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So update your software – now! Patch Tuesday Microsoft has published the March edition of its monthly security updates, addressing security flaws in Internet Explorer, Edge and Windows, while Adobe has issued updates for Digital Editions, Acrobat and Reader. Microsoft posted 13 bulletins this month: MS16-023 A cumulative update for Internet Explorer addressing 13 CVE-listed vulnerabilities, including remote code execution flaws.
Visiting a booby-trapped webpage using IE can trigger the execution of malicious code and malware on the system. MS16-024 A cumulative update for Microsoft Edge that addresses 10 CVE-listed memory corruption vulnerabilities and one information disclosure flaw. MS16-025 An update for a single remote code execution vulnerability in Windows.

This flaw only affects Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Server Core. "A remote code execution vulnerability exists when Microsoft Windows fails to properly validate input before loading certain libraries," says Redmond. "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system.

An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. 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." MS16-026 Two CVE-listed vulnerabilities in Windows, one causing denial of service and another allowing remote code execution.
If an attacker convinces "a user to open a specially crafted document, or to visit a webpage that contains specially crafted embedded OpenType fonts," then malicious code will execute on their system. MS16-027 Two CVE-listed vulnerabilities in Windows Media Parsing, both potentially allowing remote code execution.
Visiting a webpage with a booby-trapped video embedded in it can exploit the bug to hijack the PC. MS16-028 Two flaws in the Windows PDF Library that allow for remote code execution if you open a maliciously crafted document. MS16-029 An update for Office addressing two memory corruption flaws and one security feature bypass vulnerability. Opening a document laced with bad code will trigger the bugs. MS16-030 An update for two remote code execution vulnerabilities in Windows OLE. "An attacker must convince a user to open either a specially crafted file or a program from either a webpage or an email message," noted Microsoft.

After that, code execution is possible. MS16-031 An elevation of privilege vulnerability in Windows: applications can abuse handles in memory to gain administrator-level access. MS16-032 An elevation of privilege vulnerability in the Windows Secondary Logon Service: again, applications can abuse handles in memory to gain administrator-level access. MS16-033 An update to address a flaw in the Windows USB Mass Storage Class Driver that could allow attackers to gain elevation of privilege with a specially-crafted USB drive. MS16-034 A collection of four elevation of privilege flaws in the Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers: applications can exploit these to execute malicious code at the kernel level. MS16-035 A fix for one security feature bypass flaw in the .NET framework. Adobe, meanwhile, has issued two updates for its products: Digital Editions for Windows, OS X, iOS and Android has been updated to patch a remote code execution vulnerability. Acrobat and Reader for Windows and OS X have been updated to address three CVE-listed remote code execution flaws. Users should also expect an update for unspecified vulnerabilities in Flash Player "in the coming days." ® Sponsored: 2016 global cybersecurity assurance report card
Microsoft this week made good on a 2014 promise and withheld security updates from users of older versions of the company's Internet Explorer (IE) browser.All Windows users still running IE7 or IE8...
Microsoft released its second batch of security updates for this year, addressing a total of 36 flaws in Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, Windows and .Net Framework.The patches are covered in 12 se...
Fixes for critical flaws in Adobe Flash running on Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers are among a slew of "important" security updates in Microsoft's latest Patch Tuesday.  This month's package isn't as bad as the one before it when there were a lot of serious vulnerabilities to deal with, but it will still top many a sys admins daily to-do list. Microsoft notes that all versions of Windows are affected, and says that users of Windows Vista and later, including Windows 10, need to get patching immediately.  Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at security firm Qualys, noted that after a busy January, things had more-or-less returned to normal. "We are back to normal numbers on Patch Tuesday. After a light start with nine bulletins in January we are getting 12 bulletins (five critical) in February, which is in line with the average count for last year of 12.25 a month. Actually it is 13, but the last one this month, MS16-022, is more of a packaging change," he said. He continued: "It concerns Adobe Flash, a software package where updating has already been handled by Microsoft for the last three-and-a-half years in the Internet Explorer 10 and 11 browsers. "The highest priority item is MS16-022, which contains fixes for 22 vulnerabilities for Adobe Flash, all of them rated as 'critical' and capable of handing the attacker complete control over the target machine." The Flash update was also singled out by Tyler Reguly, manager of software development at Tripwire, who said that this is "one of the best changes" that February has to offer. In case you missed it, no one likes Flash these days". He added: "One of the best changes this month is that Adobe Flash Player, embedded in Microsoft IE and Edge, has finally received its own bulletin. Previously, Microsoft updated the same Knowledge Base on a month-by-month basis with no defining elements," he said. "This is a welcome change and hopefully bodes well for other areas where Microsoft continues to do this." A large chunk of the Microsoft fixes provide protection against remote code execution (RCE) threats. One of these applies to Windows Journal, which has piqued the interested of Craig Young, a security researcher at Tripwire. "Today marks the 12th RCE bug Microsoft is patching in Windows Journal in just 10 months. This is particularly interesting because Windows Journal vulnerabilities were basically unheard of before 2015," he said. "While the increased scrutiny of Windows Journal may be an indication of Microsoft's successes in the tablet space, it is important to remember that the flaw is not limited to tablets. "In fact, every piece of software installed on a computer adds to the potential attack surface even if that software is not frequently used," he said.
Microsoft has patched 41 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in its software this month. The second Patch Tuesday monthly update of the year brings with it fixes for security flaws in both Internet Explorer and Edge that could allow remote-code-execution attacks simply by visiting a webpage. Also fixed are remote-code-execution holes in the Windows PDF Viewer and Microsoft Office. The full list is as follows: MS16-009 A cumulative update for Internet Explorer 9 through 11. The update includes fixes for 13 CVE-listed issues, including remote-code-execution flaws and information disclosure vulnerabilities. As with all IE updates, the fixes are considered a lower risk for Windows Server installations. MS16-011 An update for the Edge browser in Windows 10 comprising six fixes for CVE-listed issues, four of which are remote-code-execution vulnerabilities. MS16-012 A fix for two remote-code-execution vulnerabilities in Windows PDF Library and Reader for Windows 8.1, Server 2012 and Windows 10. MS16-013 A memory-corruption vulnerability in Windows Journal potentially allowing remote code execution in Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Server 2012 and Windows 10. MS16-014 Five security holes in Windows, including two remote-code-execution holes and a denial-of-service condition in Windows DLL Loading. Also fixed were an elevation-of-privilege error in Windows and a Kerberos security bypass flaw. MS16-015 Six memory-corruption vulnerabilities in Office, each of which could allow for remote code execution. The update covers Office 2007, 2010, 2013, 2013 RT, and Office 2016 as well as Office for Mac 2011 and 2016. MS16-016 One elevation-of-privilege flaw in WebDAV for Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Server 2012, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 10. MS16-017 An elevation-of-privilege flaw in Remote Desktop Protocol that could allow an attacker to log in to systems that have enabled Remote Desktop, which is turned off by default. The issue affects Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Server 2012 and Windows 10. MS16-018 An elevation-of-privilege flaw in the Win32k component for Windows Vista, Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and 8.1 RT, Server 2012 and 2012, and Windows 10. MS16-019 Updates for a denial-of-service flaw in .NET Framework and an information disclosure hole in Windows Forms. The fix covers Windows Vista, Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and 8.1 RT, Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and Windows 10. MS16-020 A fix for one denial-of-service vulnerability in Windows Server 2012 R2. Other versions of Windows and Windows Server are not affected. MS16-021 A denial-of-service vulnerability in the Network Policy Server Radius Implementation on Windows Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. After installing the Microsoft updates, users and administrators would be wise to install monthly fixes issued Tuesday by Adobe for Flash Player. The updates cover a total of 22 CVE-listed flaws for Flash, all of which could potentially be targeted for remote-code-execution attacks. The Flash Player update also affects versions for OS X and Linux boxes. ® Sponsored: Building secure multi-factor authentication
The last quarter of 2013 saw a dramatic rise in malware infections of computers running supported versions of Microsoft Windows, a report has revealed. The increase was mainly due to the Rotbrow family of malware made up of Trojans that install browser add-ons. These claim to protect you from other add-ons, according to the latest version of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR). The number of infected machines is expected to return to more typical levels in 2014, the report said. Typically older versions of operating systems show a higher infection rate, but Windows Vista topped the infection charts in the last three months of 2013. Even Windows 7 recorded a higher infection rate than the 13-year-old Windows XP operating system, which was the oldest in the sample and for which Microsoft has since discontinued support. According to the SIR version 16, Windows XP SP3 computers had an infection rate of just 2.42% in the last quarter of 2013, compared with 3.24% for Windows Vista SP2 and 2.59% for Windows 7 SP1. Windows 8 had a 1.73% infection rate and Windows 8.1 just 0.08%, according to figures normalised to account for the different number of computers running each version of the operating system. However, these figures do not necessarily mean that Windows 7 is a less safe environment than Windows XP, according to independent security consultant Graham Cluley. If configured correctly, he said, Windows 7 can provide better security than Windows XP because users can take full advantage of Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), a utility that can block malware successfully exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities. Although EMET can be run on run on Windows XP Service Pack 3, users of that platform do not have access to all of its protection features, Cluley wrote in a blog post. He also points out that the statistics in Microsoft’s report cover a period when Windows XP was still receiving security updates from Microsoft. “Going forward we can expect XP computers to become more and more riddled with malware as security holes are left unpatched,” said Cluley. He also points out this decline will not be reflected in future Microsoft SIRs because the company collects statistics only on supported versions of Windows. According to a newly published security report by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), failure to update the security of software is the most common reason companies fail to keep personal data safe. The report highlights seven other common reasons organisations have failed to keep personal data secure that have been drawn from the ICO’s investigations into data breaches. “In just the past couple of months we have already seen widespread concern over the expiry of support for Microsoft XP and the uncovering of the security flaw known as Heartbleed,” said Simon Rice, the ICO’s group manager for technology. “While these security issues may seem complex, it is important that organisations of all sizes have a basic understanding of these types of threats and know what action they need to take to make sure their computer systems are keeping customers’ information secure,” he said. Rice said ICO investigations have shown that while some organisations are taking IT security seriously, too many are failing at the basics. Read more about Microsoft Security Intelligence Reports Europe tops Microsoft cyber security policy report Conficker still a threat to business, finds Security Intelligence Report Assessing the value of cloud security threat intelligence services Top cyber threats underline need for security awareness Microsoft Security Intelligence Report warns business of social network phishing attacks Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK
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