Feeds

It's 2014 and Microsoft Windows PCs can still be owned by a JPEG

Update now: OS, Internet Explorer and (of course) Flash all in line for fixes

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Patch Tuesday Microsoft has fixed security bugs in Internet Explorer and Windows that allow hackers to remotely execute code on victims' vulnerable machines – one bug a result of poor JPEG handling.

Redmond said the March edition of Patch Tuesday – out today, natch – tackles programming errors in the software giant's web browser, operating system and Silverlight package. Users should update their systems as soon as possible:

  • Patch bulletin MS14-012 fixes one publicly disclosed vulnerability and 17 privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer versions 6 through to 11 on all supported versions of Windows except the core installations of Windows Server 2008 and 2012. A malicious web page could exploit any of these holes to execute arbitrary code as the logged-in user, mainly by tricking IE into accessing memory it shouldn't.
  • Patch bulletin MS14-013 sorts out a flaw in the Windows DirectShow component, which incorrectly processed JPEGs allowing a maliciously crafted image to execute code on the victim's machine once opened. All supported versions of Windows are at risk except for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium and Windows RT.
  • Patch bulletin MS14-015 addresses a privilege escalation flaw in the kernel-level wink2k.sys component of Windows. A hacker could exploit this bug to gain administrator access on Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, and Windows 8 and 8.1, Server 2012, Windows RT and RT 8.1.
  • Patch bulletin MS14-016 closes a hole in Windows' Security Account Manager Remote Protocol that could allow someone to bypass security checks "if an attacker makes multiple attempts to match passwords to a username", suggesting the system is vulnerable to brute-force attacks. It affects all supported builds of Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008, and Server 2012.
  • Patch bulletin MS14-014 squashes a security bug in Silverlight that allows miscreants to bypass security protections – Data Execution Protection (DEP) and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) – to make it easier to exploit other bugs.

Microsoft credited 23 outside researchers in helping to root out and report the IE flaws, exploits for which do exist, we're told. Discovery of the DirectShow cock-up was credited to VeriSign's iDefense Labs.

Adobe, meanwhile, is advising users to update Flash after the company released an update for the media plugin on Windows, OS X and Linux. That patch addresses a pair of security flaws that could allow attackers to bypass security protections or view the contents of a user's clipboard.

Adobe credited discovery of the flaws, which have not yet been targeted in the wild, to researchers Jordan Milne and Masato Kinugawa. Users can obtain the update through Adobe's download site or by updating their copies of Chrome and Internet Explorer to the latest stable releases. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
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
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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.