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News

Microsoft and other vulnerability patches explained

Lumension Security : 10 September, 2009  (Technical Article)
Lumension provides details of the latest patch releases from Microsoft which will keep IT Administrators hopping whilst reminding that it isn't just MS who are plugging vulnerabilities
Andrew Clarke, Senior VP Lumension, comments on September patch Tuesday: "The bulletin from Microsoft confirms that there are five new critical patches for September, all of which address core Microsoft operating system platforms. But the most urgent issues that need to be addressed by IT managers are three un-patched Microsoft day zero vulnerabilities, currently now in the wild. Two of these are Microsoft FTP issues, one which can allow a remote attacker to take over the server in older versions of Windows and the second that can cause a denial of service (DoS) attack. At the last minute, a new day zero vulnerability was released that can cause Vista, Windows 7 and possibly Windows 2008 machines to crash as it takes advantage of a flaw in SMB2, requiring no user intervention or authentication.

"For these FTP issues, IT managers need to be sure they have disabled the ability of a remote user to create a folder on the FTP server in permission settings. For SMB2 on Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 2008, they need to turn off file sharing and block port 443 at the gateway in order to make Patch Tuesday a little less eventful.

"Of the five Microsoft critical patches, two will require mandatory restarts causing some level of disruption within the enterprise (MS09-049 and MS09-048). All three of Microsoft's server platforms (2000, 2003 and 2008) have critical vulnerabilities impacting both server and desktop management IT groups.

"Microsoft Vista leads the batch of patches, with four critical vulnerabilities (MS09-045, MS09-049, MS09-047, and MS09-048). This brings up an interesting situation as Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 were released to manufacturing (RTM) early last month, which means many Microsoft Partners and corporate customers will have started using/evaluating these two new platforms. These 'early adopters' are covered this month as Microsoft has identified these new platforms as 'non-affected' for all five September updates."

Microsoft is not alone this week with vulnerability issues. In the last week or so, vulnerabilities have also been reported in the following:

* IBM products
* McAfee Email and Web Security Appliance
* HP products
* Sun Java products
* CA products
* Adobe Flash
* Google Chrome
* Norton

Looking more closely at the details from Microsoft:

MS09-045 - Vulnerability in Java Script Engine is a critical vulnerability and impacts the complete Windows product family from Legacy Windows 2000 through current generation Vista with the only exception being no impact on the Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems. It may require a restart.

MS09-049 - Vulnerability in Wireless Land AutoConfig Service is rated as critical for Microsoft Vista and as important for Windows 2008 and will require a restart.

MS09-047 - Vulnerability in Windows Media Format is a critical vulnerability and impacts the complete Windows product family from Legacy Windows 2000 through current generation Vista with the only exception being no impact on the Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems. It may require a restart.

MS09-048 - Vulnerability in Windows TCP/IP impacts various platforms differently i.e. on Windows 2003 it is rated as important, but it does not apply to Windows XP. It is, however, rated as critical for Vista and 2008, and will require a restart.

MS09-46 - Vulnerability in Editing Component of DHTML Active X is rated critical on Windows 2000 and XP; however, it is not applicable for Windows Vista and 2008. It may require a restart.
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