Zero-day and “wormable” vulnerabilities in Windows topped administrators’ concern lists on September’s Patch Tuesday.
In total, Microsoft released fixes for 63 CVEs, 5 of which were rated Critical. Administrators can expose systems vulnerable to Windows Zero Day (CVE-2022-37969), a common log file system driver that affects most Windows desktop and server systems, including Windows 7 and Windows 2008/2008R2 OS. We need to focus on patching. Patches through the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program. This bug was rated as critical and was published.
An attacker would need both access to the network and permission to execute code. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability could allow the attacker to gain system privileges. This bug could be the final piece of the puzzle in advanced persistent threat scenarios where attackers overtake systems. Microsoft’s details on this CVE provide the context that motivates administrators to push the patch immediately.
“When looking at the acknowledgment of this vulnerability, four different groups are cited. To me, this was not a single targeted attack. It was multiple vendors with different standards,” says Chris. Goettl, his vice president of product management for security products at IT asset and endpoint management company Ivanti, said:
Organizations deploying systems in the ESU program should recognize the approaching end date of January 2023 and put together a transition plan. Otherwise, you will be exposed to threats after the support deadline. Customers migrating their Server 2008/2008 R2 workloads to Azure can extend their support lifecycle through January 2024.
Critical ‘Wormable’ Vulnerability Targeting Windows Systems
The Windows TCP/IP Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2022-34718) is rated Critical, with the highest Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) rating of 9.8 this month. This bug affects all supported Windows desktop and server systems that use IPv6 on IPSec nodes and do not require user interaction or privileges. Due to the nature of this vulnerability, it may be designed to track and infect systems listening for some kind of TCP/IP traffic.
“Organizations that have enabled IPv6, even if they are not currently using IPv6, should take this seriously as it is a potential worm,” Goettl said. “If they enable it, it’s listening. If this request is sent, there’s a good chance someone could abuse this.”
Published Vulnerability Affects ARM Devices
Microsoft has fixed a critical cache speculation limit vulnerability (CVE-2022-23960) in Windows 11 on 64-bit ARM systems. This bug was published before Patch Tuesday in September.
According to the ARM developer site, the vulnerability is known as Specter-BHB and shares some characteristics of the Specter variant 2 vulnerability, “causing cache allocations and inferring information that should not be accessible. It may be used to
Other Notable Security Updates in September Patch Monthly
Administrators still grappling with issues from the PrintNightmare vulnerability should be wary of CVE-2022-38005. CVE-2022-38005 is an elevation of privilege flaw in the Windows print spooler that affects all Windows systems. Don’t assume IT can delay patching due to the isolated nature of this particular vulnerability. An attacker with a successful exploit can gain system privileges.
Goettl said most organizations suffering from multiple print spooler issues should create a set of tests to ensure proper printing functionality after applying the patch.
The Azure Guest Configuration and Azure Arc Enabled Server Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability (CVE-2022-38007) focuses on Linux platforms and has a CVSS rating of 7.8. An attacker could use this flaw to replace Microsoft’s code with their own. Although proof-of-concept exploit code exists, Microsoft has given this CVE an exploitability rating of “low exploitability.”
As Linux gains traction in Microsoft-based organizations and more configuration-level vulnerabilities emerge in Azure, so does the need for a consistent way to support these products.
“We will need tools to help administrators more effectively address some of these challenges,” says Goettl.
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