Microsoft has two ‘critical’ bulletins planned for release next week as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday update.
The two bulletins deal with issues in Windows and Internet Explorer, respectively, and both address vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution. All together, Microsoft is releasing a total of nine bulletins. The remaining seven are rated ‘Important’ and involve a number of different products.
“There are two critical updates this month,” said Chris Goettl, product manager at Shavlik Technologies. “One is for IE and the OS, which means you have a critical update for all of your Windows systems this month. Is this going to be a continuation of the last few months of rather large IE updates resolving memory corruption issues? I expect we will see over ten vulnerabilities, mostly relating to memory corruption, being resolved in this patch.”
The second critical update this month affects only Windows 7 and Windows 8 and 8.1.
Ross Barrett, senior manager of security engineering at Rapid 7, opined that the issue could be either in an authentication mechanism or a service that might be listening remotely.
“A clue here is that the ‘Media Center TV Pack’ for Vista is vulnerable, but no edition of Vista is itself,” he said. “So, what components are common to the Media Center TV Pack and Windows 7 Professional Edition? The last times the Media Center TV Pack got patched was MS11-015 and MS11-076, one was related to malicious media files, the other insecure library loading, but both of those affected Vista core too. More details about this will be very interesting as they emerge, but this is likely the top patching priority, depending on exploitability.”
Among the seven non-critical bulletins, one impacts all supported versions of MS SQL Server. According to Microsoft’s advisory, the vulnerability can be exploited to elevate privileges. Three other bulletins also address privilege escalation issues impacting Windows and Microsoft Server Software. Also tucked away among the ‘important’ bulletins is one addressing remote code execution in Microsoft Office and two others addressing security feature bypasses in Windows and the .NET Framework.
“With Black Hat and DEF CON happening this week, it will be interesting to see if Patch Tuesday contains any quick response to new threats identified there,” blogged Russ Ernst, director of product management at Lumension. “As we are all painfully aware, the bad guys move fast so we need to move faster.”