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Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2014

February's Patch Tuesday is back to business as usual after the light January release. This month's release includes seven bulletins, four of which are rated "Critical". The other three are rated "Important".

As if making up for lost time, Internet Explorer has returned to the mix with a bang. This month's cumulative update covers 24 individual CVEs, twenty-two of which are rated "Critical" and, although three of the bulletins (MS14-005, MS14-007, MS14-011) don't directly affect Internet Explorer, the web browser is used as a primary attack vector in those cases.

MS14-008 is also an interesting "Critical" bulletin. It describes a vulnerability in the malware and spam scanner Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010. The vulnerability allows for an attacker to create a malicious email that will cause the scanner to execute arbitrary code. It's an odd case where the security controls that are put in place to protect us are used against us.

MS14-005 (KB2916036)
IMPORTANT
Vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services Could Allow Information Disclosure
CVE-2014-0266

This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services included in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer.

Typically Internet Explorer verifies that any XMLHTTP open request comes from the same domain as the hosting URL. If not, Internet Explorer will process the request in a different Security Zone. The vulnerability in this bulletin allows an attacker to bypass this same-origin policy. When a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer, the Microsoft XML Core Services could expose files on the local file system. An attacker typically convinces a user to view a malicious page with a phishing attack.

By exploiting this vulnerabilitiy, an attacker could read files on the user's local file system or read content of web domains where the user is currently authenticated.

This security update is rated "Important" for affected Windows clients and rated "Low" for affected Windows servers. For situations where the update can not be immediately applied work-arounds are provided in the bulletin.

This update affects Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, RT as well as Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012

MS14-006 (KB2916036)
IMPORTANT
Vulnerability in IPv6 Could Allow Denial of Service
CVE-2014-0254

This vulnerability could lead to denial of service if an attacker sends a large number of specially crafted IPv6 packets to an affected system. To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker's system must belong to the same subnet as the target system.

This security update is rated "Important" for all supported editions of Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012.

MS14-007 (KB2912390)
CRITICAL
Vulnerability in Direct2D Could Allow Remote Code Execution
CVE-2014-0263

This vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. Direct2D is a 2-D graphics API that provides high performance rendering for 2-D geometry, bitmaps, and text. By hosting a specially crafted 2D geometric figure the attacker can force the execution of arbitrary code on the user's system.

This security update is rated "Critical" for all supported editions of Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows RT 8.1.

MS14-008 (KB2927022)
CRITICAL
Vulnerability in Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange Could Allow Remote Code Execution
CVE-2014-0294

Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010 is a malware and spam scanner for Microsoft Exchange Server. This vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a specially crafted email message is scanned. The arbitrary code would execute in the security context of the configured Microsoft Forefront Protection service account.

This update affects Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server

MS14-009 (KB2916607)
IMPORTANT
Vulnerabilities in .NET Framework Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
CVE-2014-0253, CVE-2014-0257, CVE-2014-0295

This bulletin resolves three CVEs, the most severe of which could result in a privilege elevation attack. The other two could cause a Denial of Service condition.

The privilege elevation vulnerability is caused by the Microsoft .NET Framework not correctly verifying that a method is safe for execution. This could allow an attacker to create a malicious website that allows them to execute applications on a targeted system. The attacker would typically convince users to visit the malicious website with a phishing attack. This vulnerability could also be used to exploit .NET Framework applications that expose COM server endpoints.

This security update affects:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1

MS14-010 (KB2909921)
CRITICAL
Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer
CVE-2014-0267 - CVE-2014-0281, CVE-2014-0283 - CVE-2014-0290, CVE-2014-0293

This security update resolves 24 CVEs in Internet Explorer, 22 of which are memory corruption vulnerabilities. The most severe of these could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user.

The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by adding additional permission validations to Internet Explorer and modifying the way Internet Explorer handles objects in memory.

This security update affects Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 on affected Windows clients.

MS14-011 (KB2928390)
CRITICAL
Vulnerability in VBScript Scripting Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution
CVE-2014-0271

This security update resolves a vulnerability in the VBScript scripting engine in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user visited a specially crafted website.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that the VBScript scripting engine handles objects in memory.

This update affects:

  • VBScript 5.6 running under Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
  • VBScript 5.7 running under Windows XP, Vista and Windows Server 2003, 2008
  • VBScript 5.8 as a component of Internet Explorer 8 and 10

(Note that this vulnerability in VBScript 5.8 as a component of Internet Explorer 9 is resolved in MS14-010)

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