Microsoft’s Security Updates

Microsoft announced a patch of security updates to deal with Windows and IE flaws. Microsoft released 7 bulletins with fixes for at least 26 documented vulnerabilities affecting the Windows software ecosystem.

MS12-037 and MS12-036

Users need to pay special attention to MS12-037 and MS12-036, which provide cover for “remote code execution” vulnerabilities that could be used in worm attacks and drive-by downloads without any user interaction. This means that you may not even know that you’ve been hit until it is too late.

IE Vulnerability

MS12-037 affects all supported versions of the IE browser, fixes 13 vulnerabilities that expose users to computer hijack attacks if a user simply surfed to a rigged web site. Like most web surfers, you assume that the visit will be innocuous, but this could be a mistake. Microsoft, in fact, expects to see exploit code targeting at least one of the 13 vulnerabilities within the next 30 days.

The company warned that information on one of the browser flaws is now publicly available meaning that hackers have already gotten a head start on preparing attacks.

Remote Desktop Control Vulnerability

The second important bulletin is MS12-036. This covers a dangerous flaw in the way Microsoft implements the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in Windows.

Again, the problem comes when accessing a specially crafted webpage using a web browser that can run XAML Browser Applications (XBAPs). The vulnerability could allow remote code execution on a client system if a user views the webpage, which for the users, looks like any other webpage. So, once you hit the page, then the exploit virus enters your system, meaning that the hacker can take over your system via RDP.

The unusual thing is that this is the second RDP flaw discovered by Microsoft in the last few months. This makes you wonder if someone at Microsoft may be leaking the code contents to make the exploit possible. Zdnet published an article about this very topic recently, “Exploit code published for RDP worm hole; Does Microsoft have a leak?” If that is the case, they have bigger problems.


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