Microsoft Patch Alert: Despite weird timing, September’s Windows and Office patches look good

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:40:00 -0700

As we near the end of patching’s “C Week” (which is to say, the week that contains the third Tuesday of the month), there are no show-stopping bugs in the Windows and Office patches and just a few gotchas. As long as you avoid Microsoft’s patches for Intel’s Meltdown/Spectre bugs, you should be in good shape.

Why a Patch Monday?

On Sept. 17, Microsoft released two very-out-of-band cumulative updates for Windows 10:

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Microsoft’s September patches fix a raft of serious bugs

Credit to Author: Andrew Brandt| Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:00:07 +0000

Updates for Windows and Mac users resolve more than five dozen software vulnerabilities<img src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sophos/dgdY/~4/HBOC9eD3Jfo” height=”1″ width=”1″ alt=””/>

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Why Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever

Credit to Author: Fahmida Y. Rashid| Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:40:00 -0700

Three years after its debut, Windows 10 is poised to overtake Windows 7 as the most popular version of the Windows operating system. Microsoft introduced virtualization-based security features – namely Device Guard and Credential Guard – in Windows 10, and in subsequent updates, has added other virtualization-based protections to the operating system.

Microsoft tackled the two biggest challenge for enterprises with Windows 10, password management and protecting the operating system from attackers. Windows Defender was renamed Windows Security in 2017 and now includes anti-malware and threat detection, firewall and network security, application and browser controls, device and account security, and device health. Windows Security shares status information between Microsoft 365 services and interoperates with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Microsoft’s cloud-based forensic analysis tool.

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SharePoint Workflows go belly-up when you install the September .Net Security Only patch

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2018 08:29:00 -0700

‘Softie Rodney Viana has posted details and a workaround for the “System.CodeDom.CodeBinaryOperatorExpression is not marked as authorized” bug.

Apparently, installing last Tuesday’s KB 4457916 Security Only updates for .Net Framework 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, and 4.7.2 for Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 causes a hard stop with any SharePoint Workflows. (Workflows are set up by an admin to handle the flow of documents through a series of steps.)

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CVE-2018-8440 – Task Scheduler ALPC Zero-Day Exploit in the Wild

Credit to Author: Sameer Patil| Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2018 13:30:14 +0000

The recent zero-day vulnerability CVE-2018-8440 in Windows Task Scheduler enables attackers to perform a privilege elevation on targeted machines. Microsoft has released a security advisory CVE-2018-8440 on September 11, 2018 to address this issue. According to Microsoft, successful exploitation of this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the security context…

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Time to turn off Windows Automatic Update and brace for impact

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2018 06:19:00 -0700

August 2018 was a relatively innocuous patching month, although the final resolution to the August problems didn’t appear until late Friday night just as the month was coming to a close — on a three-day weekend in the US.

We’ve seen the same pattern repeat itself almost every month since the beginning of the year: The first round of Microsoft security patches (notably including Win10 patches) introduce bugs, while subsequent rounds of patches each month squash most of them. If we’re lucky.

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Get caught up on your July and August Windows/Office patches

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2018 12:29:00 -0700

With the arrival of “Fourth Week” patches on the last working day of August, and having had a few days to vet them, it looks as if we’re ready to release the cracklin’ Kraken.

The steaming pile of Windows Intel microcode patches

Microsoft continues to unleash microcode patches for Meltdown and Spectre (versions 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, n for n >=4). You won’t get stung by any of them, unless you specifically go looking for trouble.

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Windows and .Net finally get their 'D Week' patches, as Intel microcode fixes go wacko

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 05:02:00 -0700

Time for the final August patching shoe to drop.

Late last night Microsoft released a flurry of patches, posting them on the Microsoft Update Catalog. Some are available through Windows Update, some aren’t.

As of early Friday morning, the Win10 patches are not available through WSUS, the update server service. It’s not clear if that’s a mistake, a hesitation — or if somebody just went home last night and forgot.

Let’s hear it for patching predictability. And transparency.

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Fileless malware: getting the lowdown on this insidious threat

Credit to Author: Vasilios Hioureas| Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 16:48:35 +0000

In this series of articles, we provide an in-depth discussion of fileless malware and their related attacks. In part one, we cover a brief overview of the problems with and general features of fileless malware, laying the groundwork for technical analysis of various samples employing fileless and semi-fileless methods.

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Microsoft Patch Alert: Mainstream August patches look remarkably good, but watch out for the bad boys

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2018 14:01:00 -0700

So far this month we’ve only seen one cumulative update for each version of Windows 10, and one set of updates (Security only, Monthly Rollup) for Win7 and 8.1. With a few notable exceptions, those patches are going in rather nicely. What a difference a month makes.

We’ve also seen a massive influx of microcode updates for the latest versions of Windows 10, running on Intel processors. Those patches, released on Aug. 20 and 21, have tied many admins up in knots, with conflicting descriptions and iffy rollout sequences.

Big problems for small niches

At this point, I’m seeing complaints about a handful of patches:

  • The original SQL Server 2016 SP2 patch, KB 4293807, was so bad Microsoft yanked it — although the yanking took almost a week. It’s since been replaced by KB 4458621, which appears to solve the problem.
  • The Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 patch, KB 4456688, has gone through two versions — released Aug. 14, pulled, then re-released Aug. 18 — and the re-released version still has problems. There’s a hotfix available from the KB article, but you’d be well advised to avoid it.
  • Outlook guru Diane Poremsky notes on Slipstick that the version of Outlook in the July Office 365 Click-to-Run won’t allow you to start Outlook if it’s already running. “Only one version of Outlook can run at a time” — even if the “other version” is, in fact, the same version.
  • The bug in the Win10 1803 upgrade that resets TLS 1.2 settings persists, but there’s an out-of-the-blue patch KB 4458116 that fixes the problem for Intuit QuickBooks Desktop.
  • The Win10 1803 cumulative update has an acknowledged bug in the way the Edge browser interacts with Application Guard. Since about two of you folks use that combination, I don’t consider it a big deal. The solution, should you encounter the bug, is to uninstall the August cumulative update, manually install the July cumulative update, and then re-install the August cumulative update — thus adding a new dimension to the term “cumulative.”
  • The Win7 Monthly Rollup has an old acknowledged bug about “missing file (oem<number>.inf).” Although Microsoft hasn’t bothered to give us any details, it looks like that’s mostly a problem with VMware.

The rest of the slate looks remarkably clean. Haven’t seen that in a long while.

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What you need to know for Patch Tuesday, August 2018

Credit to Author: Andrew ODonnell| Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:16:44 +0000

With 23 critical vulnerabilities addressed in patches from Microsoft and Adobe, August is turning out to be a good month for updates — but don’t delay installing them.<img src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sophos/dgdY/~4/_Fw-RIvgU1s” height=”1″ width=”1″ alt=””/>

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