This coming Tuesday, November 11, Microsoft will publish their next security update. With sixteen bulletins total, this Patch Tuesday release will contain the largest number of bulletins so far this year. Five of these are rated "Critical," nine are rated "Important" and two are rated "Moderate." These bulletins will affect Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows.
The majority of the bulletins rated "Critical" affect components in Windows and impact a wide range of Microsoft Window platforms. If you are currently running a supported version of Windows, you will want to update as soon as these updates become available. These are some of the nastier vulnerabilities we've seen in Windows in awhile.
One of these bulletins may potentially address a critical Windows OLE remote code execution vulnerability. As you might recall, Microsoft published a security bulletin last Patch Tuesday to close a zero day hole being exploited in targeted attacks in the wild. The vulnerability was in OLE, and attackers were exploiting it with a specially crafted PowerPoint document. Unfortunately the patch for CVE-2014-4114 did not cover the vulnerability entirely and exploits continued to succeed. Microsoft addressed this with some workarounds and Fix-IT released in security advisory 3010060. Although Microsoft mentioned that an out-of-band security update might be necessary due to the severity of this vulnerability, it seems likely now that Microsoft will wait and include this security update in the November release on Tuesday.
In the November release, there will be also a "Critical" bulletin for Internet Explorer yet again. Since the beginning of the year, there's been a security bulletin for Internet Explorer except for the month of January. A majority of the Internet Explorer vulnerabilities discovered in previous months tend to be memory corruption vulnerabilities. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing their victim to browse to a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. It is likely that more of these memory corruption vulnerabilities will be disclosed in this release as well.
All of these updates can be applied by ensuring that Automatic Updates is turned on so that these will be downloaded as soon as they become available. Once these updates are installed, a restart is required for these security updates to applied.
For a complete run-down of the November Microsoft security bulletins, please come back Tuesday November 11. We'll see you back here soon!