Microsoft releases 13 security updates for Windows as part of this month's Patch Tuesday

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Microsoft releases 13 security updates for Windows as part of this month's Patch Tuesday

It’s the second Tuesday of the month and that means only one thing to us Microsofties; Patch Tuesday! Microsoft has released a total of 13 new patches and fixes for Windows, three of which are marked as ‘critical’ while the other ten are ‘important’, so you’ll probably want to have them applied as soon as possible.

Below is a list of the available bulletins, they address remote code execution, elevation of privilege, security feature bypass, information disclosure, and denial of service vulnerabilities.

  • Bulletin #1 (Critical) – This is a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer which is designed to stop the ability of an attacker to remotely execute malicious code when a user visits a specially crafted website, ultimately giving them the same user rights as the current user.
  • Bulletin #2 (Critical) – A security update to patch remote code execution vulnerabilities found in Windows, .NET Framework, Office, Lync, and Silverlight. Attackers would use this vulnerability by embedding certain TrueType fonts on an untrusted website.
  • Bulletin #3 (Critical) – A patch which prevents attackers from remotely executing code when users open a specially crafted Windows Journal file. This affects users that have administrative privileges more than those with limited accounts.
  • Bulletin #4 (Important) – Another remote code execution patch, this time targeting Microsoft Office. Attackers could gain access using specially crafted Office files to run arbitrary code in the context of the current user.
  • Bulletin #5 (Important) – The last remote execution patch released today focuses on patching vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Server. This vulnerability would allow an attacker to run code in the context of the W3WP service account by sending specially crafted page content to a SharePoint server.
  • Bulletin #6 (Important) – This is Microsoft .NET Framework security patch that prevents, in the worst case, an attacker from gaining elevated privileges when users install a specially crafted partial trust application.
  • Bulletin #7 (Important) – A patch that also prevents elevation of privilege when users run a specially crafter Silverlight application on their systems. However this would require an attacker to first log on to the system or somehow convince the user to run the application.
  • Bulletin #8 (Important) – This is a security update to patch an elevation of privilege vulnerability found in the Service Control Manager of the Microsoft Windows operating system. This is another case where an attacker would first need to log on to the system and then run a specially crafted application designed to elevate their privileges.
  • Bulletin #9 (Important) – Our last elevation of privilege patch focuses on Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers where attackers could elevate their privileges by logging on to a system, then installing arbitrary code in kernel mode. They would then be able to install applications, view, and manipulate user data and information, and even create new user accounts with full user rights. This vulnerability however, cannot be executed remotely.
  • Bulletin #10 (Important) – A security update to patch a security feature bypass should an attacker log on to a system and run a specially crafted application in Microsoft Windows.
  • Bulletin #11 (Important) – Another security feature bypass patch, this time patching vulnerabilities in JScript and VBScript scripting engines in Microsoft Windows.
  • Bulletin #12 (Important) – A security update to patch a vulnerability in Microsoft Management Console file formats that could allow for a remote denial of service attack when a user hare containing a specially crafted .msc file.
  • Bulletin #13 (Important) – The last security update patches vulnerabilities in Secure Channel (Schannel) in Microsoft Windows. As Microsoft describes it: “The vulnerability could allow information disclosure when Secure Channel (Schannel) allows the use of a weak Diffie-Hellman ephemeral (DFE) key length of 512 bits in an encrypted TLS session. Allowing 512-bit DHE keys makes DHE key exchanges weak and vulnerable to various attacks.”

The systems affected by these vulnerabilities include Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows RT, and Windows RT 8.1. So if you are running any of these operating system, head over to Windows Update and check for updates. Please note that installing the patches may require a system restart so be prepared for that.

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