Microsoft’s patches this month are few, but no less important. In fact, critical in one case!
We generally compare two sources of information to understand the impact of Microsoft’s patch updates – Microsoft’s own feed plus information from an independent source, such as US-CERT [United States-Computer Emergency Readiness Team] which uses the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to asses the potential impact of the IT vulnerabilities. By contrasting two sources of information we can get the real picture of how the vulnerabilities affect your business.
In this latest round, announced last week, we have four updates, MS14-052, MS14-053, MS14-054 and MS14-055. Full details for each below. Now, what’s interesting here is that Microsoft has listed the latter three as Important but by using the CVSS we can actually understand that MS14-055 has a score of 7.8 out of 10. That’s pretty high and, in our experience, anything with a CVSS score that high needs to be urgently prioritised along with the Critical update MS14-052.
What’s the risk?
MS14-055 resolves vulnerabilities, which could allow a denial of service attack against Microsoft Lync Server. This is rightfully a high-scoring ‘Important’ vulnerability that could allow someone to kill the server of a communications tool so vital to the operations of many, many businesses.
As an aside, I like to think of a denial of service attack as a marble in a bucket; the bucket is being used to remove water from a swimming pool. Every time, the bucket is used, another marble finds its way in. Before long, you’re carrying a lot of marbles and not shifting much water! This vulnerability needs resolving – its time to lose your marbles.
MS14-052 has a CVSS score of 9.3. It’s a ‘rollup’ of 36 privately reported vulnerabilities, which affect all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute remote code. Again, it needs to be resolved.
Right now, we’re looking at the binary code for each patch update and moving towards testing and piloting the updates before deployment to customers. As with all our customers, we’ll be working through our agreed deployment process using Verismic Syxsense for rollout.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any viewpoints on the patch updates.