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  1. Microsoft is expected to release a major software update on Tuesday, January 14 that will fix an "extraordinarily serious security vulnerability" affecting a core cryptographic component found in all versions of Windows. This will be the first Patch Tuesday release of 2020 from Microsoft. January 14 is also the day that Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. As reported by KrebsOnSecurity, Microsoft has already rolled out a patch to fix the bug for the U.S. military and other important high-profile clients and customers. These clients have been asked to sign agreements preventing them from disclosing details of the flaw on or before January 14, 2020. The flaw is found in the crypt32.dll system file which handles "certificate and cryptographic messaging functions in the CryptoAPI." It is also used by the Microsoft CryptoAPI that is used for securing cryptography applications and encrypting/decrypting digital certificates. This component is used by key Microsoft apps like Internet Explorer and Edge to securely handle sensitive data. A flaw in the crypt32.dll can be used to spoof digital signatures which can be used by attackers to make malware appear a safe and genuine app on your PC. The report also states that the NSA's Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger is scheduled to host a press conference on January 14 where she will "provide advanced notification of a current cybersecurity issue." Microsoft on its part has already issued a statement saying that it does not discuss any vulnerabilities before rolling out a fix for them. It also made it clear that it does not roll out production-ready updates before its regular Update Tuesday schedule. Source: Microsoft expected to patch a serious security bug affecting all Windows versions today (via Neowin)
  2. Cyber-security firm enSilo has released a patch for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that will protect against attacks via ESTEEMAUDIT, a hacking tool dumped online by the Shadow Brokers last month, and allegedly developed by the NSA. At the technical level, ESTEEMAUDIT is a zero-day in the RDP protocol used by Windows to open desktop sessions on remote computers. An analysis of this exploit reveals its usability for breaking into computers with open RDP ports, or for moving laterally inside a network that features PCs with open RDP connections. Microsoft didn't patch against ESTEEMAUDIT attacks enSilo researchers developed a patch for ESTEEMAUDIT because Microsoft has not provided security updates to protect against this zero-day. This is because ESTEEMAUDIT only works on Windows XP and Windows 2003, two operating system that Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014, and 2015, respectively. After the Shadow Brokers dumped a collection of NSA hacking tools on April 14, a day later, Microsoft announced that its engineers had secretly patched Windows against most exploits a month earlier, in March. ESTEEMAUDIT is one of the exploits that didn't receive a patch, along with ENGLISHMANSDENTIST and EXPLODINGCAN. Does Microsoft have an ESTEEMAUDIT patch laying around? After the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, Microsoft did something uncharacteristic and issued an update for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003, all unsupported versions of its OS. This out-of-band security update patched the older OS versions against the ETERNALBLUE exploit, used by the WannaCry ransomware. Later it was discovered that Microsoft had created the ETERNALBLUE patch in February, but didn't release it, for unknown reasons. Furthermore, the Washington Post found out that the NSA had reached out to Microsoft earlier in the year, to tell the company about the stolen exploits and their capabilities. This is the reason why Microsoft had released patches since March, a month before the actual Shadow Brokers dump. If Microsoft has a patch for the ESTEEMAUDIT exploit stockpiled on one of its servers, we'll never know. In the meantime, XP and Windows Server 2003 users can utilize enSilo's patch to protect against attacks with ESTEEMAUDIT. enSilo hotpatch available for download The security company says the patch — which can be downloaded from here — works on Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP SP3 x64, and Windows Server 2003 R2. The patch is direly needed. Despite the advanced age of both operating systems, both are still very popular. For example, Windows XP remains the third most popular OS on the market today, accounting for 7% of all operating systems in use today. Similarly, Windows Server 2003 is currently used by 18% of all organizations today, accounting for more than 600,000 web-facing computers, which host upwards of 175 million websites. Besides applying the enSilo patch, users can disable RDP as an alternative method of protecting their systems. Source
  3. CentOS maintainer Johnny Hughes informs the community of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based and security-oriented operating system about the availability of an important kernel update. As CentOS is based on the freely distributed sources of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, it also inherits its security updates, and the latest one patches five vulnerabilities discovered recently in the kernel packages of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, affecting CentOS 7 users too. According to the upstream security advisory, which was marked by Red Hat as important, the updated kernel packages were patched against a buffer overflow (CVE-2017-7308) discovered in Linux kernel's packet_set_ring() function, which could allow a local attacker with CAP_NET_RAW access to crash of the system. Another vulnerability (CVE-2016-8646) was discovered in Linux kernel's shash_async_export() function, which lets unprivileged local users attempt forcing the in-kernel hashing algorithms into decrypting an empty data set. Additionally, it was found the mounting a crafted EXT4 partition as read-only could lead to SLAB-Out-of-Bounds reads and memory corruption (CVE-2016-10208). Users are urged to update to kernel-3.10.0-514.21.1.el7 The fourth security issue (CVE-2017-5986) patched in this update is about malicious applications that could trigger a BUG_ON in Linux kernel's sctp_wait_for_sndbuf function if the socket tx buffer is full. More details on this flaw can be found on the respective CVE report and Red Hat's security advisory. Finally, the fifth security flaw (CVE-2016-7910) was discovered in Linux kernel's implementation of seq_file, which could allow a local attacker to manipulate memory in the put() function pointer, thus leading to memory corruption or allowing the attacker to escalate his/her privileges on the vulnerable system. CentOS 7 users are urged to update their installations to kernel-3.10.0-514.21.1.el7 as soon as possible. To perform a full system update, type the "su -c 'yum update'" command in your favorite terminal emulator or virtual console. After a kernel update, make sure that you reboot your computer for the new version to take effect. Source
  4. Updating Ubuntu 16.10 Canonical announced the availability of an updated kernel patch for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases, addressing a security vulnerability discovered recently in the upstream Linux kernel. The security issue affects the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating systems, as well as all of their derivatives, including Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Budgie, and Ubuntu Server. The issue appears to have been discovered by Alexander Popov in Linux kernel's SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) implementation as a race condition that could allow a local attacker to crash the system by causing a denial of service (DoS). "Alexander Popov discovered that a race condition existed in the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) implementation in the Linux kernel. A local attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (system crash)," reads the respective Ubuntu security advisory. Trusty, Xenial, and Yakkety HWE kernels also available As expected, Canonical also release updated HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernels for the Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, and Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS releases, urging all users of these Ubuntu Linux variants to update their installations as soon as possible. The new kernel versions are linux-image for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, linux-image for Ubuntu 16.10, linux-image-lts-trusty for Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS, linux-image-lts-xenial for Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, and linux-image-hwe-16.04 for Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS. To update your Ubuntu OS, you'll need to run the "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" command in the Terminal app, or fire up the Software Updater utility and install all available updates. Make sure you reboot your computer after installing the new kernel version. More details are provided by Canonical at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Security/Upgrades. Source
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