Qualys Blog

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November 2016 Patch Tuesday Video Highlights

Today Microsoft fixed two zero-day vulnerabilities and a total of 6 critical and 8 important updates which are covered in this video highlight. It also covers Adobe security updates released today.

Adobe Releases Flash Player and Adobe Connect Vulnerability Fix

Adobe released APSB16-37 today which is an update to its Flash Player. APSB16-37 fixes nine privately disclosed vulnerabilities. Flash Player runtime for Windows, Mac, Linux as well as Chrome OS and browsers like Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are affected. This patch comes two weeks after an emergency release on October 26 which fixed an actively attacked Flash Player issue.

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Patch Tuesday: Microsoft Patches Actively Exploited Kernel and OpenType Font, Three Previously Disclosed Browser Issues and SQL Server

Today Microsoft released 14 security bulletins with six critical and eight important security fixes. It patched 0-day vulnerability CVE-2016-7255 in the MS16-135 which was actively attacked and disclosed by Google in their disclosure blog a few days ago. Since it is publicly disclosed and actively exploited it should be the top priority for organizations. An OpenType font vulnerability CVE-2016-7256 was also included by Microsoft in MS16-132 as being actively exploited. This vulnerability allows attackers to take complete control if the victim views a specially crafted webpage and therefore should be considered equally critical. Last but not least, three more vulnerabilities that were disclosed before availability of patches were fixed. These three issues are in IE and Edge browser and were fixed in MS16-142 and MS16-129 respectively (CVE-2016-7227 for IE, CVE-2016-7199 and CVE-2016-7209 for Edge). There is no indication yet that these three previously disclosed issues are being actively exploited.

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Windows Kernel 0-day Actively Exploited

Google’s threat analysis group has observed active attacks for Windows kernel win32k.sys vulnerability and has therefore disclosed this previously unknown vulnerability. It’s a local privilege escalation issue which implies that an attacker would need valid local credentials to trigger the issue. If exploited an attacker with low privilege could obtain higher privilege like that of an administrator.  The only technical details known at this point is that the issue can be triggered via the win32k.sys system call NtSetWindowLongPtr() for the index GWLP_ID on a window handle with GWL_STYLE set to WS_CHILD.

There is currently no patch or acknowledgement from Microsoft about the issue. Please stay tuned for updates. For reference, see the Google disclosure blog post.

Emergency Flash Player 0-day update released by Adobe

Adobe released APSB16-36 today to fix one 0-day vulnerability in Flash.  The vulnerability is currently being used in active attacks and therefore Adobe released this emergency fix. If left un-patched, attackers can remotely take complete control of the machine. The vulnerability (CVE-2016-7855) is triggered when the victim views malicious Adobe flash content. Usually innocent users end up with malicious flash content by clicking on bad links from e-mails, blogs, bulletin boards and other sources.

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Oracle October 2016 Critical Patch Update

Oracle released another massive patch update today which fixed 253 security flaws across hundreds of Oracle products.  This year we have seen the updates getting bigger as compared to an average of 161 vulnerabilities 2015 and 128 vulnerabilities in 2014. Many components fixed in today’s release are remotely exploitable. Since most organizations have different teams to patch databases, networking components, operating systems, applications server and ERP systems, I have broken down the massive update in these categories. Other than the exception of Java there are no consumer products and administrators should focus on their individual patching domains.

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October Patch Tuesday 2016 Video Highlights

Today Microsoft started rolling out a new way to patch systems, and this video highlight covers the new patching mechanism, five 0-day vulnerabilities patched by today’s update as well as Adobe vulnerabilities that were fixed.

Adobe October Security Advisories

Adobe released three security advisories today fixing 84 security issues in total. This is a big number but the silver lining is that none of the patches released today were for 0-day vulnerabilities.  All vulnerabilities were privately reported to Adobe and so far none seem to be exploited before the release of their respective patch.

APSB16-32 patches 12 vulnerabilities in Flash player and gets a priority rating of 1. Flash has been targets by Exploit Kits like Rig, Neutrino and Angler and we agree that it should be patched as soon as possible. If left un-patched the vulnerability has a potential to allow attackers to take control of the affected system. It affects the Windows, Mac and Linux runtime as well as flash player for Internet Explorer, Edge and Chrome.

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Microsoft October B week Patch Tuesday: Five 0-days Fixed

Today Microsoft started rolling out a new way to patch systems, and I explain the different components which are included and their timeline:

  1. Patch Tuesday (second Tuesday of every month or B week): Two main components will be released on Patch Tuesday:
    1. A security-only update: This is a single update containing all new security fixes for that month. It will be released on Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) where it can be consumed by other tools like ConfigMgr, and the Windows Update Catalog. This package will NOT be available for consumer PCs which get updated via Windows Update.
    2. A security monthly rollup: A single update containing all new security fixes for that month (same as the security-only update) as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollups. This will be available for consumer PCs which get updated via Windows Update.
  2. Third Tuesday of every month (C Week): This is a monthly rollup containing a preview of new non-security fixes that will be included in the next monthly rollup, as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollup.  This is included for users to test their systems before next month. This will be available on WSUS, Windows update and Windows Update Catalog.

Internet Explorer updates are included in the security-only and monthly security rollup. .NET will follow a similar formula as monthly rollup and security-only updates. Continue reading …

Problem with OpenSSL Patches of September 22, 2016

Today, OpenSSL has released an update advising of a problem with patches that was released last week on September 22.

The first offending patch was for CVE-2016-6309, and it could result in a crash or even execution of attacker-supplied code resulting in compromise of the patched machine. This issue only affects OpenSSL 1.1.0a, released on 22nd September 2016. As a result OpenSSL 1.1.0 users should upgrade to 1.1.0b.

The second offending patch was for CVE-2016-7052, and if the patch is installed, it could allow attackers to cause a denial of service condition leading to a crash. This issue affects only OpenSSL 1.0.2i, released on 22nd September 2016. As a result OpenSSL 1.0.2i users should upgrade to 1.0.2j.