins.

"The November Patch Tuesday Advance Bulletin is out and I think everyone is breathing a sigh of both relief and frustration," Barrett commented. "Relief because for the first time in a few months, this is a relatively straightforward Patch Tuesday, with fixes for most Windows versions, the ever-present IE roll up patch, and some Office components, but nothing esoteric or difficult to patch. No SharePoint plugins, no complicated .NET patching, no esoteric office extensions."

"There is frustration because according to the MSRC blog, this round of patches does not include a fix for the recently published, exploited in the wild Office vulnerability described in Microsoft Security Advisory 2896666." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.