This September Microsoft has released four security bulletins that cover a good level of Windows based attack surface. The two vulnerabilities that you should look to patch most immediately are MS14-052 (Internet Explorer) and MS14-054 (Windows Task Scheduler). Rounding things out you should get MS14-053 (.NET) done followed by MS14-055 (Lync) if applicable to your environment.
– This is yet another massive Internet Explorer update fixing over 37 different vulnerabilities and rated critical for all versions of Internet Explorer. It seems as though the well of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities runs deep and given what we have seen the last few Patch Tuesdays there might be no end to the number of critical Internet Explorer vulnerabilities to still be found. This bulletin also includes a fix for one previously publicly reported
(CVE-2013-7331) vulnerability that allowed for information disclosure. That being said there is plenty of remote code execution vulnerabilities here to be leveraged for drive-by web attacks that are all too common these days.
- .NET does not go unpunished this Patch Tuesday with a bulletin fixing a single Denial of Service vulnerability. Unlike previous .NET vulnerabilities that affected client-applications this vulnerability is actually a denial of service against Microsoft IIS websites with ASP.NET enabled. This can be triggered by an attacker sending a specifically crafted request to a website with ASP.NET enabled. Microsoft provides workaround information but the workaround itself they say is not compatible with ASP.NET applications. Which would seem to defeat the purpose of the workaround to begin with.
– The Windows Task Scheduler service again allows for elevation of privilege. You might remember Task Scheduler privilege escalation vulnerabilities were first made very famous by Stuxnet as it was a zeroday within Task Scheduler that was one of the components it used. In this vulnerabilities case only the latest major versions of Microsoft software are affect; Windows 8/8.1, Server 2012/2012R2, and RT/8.1. It still is far better to run the latest major version releases of Microsoft software but this bulletin highlights even newer software versions from Microsoft are not near perfect. This vulnerability would be great to pair with MS14-052 Internet Explorer vulnerabilities to go from a standard user account to running code as local system.
– To end things off we have three separate vulnerabilities within Microsoft Lync Server. Lync vulnerabilities have been trending to be popular lately and we shall see what the future holds here. The most important of these vulnerabilities is a denial of service vulnerability that could render Lync inoperable. So while not the end of the world could be an unpleasant time if your IT team is trying to coordinate this Patch Tuesday via Lync. :-)