Tag Archives: Update Tuesday

September 2019 Update Summary

Today is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, when both Adobe and Microsoft routinely release their scheduled security updates.

Similar to last month Microsoft have released many updates resolving 79 vulnerabilities more formally known as CVEs (defined). It was a light month for Adobe releasing 2 updates resolving 3 vulnerabilities.

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Adobe Application Manager: 1x Priority 2 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)
Adobe Flash Player: 2x Priority 3 vulnerabilities resolved (Critical severity)

If you use either of these Adobe products, please install the necessary updates as soon as possible prioritising the Adobe Flash Player update.
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This month’s list of Known Issues from Microsoft is available within their monthly summary page and applies to all currently supported operating systems. Almost all issues have workarounds at this time and none appear to be serious issues. The up to date list is available from their summary page.

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US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) (please see the “Information on Security Updates” heading of the “Protecting Your PC” page):

https://www.us-cert.gov/

A further useful source of update related information is the Calendar of Updates.

News/announcements of updates in the categories of General SoftwareSecurity Software and Utilities are available on their website. The news/announcements are very timely and (almost always) contain useful direct download links as well as the changes/improvements made by those updates (where possible).

If you like and use it, please also consider supporting that entirely volunteer run website by donating.

====================
For this month’s Microsoft updates, I will prioritize the order of installation below:
====================
Microsoft Windows LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability: CVE-2019-1280

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1298

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1300

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1217

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1208

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1221

Microsoft Scripting Engine: CVE-2019-1237

Windows RDP: CVE-2019-1291

Windows RDP: CVE-2019-1290

Windows RDP: CVE-2019-0788

Windows RDP: CVE-2019-0787

Team Foundation Server/Azure DevOps: CVE-2019-1306

Microsoft Office SharePoint: CVE-2019-1295

Microsoft Office SharePoint: CVE-2019-1257

Microsoft Office SharePoint: CVE-2019-1296

Common Log File System Driver (defined): CVE-2019-1214

Microsoft Windows Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability (defined): CVE-2019-1215

====================

Please install the remaining updates at your earliest convenience.

As per standard best practice; I would recommend backing up the data on any device for which you are installing updates to prevent data loss in the rare event that any update causes unexpected issues.

I have provided further details of updates available for other commonly used applications below.

Thank you.

====================
Mozilla Firefox
====================
On September the 3rd Mozilla released Firefox 69.0 to address the following vulnerabilities and to introduce new privacy features:

Firefox 69.0: Resolves 1x critical CVE (defined), 11x high CVEs, 4x moderate and 3x low CVEs

Firefox ESR 68.1 (Extended Support Release): Resolves 1x critical, 9x high, 4x moderate and 2x low CVEs

Firefox 60.9 ESR : Resolves 1x critical CVE, 7x high CVEs and 1x moderate CVE

Highlights from version 69 of Firefox include:
Blocks 3rd party cookies and cryptominers (using Enhanced Tracking Protection) by default (blocking of fingerprinting scripts will be the default in a future release)

Adobe Flash disabled by default (must be re-enabled if needed)

Separately Mozilla is facing criticism over their plans to gradually roll-out DNS over HTTPS (DoH) later this month since all DNS traffic would go to only one provider, Cloudflare. Google Chrome will implement a similar feature soon (further details are available in the above link also regarding Mozilla).

Details of how to install updates for Firefox are here. If Firefox is your web browser of choice, if you have not already done so, please update it as soon as possible to benefit from the above changes.

Thank you.

Mitigating August’s Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Vulnerabilities

Earlier last week Microsoft released security updates for Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

====================
TL DR:
If you use  Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and all supported versions of Windows 10, including server versions, please install the security updates for August 2019 which include fixes to these vulnerabilities: CVE-2019-1181 and CVE-2019-1182
====================

Why should these vulnerabilities be considered important?
The following two vulnerabilities CVE-2019-1181 and CVE-2019-1182 have received a CVSS 3 base score (defined) of 9.8 and have the potential to be used by network worms to rapidly spread without the need for assistance from computer users. There is the potential for a repeat of an attack very similar to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak of May 2017.

How can I protect my organisation or myself from these vulnerabilities?
The most effective means of defence is to install the updates released by Microsoft available via Windows Update (this link provides guidance on doing so) or manually from the above links.

While the BlueKeep vulnerability has not yet been exploited, there are indications (here and here) it may be soon. These more recent vulnerabilities will likely receive similar or more interest since they are present in more versions of Windows (8.1 and 10 alongside their Server based equivalents) than BlueKeep.

If for any reason this is not possible, the mitigations listed in this Microsoft blog post will be useful. Thank you.

August 2019 Update Summary

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Update: 13th August 2019
====================
Earlier today Adobe and Microsoft released large collections of security updates. They resolve 119 and 93 vulnerabilities (respectively).

====================
Adobe After Effects: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Character Animator: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Premiere Pro CC: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Prelude CC: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Creative Cloud Application: 4x Priority 2 vulnerabilities resolved (2x Critical and 2 Important severity)

Adobe Acrobat and Reader: 76x Priority 2 vulnerabilities resolved (76x Important severity)

Adobe Experience Manager:1x priority 1 vulnerability resolved (1x Critical severity)

Adobe Photoshop CC: 34x priority 3 vulnerabilities resolved (22x Critical and 12x Important)

If you use any of these Adobe products, please apply the necessary updates as soon as possible especially for Adobe Acrobat/Reader, Photoshop CC and Experience Manager

====================
This month’s list of Known Issues from Microsoft is available within their monthly summary page and applies to all currently supported operating systems. Not all issues have workarounds at this time. The up to date list is available from their summary page. For Windows 7, for customers with Symantec Antivirus or Norton Antivirus, a hold has been put on the updates from being offered in Windows Updates due to ”The Windows updates are blocked or deleted by the antivirus program during installation, which may then cause Windows to stop working or fail to start”. The Symantec article linked to at this time is a blank template.

====================
US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) (please see the “Information on Security Updates” heading of the “Protecting Your PC” page):

https://www.us-cert.gov/

A further useful source of update related information is the Calendar of Updates.

News/announcements of updates in the categories of General SoftwareSecurity Software and Utilities are available on their website. The news/announcements are very timely and (almost always) contain useful direct download links as well as the changes/improvements made by those updates (where possible).

If you like and use it, please also consider supporting that entirely volunteer run website by donating.

====================
For this month’s Microsoft updates, I will prioritize the order of installation below:
====================
Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS):  CVE-2019-1181 CVE-2019-1182  CVE-2019-1222, and CVE-2019-1226 (CVE, defined)

Microsoft Graphics Component CVE-2019-1144  CVE-2019-1152  CVE-2019-1150 CVE-2019-1145 CVE-2019-1149

Microsoft Word CVE-2019-1201 CVE-2019-1205

Microsoft Outlook CVE-2019-1200 CVE-2019-1199

Scripting Engine CVE-2019-1133

Chakra Scripting Engine CVE-2019-1141 CVE-2019-1131 CVE-2019-1196 CVE-2019-1197 CVE-2019-1140 CVE-2019-1139

LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2019-1188

Windows DHCP Client CVE-2019-0736 CVE-2019-1213

Windows Hyper-V CVE-2019-0720 CVE-2019-0965

Windows VBScript Engine CVE-2019-1183

====================

Please install the remaining updates at your earliest convenience.

As per standard best practice; I would recommend backing up the data on any device for which you are installing updates to prevent data loss in the rare event that any update causes unexpected issues.

I have provided further details of updates available for other commonly used applications below.

Thank you.

=======================
Mozilla Firefox
=======================
In mid-August Mozilla released Firefox 68.0.2 and Firefox ESR 68.0.2 to resolve a moderate information disclosure vulnerability. Please make certain your installation is version 68.0.2 or above to resolve this issue.

Details of how to install updates for Firefox are here. If Firefox is your web browser of choice, if you have not already done so, please update it as soon as possible to benefit from the above changes.

=======================
Google Chrome
=======================
In late August the Centre for Internet Security released a security advisory for users of Google Chrome to update to version 76.0.3809.132 or later. Prior versions were vulnerable to a use-after-free (defined) vulnerability which could have allowed remote code execution (allowing an attacker to carry out any action of their choice).

Google Chrome updates automatically and will apply the update the next time Chrome is closed and then re-opened. Chrome can also be updated immediately by clicking the Options button (it looks like 3 stacked small horizontal lines, sometimes called a “hamburger” button) in the upper right corner of the window and choosing “About Google Chrome” from the menu. Follow the prompt to Re-launch Chrome for the updates to take effect.

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VMware
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VMware earlier this month released a security advisory to resolve 2 Important severity vulnerabilities within the following products:

VMware vSphere ESXi (ESXi)
VMware Workstation Pro / Player (Workstation)
VMware Fusion Pro / Fusion (Fusion)

An attacker could leverage the vulnerability CVE-201-5521 (from the above linked to advisory) to also exploit CVE-2019-5684 to exploit Nvidia’s GPU driver (see below) to gain arbitrary code execution on a system.

If you use the above VMware products particularly with a Nvidia GPU, please review the advisory and apply the necessary updates.

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Nvidia
=======================
Nvidia late last week issued a related security advisory to that of the above VMware advisory. Nvidia’s advisory resolves 5 locally exploitable vulnerabilities meaning that an attacker would first need to compromise your system before exploiting the vulnerabilities to elevate their privileges (defined). The steps to install the drivers are located here. If you use affected Nvidia graphics cards, please consider updating your drivers (defined) to the most recent available.

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Canon Digital Cameras PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) Vulnerabilities
=======================
Canon digital cameras utilising this protocol are potentially vulnerable to a complete takeover of the device while connected to a host PC or a hijacked mobile device.

As per this Canon advisory, please ensure your camera is using the most recent firmware update and that you follow the workarounds listed in the above advisory.

=======================
VideoLAN VLC
=======================
On the 19th of August, VideoLAN released VLC version 3.0.8 resolving 13 security issues (some assigned more than one CVE). In a recent presentation their President, Jean-Bapiste Kempf explains the challenges they face in maintaining the security of the project. The short slide deck gives a behind the scenes look at their work including the tools they use to make their code safer.

The list of challenges isn’t too dissimilar from a regular commercial company e.g.: a complex piece of software (15 million lines of code) with approximately 100 dependencies but does highlight issues with hostile bug bounty hunters etc. Future releases will include security bulletins where relevant.

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Valve Steam Gaming Client
=======================
In late August, Valve released 2 security updates for their Steam gaming client. Further information on the disclosure (defined) is detailed here while details of the updates are available here and here (albeit in summary only). The Steam client by default updates automatically. Please open it and allow it to update to resolve these vulnerabilities.

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Software Updates for HP , Lexmark, Kyocera , Brother , Ricoh and Xerox Printers
=======================
The following links details the vulnerabilities found by security researchers within these printers and link to the relevant software updates:

HP
https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-hp-printers/?research=Technical+advisories

Lexmark
https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-lexmark-printers/?research=Technical+advisories

Kyocera
https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-kyocera-printers/

Brother
https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-brother-printers/

Ricoh
https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-ricoh-printers/

Xerox (PDF)
https://securitydocs.business.xerox.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cert_Security_Mini_Bulletin_XRX19R_for_P3320.pdf

https://www.nccgroup.trust/us/our-research/technical-advisory-multiple-vulnerabilities-in-xerox-printers/

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Security Updates for Corporate and Consumer 4G Modems
=======================
G Richter a security researcher from Pen Test Partners disclosed the following vulnerabilities during DEF CON:

Netgear
Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile router (currently no vendor advisory):
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)(defined) bypass: CVE-2019-14526
Post-authentication command injection: CVE-2019-14527

TP-Link
TP-Link’s M7350 4G LTE Mobile wireless router (currently no vendor advisory):
CVE-2019-12103 – Pre-Authentication Command Execution
CVE-2019-12104 – Post-Authentication Command Execution

ZTE
MF910 and MF65+ Advisory
http://support.zte.com.cn/support/news/LoopholeInfoDetail.aspx?newsId=1010203

MF920 Advisory
http://support.zte.com.cn/support/news/LoopholeInfoDetail.aspx?newsId=1010686

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HTTP/2 Vulnerabilities
=======================
8 HTTP/2 DoS (defined) vulnerabilities have been responsibly disclosed by Netflix and Google. According to CloudFlare these vulnerabilities are already being exploited “We have detected and mitigated a handful of attacks but nothing widespread yet”.

Please review the affected vendors matrix within the following CERT advisory and apply the necessary updates:

https://kb.cert.org/vuls/id/605641/

Further information
https://github.com/Netflix/security-bulletins/blob/master/advisories/third-party/2019-002.md

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/14/http2_flaw_server/

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-http-2-flaws-expose-unpatched-web-servers-to-dos-attacks/

Thank you.

July 2019 Update Summary

As predicted; earlier today Adobe and Microsoft made available their usual monthly security updates addressing 5 and 77 vulnerabilities (respectively) more formally known as CVEs (defined):

====================
Adobe Bridge CC: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Dreamweaver: 1x Priority 3 vulnerability resolved (Important severity)

Adobe Experience Manager: 3x Priority 2 vulnerabilities : 2x Important, 1x Moderate severity resolved

If you use any of these Adobe products, please apply the necessary updates as soon as possible.

====================
This month’s list of Known Issues from Microsoft is available within their monthly summary page and applies to all currently supported operating systems. Not all issues have workarounds at this time. Just like last month; Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 list known issues with McAfee products and should refer to the guidance linked to by Microsoft within the above linked to attempt to workaround these issues:

4493730                Servicing stack update for Windows Server 2008 SP2

4507434                Internet Explorer 11

4507435                Windows 10, version 1803

4507448                Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Monthly Rollup)

4507449                Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (Monthly Rollup)

4507450                Windows 10, version 1703

4507453                Windows 10, version 1903, Windows Server version 1903

4507455                Windows 10, version 1709

4507457                Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Security-only update)

4507458                Windows 10

4507460                Windows 10 1607 and Windows Server 2016

4507462                Windows Server 2012 (Monthly Rollup)

4507464                Windows Server 2012 (Security-only update)

4507469                Windows 10, version 1809, Windows Server 2019

====================
US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) (please see the “Information on Security Updates” heading of the “Protecting Your PC” page):

https://www.us-cert.gov/

A further useful source of update related information is the Calendar of Updates.

News/announcements of updates in the categories of General SoftwareSecurity Software and Utilities are available on their website. The news/announcements are very timely and (almost always) contain useful direct download links as well as the changes/improvements made by those updates (where possible).

If you like and use it, please also consider supporting that entirely volunteer run website by donating.

====================
For this month’s Microsoft updates, I will prioritize the order of installation below:
====================

Zero-day (defined) vulnerabilities:
CVE-2019-1132 – Win32k Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability

CVE-2019-0880 – Microsoft splwow64 Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability

====================
Critical
====================
CVE-2019-0785  Windows DHCP Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2019-1072  Azure DevOps Server and Team Foundation Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2019-1056  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1106  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1092  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1103  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1107  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1062  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1004  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1001  Scripting Engine

CVE-2019-1063  Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability

CVE-2019-1104  Microsoft Browser Memory Corruption Vulnerability

CVE-2019-1102  GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

CVE-2019-1113  .NET Framework Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Servicing Stack Update

====================

Please install the remaining updates at your earliest convenience.

As per standard best practice; I would recommend backing up the data on any device for which you are installing updates to prevent data loss in the rare event that any update causes unexpected issues.

I have provided further details of updates available for other commonly used applications below.

Thank you.

=======================
Mozilla Firefox
=======================
Today, Mozilla released Firefox 68.0 to address the following vulnerabilities and to introduce new features:

Firefox 68.0: Resolves 2x critical CVEs (defined), 3x high CVEs, 10x moderate and 4x low CVEs

Firefox 60.8 ESR (Extended Support Release): Resolves 1x critical CVE, 4x high CVEs and 5x moderate CVEs

Firefox now also includes cryptomining protection and fingerprinting protections and improved add-on security (my thanks to Softpedia for this information, more details on other security features are here).

Details of how to install updates for Firefox are here. If Firefox is your web browser of choice, if you have not already done so, please update it as soon as possible to benefit from the above changes.

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VMware ESXi
=======================
Earlier today VMware made available an update for ESXi version 6.5. Version 6.0 is unaffected and a patch for 6.7 is pending. This update resolves a denial of service vulnerability.

If you use VMware ESXi, please update when you can.

Thank you.

RAMBleed: What you need to know

Yesterday; security researchers disclosed a vulnerability relating to how data is accessed after it is stored within computer memory modules eventually leading to partial data disclosure

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TL DR:
================
This is a low severity (CVSS Base Score: 3.8) but notable vulnerability which cannot be exploited remotely. For organisations and customers; no action is required. It is up to software developers to use trusted execution environments (TEE) e.g. AMD SEV, ARM TrustZone or Intel SGX to protect important data or clear such data from memory after use. Some DDR4 modules are not vulnerable to Rowhammer.

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How does this attack take place?
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An attacker would first need to compromise your system and persuade you to run an application. Due to the physical effects of creating memory modules which are smaller and smaller the space between memory cells used to store data are subject to electrical interference. This can be exploited by an attacker by reading the data from a memory address of interest over and over again which eventually leads to data corruption causes the binary contents (0 or 1) used to store data to change/”flip” from 0 to 1 or vice versa.

This effect has been seen before in an attack dubbed “Rowhammer” in 2014. That attack can be mitigated by the use of memory modules that use ECC (Error Correction Code). However, this new technique RAMBleed cannot be mitigated by ECC (defined).

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What must an attacker do to exploit this vulnerability?
================
An attacker must first map the memory which contains the data they wish to acquire. They can then work to control data each side in memory of the target data. Accessing this data over and over “hammers” the row with the data within it. If the data is 0, it will flip to 1 and if 1 becomes a zero (0). The attacker can then proceed to repeat this for one column down in the memory segment to obtain the next piece of target data. Researchers were able to obtain 3 to 4 bits (either 0 or 1) per second.

Researchers used this technique to obtain a 2048 bit OpenSSH key from the memory of a server. They did so by first using a technique they named “Frame Feng-Shui” that allows them to place the target data within a physical memory frame (area) of their choice in. The speed was 0.3 bits per second with an accuracy of 82%. By only obtaining some of the data and using a variant of the technique documented within the Heninger-Shacham algorithm they succeeded in obtaining the remainder of the key.

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How can an organisation or a consumer/end-user defend against this attack?
================
Encrypted memory achieved by the use of trusted execution environments (TEEs) e.g. AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV), ARM TrustZone or Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) will mitigate this attack since the attackers will obtain encrypted rather than ready to use/plain text data.

Alternatively; software developers can clear encryption keys or other sensitive data from memory after using it. Intel recommends it’s guidelines for resisting side-channel and timing side channel attackers:

A lesser known mitigation is the use of DDR4 memory modules that should disrupt the success of the Rowhammer attack. The Maximum Activation Count (MAC) of a memory row is not vulnerable to Rowhammer when the MAC has a value of “unlimited”.

This field exists within the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) technique of accessing memory. From the following page, many but not all of the examined DDR4 modules feature this setting. For example, my 4x 16 GB (64GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum PC4-21300 (CMX64GX4M4A2666C15) modules feature this setting and so appear not to be vulnerable to the Rowhammer technique. You can see this from the first attached screenshot (denoted by the value “Unlimited MAC”):

These screenshots were obtained from the RAMMon application available from PassMark.


Thank you.

Mitigating Microsoft’s June 2019 NTLM Vulnerabilities

Microsoft issued an update yesterday to resolve 2 vulnerabilities within Windows that can be used to allow an attacker to authenticate and run code remotely.

TL DR: Install the updates for CVE-2019-1019 and CVE-2019-1040 and follow the recommend guidelines in Preempt’s blog post:

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If attackers exploited these issues; what would the result be?
================
Preempt responsibly disclosed 2 vulnerabilities as a result of 3 logic flaws in NTLM to Microsoft. As a result of previous disclosures Microsoft added the Message Integrity Code (MIC) field designed to guarantee that attackers cannot tamper with NTLM messages in any way. Preempt bypassed this allowing them to change NTLM authentication fields, reducing security.

Next; Server Message Block (SMB) Session Signing was bypassed by Preempt allowing attackers to relay NTLM authentication messages and establish SMB and DCE/RPC sessions. Enhanced Protection for Authentication (EPA) was bypassed allowing the altering of “NTLM messages to generate legitimate channel binding information.” Finally, their bypasses could allow “attackers to relay NTLM authentication requests to any server in the domain, including domain controllers, while establishing a signed session to perform remote code execution.” This potentially could lead to the entire Active Directory domain becoming compromised by moving laterally from system to system.

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How can an organisation or a consumer/end-user defend against these attacks/bypasses?
================
Install the updates for CVE-2019-1019 and CVE-2019-1040:

Moreover; Preempt’s blog post provides the necessary recommendations to fully mitigate these issues.

================

For reference I have linked to how to enable the following mitigations:

Enforce SMB Signing

Block NTLMv1
Part 1

Further information link

Enforce LDAP Signing

Enforce EPA:
Part 1

Part 2

================

Thank you.

Microsoft re-issues warning to patch BlueKeep Vulnerability

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Update: 11th September 2019
=======================
Late last week Metasploit released a public exploit for the BlueKeep vulnerability. While this is a significant development in easing its use for a more widespread audience it was deliberately created with a safeguard of “The exploit does not currently support automatic targeting; it requires the user to manually specify target details before it will attempt further exploitation”

This means that the exploit cannot propagate on a large scale upon successfully exploiting a system within a wider network. The exploit was only created with the intention of identifying the affected operating system and whether that system is likely to be vulnerable.

How can I protect my organisation or myself from this vulnerability?
The BinaryEdge team is currently detecting more than 1 million un-patched systems on the internet. As per previous advice below, please make certain your Windows based servers and client/workstation systems are up to date (download links are provided in the original post below).

Thank you.

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Update: 19th August 2019
=======================
In late July the Watchbog malware incorporated a scanning module to detect the presence of the BlueKeep vulnerability. In addition, an exploit for the vulnerability was added to a high value commercial penetration (pen) testing tool.

These indications continue to keep BlueKeep in the spotlight continuing to emphasise the need to patch or mitigate it as soon as possible. Advice for scanning a corporate network for the presence of this vulnerability is available from this SANS forum thread.

Thank you.

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Update: 30th June 2019
=======================
A Microsoft employee (Raviv Tamir, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Threat Protection) has provided an update on the global status of patching the BlueKeep vulnerability. The most recent update is from 20th June; at 83.4% coverage an increase from 72.4% on 5th June and 57% on May 30th.

Keep up the great work. Thank you.

=======================
Update: 21st June 2019
=======================
The current situation with the BlueKeep vulnerability continues to increase in scope with Windows 2000 and it’s server variants (Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacentre Server) now confirmed as vulnerable after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a working BlueKeep exploit. Given that Windows Server 2003 and XP share much of their codebase with Windows 2000; this announcement isn’t entirely surprising. Microsoft separately confirmed there are no plans to issue updates for Windows 2000.

For any business or consumer still using Windows 2000; they have much more than just this vulnerability to be concerned about given that there have been no security updates since July 2010. The advice is as always to upgrade to supported version of Windows:

Thank you.

=======================
A BlueKeep short story:
=======================
Separately; last weekend I had the opportunity to “practice what I preach” when a friend came to me with a Windows XP laptop dating back to 2008. Surprisingly it was in almost new condition and was remarkably fast to use given it’s age. It had an Intel Core Solo CPU and 2 GB of RAM.

He no longer uses it online preferring an iPad Pro instead but needs to keep it online within his home network to administer his security single CCTV camera using an application (strangely the camera isn’t administered via a web browser). He had heard about BlueKeep and wondered could I patch it for him?

The laptop was connected via Ethernet to his router. I had asked him to send me a photo of the installed programs on the computer to see what I was going to deal with. I found the system had Windows XP SP3 (but no further updates), Office 2007, Adobe Reader 10 and VLC 1.1.5.

The Windows firewall was enabled and set to default settings. I verified using Nmap that port 3389 and other commonly exploitable ports like 445 (SMB) and Telnet (23); weren’t open.

Installed almost 150 updates for Windows XP using Microsoft Update (http://update.microsoft.com) , installed SP3 for Office 2007 and a further 37 updates for it after SP3.

Next, I installed Adobe Reader 11.0.10 and VLC 3.0.7.1. I also installed the 13 updates from Microsoft for Windows XP in 2017 (resolving DoublePulsar and EternalBlue; among others) and finally the BlueKeep security update. In less than 2 hours of me just reviewing the results of update checks and some very quick update installs his system was patched and continued to work perfectly.

From past experience of manually removing malware from really old systems this laptop was far better than expected. All of the updates installed quickly and with no errors. I estimate more than 1000 CVEs were resolved by the updates I installed.

He easily committed to continue not using it for website or email access since his iPad Pro fulfills that role and is faster. He was impressed that the laptop continues to work perfectly despite the vast number of updates it received.

Finally; yes I realize I should suggest upgrading from Windows XP but he doesn’t use the system for online use; just inside his network. His router is adequately protecting his network with it’s settings and most recent firmware updates installed. Given this use case and surrounding infrastructure; I see the risk as minimal. Plus he also told the system doesn’t have important data on it; he just wanted it patched in order to keep using it uninterrupted.

A really good outcome; case closed 😊

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Update: 12th June 2019
=======================
TL DR:
Install the RDP patch (links below) if you have not already done so. Use the paid-for micropatch if you can’t take a system offline to reboot it. If you can’t do either of these follow Microsoft’s or the NSA’s advice to mitigate the vulnerability.
=======================

Microsoft on the 31st of May re-iterated it’s warning to patch vulnerable systems as soon as possible.

Meanwhile; multiple proof of concepts of who to exploit the vulnerability have been developed by security researchers:

This story continues with another security researcher creating a proof of concept Metasploit exploit for this vulnerability. The exploit works on Windows XP, Windows 7, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2. Windows Server 2003 has the RDP vulnerability but the vulnerability couldn’t be exploited.

The NSA have since issued an advisory in addition to the two notifications from Microsoft linked to above.

For systems which cannot spare the down-time needed to reboot after installing the Microsoft patch, a micropatch from 0Patch is available for their Pro version subscribers:

As a proof of concept of how long it may take to patch a system; I used a VMware snapshot taken from a test Windows XP SP3 system I used back in 2012. The installation had no updates apart from SP3. After 40 minutes; all missing patches (2008 – 2014), the updates from 2017 (resolving EternalBlue; amongst others) and this year’s RDP update were installed. Patching the RDP vulnerability took less than a minute (including the restart and start-up of the system).

I repeated the above using the Automatic Updates feature of Windows XP. I was able to full patch the system in 30 minutes.

Systems which are better maintained than this would easily take less time (even if patched manually like I did); especially if tools such as WSUS or SCCM are used where vast number of systems can be patched very quickly.

Thank you.

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Original Post: 4th June
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Earlier this month Microsoft issued an update to resolve a critical vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services making use of the RDP protocol, port 3389.

TL DR: If you use Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, if you have not done so already, please install this update. For Windows XP (all versions), Server 2003 (all versions) and Windows Vista; the necessary updates are available here.

Why should this vulnerability be considered important?
As Microsoft reminded us when issuing the patch; this vulnerability requires no authentication or user interaction. It has the potential to spread just like the WannaCry and NotPetya infections did in 2017. Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (and their Server equivalents) are NOT vulnerable.

Robert Graham from Errata Security on the 28th of May issued a report of the scan results from a widespread scan of the internet. He found approximately 950,000 vulnerable systems.

How can I protect my organisation or myself from this vulnerability?
The easiest method is to install the update available from Microsoft.

For Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista; the update must be manually downloaded and installed from this link below since this update was not made available by the previous automatic mechanisms these versions of Windows had namely, Microsoft Update, Automatic Updates and Windows Update.

If you cannot install this security update; you can protect from this vulnerability by following the Workarounds listed in this link. Further explanation from Microsoft is also available from this link.

Microsoft on the 30th and 31st of May re-iterated it’s warning to patch vulnerable systems as soon as possible. Meanwhile; at least proof of concepts of who to exploit the vulnerability have been developed by at least 3 security researchers.

Thank you.