June’s Patch Tuesday is lighter weight compared to previous months. In all, 51 unique CVEs are addressed, with 11 CVEs marked as Critical. Adobe also released an out-of-band update for a Flash Player vulnerability last week, which is being actively exploited.
In a memorable scene from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Whoopi Goldberg struggles to understand the lyrics of the eponymous song from the Rolling Stones, as she pleads: “Mick, Mick, Mick, speak English!”
It appears that multiple operating system vendors had similar trouble interpreting Intel and AMD debugging documentation, which led the OS vendors to independently create the same critical security flaw in their respective kernel software.
The issue came to light last week when US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) warned that under certain circumstances “some operating systems or hypervisors may not expect or properly handle an Intel architecture hardware debug exception.”
“The error appears to be due to developer interpretation of existing documentation for certain Intel architecture interrupt/exception instructions, namely MOV to SS and POP to SS,” the CERT alert reads.
The list of OS vendors affected reads like an industry “who’s who.” It includes Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware, Ubuntu, Xen and SUSE Linux. The problem was discovered by researcher Nick Peterson of Everdox Tech, who has detailed the flaw in a paper titled “POP SS/MOV SS Vulnerability.”
Today’s Patch Tuesday is smaller than last month, but there are more critical updates this time. Out of the 63 vulnerabilities covered by the Microsoft patches, 22 of them are critical. Adobe has released 6 bulletins covering 19 vulnerabilities. According to Microsoft and Adobe, there are no active attacks against these vulnerabilities.
The majority of the Microsoft critical vulnerabilities are in browsers and browser-related technologies. It is recommended that these be prioritized for workstation-type devices. Any system that accesses the Internet via a browser should be patched.
Today’s Patch Tuesday covers a lot of vulnerabilities, but in terms of critical updates, it is still light. Out of the 75 vulnerabilities covered, only 15 are marked as critical. Adobe has released patches as well, covering 7 vulnerabilities.
All of the critical vulnerabilities from Microsoft are in browsers and browser-related technologies. It is recommended that these be prioritized for workstation-type devices. Any system that accesses the Internet via a browser should be patched.
This week offered a representative sampling of different corners of the cyber security world: The monthly Patch Tuesday, a brazen attack against the Olympics, new Meltdown and Spectre concerns, and a boost for Intel’s bug bounty program.
Oh, and the gargantuan Equifax data breach may have been even bigger than previously thought.
Winter Olympics hack confirmed
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are in full swing, featuring the world’s best ice skaters, skiers, hockey players and snowboarders, and also attracting, unfortunately, malicious hackers.
Attackers’ goals seem to be to disrupt the games in a variety of ways by interfering with and disabling IT systems.
For this month’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released patches covering 55 vulnerabilities, with 15 ranked as critical. This includes out-of-band Office patches from mid-January as well as patches for Adobe Flash that were released last week.
From this list, there are patches for a vulnerability (CVE-2018-0825) that impacts StructuredQuery in Windows servers and workstations. Exploitation of this vulnerability would be through a malicious file and would lead to remote code execution. This patch should be at the top of the priority list, aside from the Adobe Flash patches mentioned below.
In order to determine the impact of Spectre/Meltdown and track remediation progress across your entire environment, it is important to visualize vulnerability detections in a dynamic dashboard. For more information on Spectre and Meltdown, please see our previous blog.
Using Qualys AssetView, we have created a dashboard with preloaded widgets that can help track remediation progress as you patch against Spectre and Meltdown. These widgets were built with out-of-the-box functionality, and can be imported into any Qualys subscription.
If your organization needs a compelling reason for establishing or enhancing its vulnerability management program, circle this date in bold, red ink on your corporate calendar: May 25, 2018.
On that day, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, intensifying the need for organizations to painstakingly protect EU residents’ data from accidental mishandling and foul play.
While complying with GDPR involves adopting and modifying a variety of IT systems and business processes, having comprehensive and effective vulnerability management should be key in your efforts.
Why? Too many preventable data breaches occur because hackers exploit well-known vulnerabilities for which patches are available but haven’t been installed.
The SANS Institute recently released its 2017 report on cybersecurity trends. We examined the report’s six threat trends in a recent blog post, as well as in a webcast with the report’s author, security analyst John Pescatore, and with Qualys Product Management Vice President Chris Carlson. Now, we’re providing you with a useful checklist to help put you in a better position to respond these trends, which are expected to continue to dominate this year.
A new zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2017-7269) impacting Microsoft IIS 6.0 has been announced with proof-of-concept code. This vulnerability can only be exploited if WebDAV is enabled. IIS 6.0 is a component of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (including R2.) Microsoft has ended support for Server 2003 on July 14, 2015, which means that this vulnerability will most likely not be patched. It is recommended that these systems be upgraded to a supported platform. The current workaround is to disable the WebDAV Web Service Extension if it is not needed by any web applications.
The Qualys Cloud Platform can help you detect the vulnerability, track and manage Server 2003 Assets, as well as block exploits against web-based vulnerabilities like this one.