Qualys Blog

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Microsoft Fixes Malware Protection Engine and Several 0-Day Vulnerabilities, and Deprecates SHA-1

Hours before today’s Patch Tuesday release on the eve of May 8, Microsoft released an emergency updated to fix a vulnerability in their Malware Protection Engine. This critical vulnerability allows an attacker to take complete control of the victim’s machine by just sending an e-mail attachment. When the malware protection engine scans the attachment the malicious code in the file gets executed, allowing the attacker complete and full access to the computer. The attack can also be carried out by sending the file via an instant message or having the victim download the file from a website. It is absolutely essential that organizations using Microsoft Malware Protection Engine make sure that they are at version Version 1.1.13704.0 or later. Users should also check if they are patched for CVE-2017-0290, which was released for the same issue today.

In today’s Patch Tuesday update Microsoft released a total of 57 vulnerability fixes. Highest priority should go to patching 0-day issues which are actively exploited.  On top of our list is the Office patch for CVE-2017-0261 which is triggered when a victim opens an Office file containing a malformed graphics image.  The file could be delivered via email or any other means. As this is actively exploited in the wild and attackers can take complete control of the victim system, this should be treated with priority.

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Microsoft Fixes 45 Vulnerabilities with new Security Update Guide – says goodbye to Security Bulletins

Today is the first month since 1998 in which Microsoft stopped releasing security bulletins with the familiar MSxx-xxx format and replaced it with the new security update guide. We talked about this change earlier in a few blog posts and finally today it’s time to say good bye to security bulletins which essentially combined related vulnerabilities and products for easy of consumption.

In today’s release Microsoft fixed a total of 45 vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution, denial-of-service, elevation of privileges, security feature bypass and spoofing. Top priority goes to the Office and WordPad CVE-2017-0199 which fixed a 0-day vulnerability that is being actively exploited in the wild. Exploitation of this vulnerability requires that a user open or preview a specially crafted file with an affected version of Office or WordPad. Attacker could accomplish this by sending a specially crafted file to the user and then convincing the user to open the file. We recommend administrators patch this as soon as possible.

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Microsoft Ends 2016 with 15% Increase in Bulletin Volume

Happy December! In this last Patch Tuesday installment for 2016, Microsoft released 12 security bulletins which brings the 2016 yearly count to 155. This is about 15% higher than last year. Out of more than 3 billion scans that Qualys performs each year we saw an increase of about 20% in the total number of Microsoft vulnerabilities. This increase can be attributed to an increase in the volume of scanning and to the 15% increase in number of Microsoft bulletins. But the year is not over and I will come up with the normalized number after the year ends.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday August 2016

Its August 2016 Patch Tuesday and Microsoft has released nine security bulletins that affect a host of components including desktop operating systems, browsers, fonts  and servers. Five updates are rated as critical while four are rated as important.

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BSI Top 10 in a Nutshell: Patch These Software Packages

The German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik – BSI) is responsible for IT security within the German Federal government. In addition they work on IT security standards for Germany and are moving into a national incident tracking function as well. In December 2014 they published their yearly report summarizing the IT security state in Germany as "critical", with attacks rising, German companies leaking data and exposing their infrastructure to even physical damage. Much of it is due to a 'Digitale Sorglosigkeit', a digital carelessness where the IT industry does not pay attention to avoidable threats.

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November 2013 Patch Tuesday Preview

Microsoft has announced that next week’s November 2013 Patch Tuesday will have eight security bulletins covering both the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software. In addition, we have a high priority item with the current 0-day vulnerability in a graphics library that is used by Microsoft Office and older versions of Windows, with no patch available so far, but a relatively low impact workaround.

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May 2013 Patch Tuesday Preview

It is the week before Patch Tuesday May and Microsoft has published its Advance Notification, giving us insight into what to expect next Tuesday.

There will be 10 bulletins this month, covering all versions of Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft Office and Windows. The fixes for IE include the patch for the current 0-day vulnerability. A total of five bulletins allow for remote code execution (RCE) and should be the focus points for your patching next week.

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