Patch Tuesday Fixes One Zero-Day, Leaves Another Open

Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out 11 security bulletins in the final Patch Tuesday of 2013. All told, Redmond issued 106 bulletins in 2013, a 22 percent increase over 2012.

For DecemberEUs part, there were five critical and six important patches fixing 24 vulnerabilities. Microsoft made good on its promise to fix the Graphics Components vulnerability in bulletin MS13-096. Security researchers say this critical vulnerability should be first on the IT adminEUs list of priorities, despite the hotfix Microsoft issued in November.

EUIt affects Windows, Office and Lync through Office 2007 installed on XP. In this vulnerability, an attacker needs to convince a user to preview or open a bad TIFF image for exploitation,EU Paul Henry, a forensic and security analyst at Lumension, told us. EUBecause we know persuading users to click isnEUt always that hard to do, a patch for this one is definitely welcome.EU

Still Open for Attack

Unfortunately, a second active zero-day vulnerability remains open for attack because it was discovered too late to make it into the December release. Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys, told us it is also less severe as it depends on a second vulnerability for delivery on the targeted machine. There are currently limited targeted attacks in the Windows kernel component in XP and Server 2003.

EUIn the wild, exploits have been delivered through a PDF document abusing an older vulnerability in Adobe Reader. Fortunately, the vulnerability only affects the older Windows, versions XP and 2003, and allows an attacker to become administrator and then install malware to take control of the machine,EU he said.

EUIf you have a vulnerable configuration, we recommend you implement the work-around specified in security advisory KB2914486 and turn off the NDPROXY component. Side-effects should be minimal and limited to the telephony and modem interfaces which should not be in use in most...

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