February 7, 2023

Microsoft as we speak launched updates to repair practically 100 safety flaws in its Home windows working techniques and different software program. Highlights from the primary Patch Tuesday of 2023 embody a zero-day vulnerability in Home windows, printer software program flaws reported by the U.S. Nationwide Safety Company, and a crucial Microsoft SharePoint Server bug that enables a distant, unauthenticated attacker to make an nameless connection.

No less than 11 of the patches launched as we speak are rated “Important” by Microsoft, which means they could possibly be exploited by malware or malcontents to grab distant management over susceptible Home windows techniques with little or no assist from customers.

Of explicit concern for organizations operating Microsoft SharePoint Server is CVE-2023-21743. This can be a Important safety bypass flaw that would enable a distant, unauthenticated attacker to make an nameless connection to a susceptible SharePoint server. Microsoft says this flaw is “extra prone to be exploited” sooner or later.

However patching this bug might not be so simple as deploying Microsoft updates. Dustin Childs, head of menace consciousness at Development Micro’s Zero Day Initiative, stated sysadmins must take further measures to be totally protected against this vulnerability.

“To completely resolve this bug, it’s essential to additionally set off a SharePoint improve motion that’s additionally included on this replace,” Childs stated. “Full particulars on how to do that are within the bulletin. Conditions like this are why individuals who scream ‘Simply patch it!’ present they’ve by no means truly needed to patch an enterprise in the actual world.”

Eighty-seven of the vulnerabilities earned Redmond’s barely much less dire “Vital” severity score. That designation describes vulnerabilities “whose exploitation might lead to compromise of the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of person information, or of the integrity or availability of processing sources.”

Among the many extra Vital bugs this month is CVE-2023-21674, which is an “elevation of privilege” weak spot in most supported variations of Home windows that has already been abused in lively assaults.

Satnam Narang, senior employees analysis engineer at Tenable, stated though particulars concerning the flaw weren’t out there on the time Microsoft revealed its advisory on Patch Tuesday, it seems this was possible chained along with a vulnerability in a Chromium-based browser comparable to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to be able to get away of a browser’s sandbox and achieve full system entry.

“Vulnerabilities like CVE-2023-21674 are sometimes the work of superior persistent menace (APT) teams as a part of focused assaults,” Narang stated. “The probability of future widespread exploitation of an exploit chain like that is restricted because of auto-update performance used to patch browsers.”

By the way in which, when was the final time you utterly closed out your Internet browser and restarted it? Some browsers will mechanically obtain and set up new safety updates, however the safety from these updates often solely occurs after you restart the browser.

Talking of APT teams, the U.S. Nationwide Safety Company is credited with reporting CVE-2023-21678, which is one other “vital” vulnerability within the Home windows Print Spooler software program.

There have been so many vulnerabilities patched in Microsoft’s printing software program over the previous 12 months (together with the dastardly PrintNightmare assaults and borked patches) that KrebsOnSecurity has joked about Patch Tuesday experiences being sponsored by Print Spooler. Tenable’s Narang factors out that that is the third Print Spooler flaw the NSA has reported within the final 12 months.

Kevin Breen at Immersive Labs known as particular consideration to CVE-2023-21563, which is a safety characteristic bypass in BitLocker, the information and disk encryption expertise constructed into enterprise variations of Home windows.

“For organizations which have distant customers, or customers that journey, this vulnerability could also be of curiosity,” Breen stated. “We depend on BitLocker and full-disk encryption instruments to maintain our recordsdata and information protected within the occasion a laptop computer or gadget is stolen. Whereas info is mild, this seems to counsel that it could possibly be doable for an attacker to bypass this safety and achieve entry to the underlying working system and its contents. If safety groups will not be capable of apply this patch, one potential mitigation could possibly be to make sure Distant Gadget Administration is deployed with the flexibility to remotely disable and wipe property.”

There are additionally two Microsoft Alternate vulnerabilities patched this month — CVE-2023-21762 and CVE-2023-21745. Given the rapidity with which menace actors exploit new Alternate bugs to steal company electronic mail and infiltrate susceptible techniques, organizations utilizing Alternate ought to patch instantly. Microsoft’s advisory says these Alternate flaws are certainly “extra prone to be exploited.”

Adobe launched 4 patches addressing 29 flaws in Adobe Acrobat and Reader, InDesign, InCopy, and Adobe Dimension. The replace for Reader fixes 15 bugs with eight of those being ranked Important in severity (permitting arbitrary code execution if an affected system opened a specifically crafted file).

For a extra granular rundown on the updates launched as we speak, see the SANS Internet Storm Center roundup. Practically 100 updates is quite a bit, and there are certain to be just a few patches that trigger issues for organizations and finish customers. When that occurs, AskWoody.com often has the lowdown.

Please take into account backing up your information and/or imaging your system earlier than making use of any updates. And please hold forth within the feedback in case you expertise any issues because of these patches.