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It's common to hear security vendors advise people to "keep their computer up to date with the latest patches" but what does that actually mean and why is it important?
Malware can infiltrate PCs via a number of attack surfaces, one of which being bugs in Windows and the programs on your PC.
Microsoft have published a Security Bulletin Summary for November 2011. A number of updates have been released including one "critical" and two "important" severity updates.
The patches address remote code execution, elevation of privilege and denial of service vulnerabilities. Importantly, an update has been released to patch the critical vulnerability in the TCP/IP stack (MS11-083). Microsoft report that "the vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends a continuous flow of specially crafted UDP packets to a closed port on a target system."
As the malware landscape evolves, it's helpful to understand how malware gets onto your machine. Knowing the bad guys' strategies gives you the edge while on-line and puts you in a stronger position to defend your data and PC against compromising threats.
We all know that we should install anti-malware software, keep it up to date and run regular scans, apply Windows and application security patches when they become available, use a firewall... well, I won't bore you - you know what to do. But what kind of attacks can we expect and where are they coming from?
Microsoft have published a Security Bulletin Summary for October 2011. Eight updates have been released including two "critical" and six "important" severity updates.
The patches address remote code execution, elevation of privilege and denial of service vulnerabilities within Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Forefront United Access Gateway and Microsoft Host Integration Server.
Apple have released iTunes 10.2 which resolves multiple vulnerabilities, the most serious of which may lead to unexpected application termination and arbitrary code execution.
iTunes users are advised to read Apple's security summary HT4554 and update to the latest version.
Firefox 3.6.13 and Thunderbird 3.1.7 have been released. The latest versions include fixes to improve performance, stability and security.
11 Firefox updates, 9 of which are rated critical are included in this fix. More information here.
All 3 of the Thunderbird updates fix critical vulnerabilities. More info here.
Microsoft have published a Security Bulletin Advance Notification for December 2010. 17 updates are planned for 14th December including two "critical" and 14 "important" severity updates.
The patches address remote code execution, elevation of privilege and denial of service vulnerabilities within Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange.
Full details here.
Cyber Monday, the official start of the online holiday shopping season, is here. Two thirds of computer users plan to shop and / or research online this holiday season. There's little wonder why cyber thieves go into high gear this time of year - they simply follow the money to make the most profits. Surrounded by the comforts of your home, it's easy to lose sights of this.
Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Adobe Flash Player 10.1.85.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris, and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.95.1 for Android. These vulnerabilities, including CVE-2010-3654 referenced in Security Advisory APSA10-05, could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.
Full Adobe advisory info here.
Affected software includes:
Microsoft has released a security advisory concerning a vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8. This vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code. Full details here.
Visit Microsoft's page here to get full instructions. You can find the workarounds under the "Suggested Actions" twisty.
Mozilla have published an update for their Firefox browser that fixes a critical security issue that could potentially allow remote code execution.
Users are strongly recommended to update to the latest version. To update manually, select 'Check for Updates' from the Help menu then clicking on "CHeck for Updates"
More information about the updates is available here.
Fast turnaround on the fix, Mozilla - well done.
From the Mozilla blog:
Mozilla is aware of a critical vulnerability affecting Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6 users. We have received reports from several security research firms that exploit code leveraging this vulnerability has been detected in the wild.