Microsoft is planning for a relatively quiet Patch Tuesday next week that features only one critical security bulletin.
The ‘Critical’ bulletin addresses issues in Internet Explorer. The bulletin will be released alongside four others that are rated ‘Important’ and affect Microsoft Windows and Office. Those bulletins cover remote code execution, denial-of-service, information disclosure and elevation of privilege issues.
“Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office are affected by these vulnerabilities,” said Tommy Chin, technical support engineer at CORE Security. “These are the most basic and most popular Microsoft products in use today, therefore the impact is very high – particularly when it comes to privilege escalation. The bottom line is that one is all it takes. There is a privilege escalation vulnerability which attackers will definitely leverage on top of the two remote code execution vulnerabilities. This allows two different doors to be attacked.”
“Once one of the two doors open, an attacker can obtain administrative privileges,” he said. “When administrator privileges are obtained it’s game over for your enterprise network security posture.”
Whether or not Microsoft will include a patch for the zero-day vulnerability in the Windows kernel published recently by security researcher Tavis Ormandy remains to be seen, noted Ross Barrett, senior manager of security engineering at Rapid7.
“Ormandy has obviously had negative experiences in the past when disclosing to Microsoft, which might not reflect the current culture in Redmond with regard to disclosure,” Barrett said.
“In fairness to Ormandy, I want to re-iterate that his publication of exploit code was in response to a 3rd party publication of exploit code for the same vulnerability,” he added. “This issue may be addressed by “Bulletin 4” in this month’s advisories, which roughly fits the profile of Ormandy’s vulnerability. However, there has been a condition that fits that profile, more or less, every month for the past year.”
The bulletins are slated to be released June 11.