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Microsoft Plugs 11 Security Vulnerabilities for Patch Tuesday

Microsoft patched 11 security vulnerabilities today, including a critical bug being targeted by attackers.

Microsoft released a total of six security bulletins, including four rated ‘critical.’ The vulnerabilities exist across Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Forefront United Access Gateway (UAG) and the .NET Framework.

Microsoft patched 11 security vulnerabilities today, including a critical bug being targeted by attackers.

Microsoft released a total of six security bulletins, including four rated ‘critical.’ The vulnerabilities exist across Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Forefront United Access Gateway (UAG) and the .NET Framework.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday April 2011According to Microsoft, organizations should focus first on MS12-027 and MS12-023. Already, MS12-027 has come under limited, targeted attack. MS12-027 addresses a vulnerability affecting the MSCOMCTL.OCX ActiveX control that could allow remote code execution if a user visits a website with specially-crafted content designed to exploit the vulnerability. This particular vulnerability affects several pieces of software, including versions of Microsoft Office, SQL Server and BizTalk Server.

“The ‘deploy now’ bulletin this month is MS12-027, a bulletin affecting the Windows Common Controls,” said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle. “This component is included in so many Microsoft programs it affects almost every Microsoft user on the planet. It gets worse: Microsoft has already seen exploits for this vulnerability in the wild in limited attacks. IT security teams should get ready for an urgent but careful deployment. Because this bulletin affects such an extensive list of products, security teams will need to spend extra time testing the patch before deploying.”

MS12-023 meanwhile fixes five vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The bugs stretch across Internet Explorer versions six through nine.

“The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer,” Microsoft wrote in an advisory. “An attacker who successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.”

John Harrison, group product manager with Symantec Security Response, advised organizations to also pay attention to MS12-024, which patches a critical vulnerability in Windows that could permit remote code execution if a user or applications runs or installs malicious, signed portable executable files on an affected system.

“The WinVerifyTrust Signature Validation Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0151) is interesting because it lets attackers modify signed portable executable files undetected,” he said. “In addition, the attacker doesn’t need to worry about controlling memory; once the user runs the content, the device has been infected. The most common attack will probably be a scenario in which a site offers a free download of a specific program that appears to be legitimately signed.”

The final critical bulletin of the month addresses on vulnerability in the way the .NET Framework validates parameters when passing data to a function. The remaining two bulletins this month are rated critical, with one addressing two vulnerabilities in Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway and the other fixing a vulnerability in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works.

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