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1. In Focus: A Dozen Security Patches and Several Related Exploits
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Microsoft Takes Security to the Forefront
- Will Ethereal Be Devoured by Wireshark?
- SmartLine DeviceLock Minireview
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Security Forum Featured Thread
- Instant Poll
- Share Your Security Tips
4. New and Improved
- Virtual Security Gateway
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==== 1. In Focus: A Dozen Security Patches and Several Related Exploits
=== by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
As you hopefully know by now, Microsoft released a dozen security
patches last week. Microsoft rated eight of the patches as critical,
meaning that the related problems could be exploited without user
interaction to possibly spread a worm. The remaining four patches are
rated important, meaning that the related problem could be exploited to
compromise sensitive information, hinder access to data, or affect
availability and integrity of processing resources.
After Microsoft releases security patches, intruders often quickly
release exploits that take advantage of the vulnerabilities or
researchers sometimes discover that previously known security problems
still exist and that the latest batch of patches left problems unfixed.
This past week was no different.
Reading the Handler's Diary blog at SANS Internet Storm Center (at the
URL below) last week, I learned that the day after Microsoft released
its security patches, there were at least six new exploits.
Fortunately, two of those exploits, which affect Microsoft Windows
Media Player and RRAS, were released by a security vendor to its
customers, so those weren't floating around in the wild. Another
exploit, which affects TCP/IP networking, was released privately, so it
wasn't in the wild either. Yet another exploit, which affects Microsoft
Word, was already in the wild before the related patch was released.
That leaves at least two new exploits that are in the wild, both of
which affect Server Message Block (SMB) and could be used to elevate
privileges or hide a running process.
These last two exploits caught my attention because installing the
patch in the related Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-030:
Vulnerability in Server Message Block Could Allow Elevation of
Privilege doesn't completely fix the security problems. Even with the
patch installed, vulnerability remains, although to an arguably lesser
Ruben Santamarta, who runs the reversemode.com Web site, posted a
message to SecurityFocus's BugTraq mailing list (at the URL below) in
which he stated in reference to MS06-030, "Microsoft has not fixed the
NtClose/ZwClose DeadLock vulnerability.... I think that the Driver
Developer community should be informed that using NtClose/ZwClose, the
driver will be exposed to a security issue by default."
Santamarta published a document on his Web site that discusses the
problem in considerable technical detail (at the URL below). If I
understand correctly, Santamarta has found that a malware writer could
use the still existing vulnerability to essentially hide a process. As
demonstrated in one of his published exploits, even if you try to
terminate the process, it will disappear but not actually stop running.
This of course gives the malware writer a great way to avoid malware
removal. Santamarta's proof of concept points out that Microsoft needs
to fix this problem sooner rather than later.
Finally, another exploit you need to be aware of, which isn't related
to Microsoft's June release of patches, is a zero-day exploit released
last week that affects Microsoft Excel. At the time of this writing, no
patch was available from Microsoft to correct the problem. The problem
is serious in that it allows the execution of arbitrary code when
someone opens an affected Excel document. Security vendors are working
to provide detection of this exploit, so hopefully you'll have the
protection you need by the time you read this newsletter.
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==== 2. Security News and Features ===
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these
Microsoft's Takes Security to the Forefront
At TechEd 2006 last week in Boston, Microsoft announced its
Forefront brand and the launch of ISA Server 2006. Forefront will
include solutions for clients, servers, and the network boundary. Find
out what products will be included and when you can expect to see them.
Will Ethereal Be Devoured by Wireshark?
Ethereal has long been the tool of choice among countless network
administrators for robust packet capturing and protocol analysis. Now
the hugely popular open source tool has a new name, Wireshark, and a
new sponsor to go along with it.
SmartLine DeviceLock Minireview
SmartLine's DeviceLock lets you manage device security for portable
devices by assigning users access levels to network devices and
interfaces, such as USB and infrared ports, wireless network adapters,
and removable storage devices. Read Trisha Pendley's minireview on our
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: 100GB in My Pocket!
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2F242:4FB69
I found a super-affordable portable disk that gives me 100GB to
store whatever I need, like bunches of security tools and even an
alternative OS. Plus I can carry it around in my pocket.
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2F241:4FB69
Q: Why does the Windows Server 2003 R2 File Server Resource Manager
(FSRM) file screen audit report contain three entries for file screen
Find the answer at http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2F236:4FB69
Security Forum Featured Thread: Using Administrator Account Is a
A forum participant wonders why it's a serious security offense in
some organizations for a network administrator to use the Administrator
account for routine work. Join the discussion at
New Instant Poll
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Go to the Security Hot Topic and submit your vote
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==== 4. New and Improved === by Renee Munshi, email@example.com
Virtual Security Gateway
Astaro announced the general availability of Astaro Security Gateway
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