FYI New .wmf Security Vunerability... Microsoft Security Advisory (912840)

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Russ Grover, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Russ Grover

    Russ Grover Guest

    I didn't see if this was posted before so My Apologies...

    It's another .wmf Vulnerability, (Not like the last one in November but a
    New one)
    Unfortunately no fix is suspected out till January 10th...

    Brief excerpt:

    Microsoft Security Advisory (912840)
    Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine Could Allow Remote Code
    Published: December 28, 2005 | Updated: January 3, 2006

    On Tuesday, December 27, 2005, Microsoft became aware of public reports of
    malicious attacks on some customers involving a previously unknown security
    vulnerability in the Windows Meta File (WMF) code area in the Windows

    Upon learning of the attacks, Microsoft mobilized under its Software
    Security Incident Response Process (SSIRP) to analyze the attack, assess its
    scope, define an engineering plan, and determine the appropriate guidance
    for customers, as well as to engage with anti-virus partners and law

    Microsoft confirmed the technical details of the attack on December 28, 2005
    and immediately began developing a security update for the WMF vulnerability
    on an expedited track.

    Microsoft has completed development of the security update for the
    vulnerability. The security update is now being localized and tested to
    ensure quality and application compatibility. Microsoft's goal is to release
    the update on Tuesday, January 10, 2006, as part of its monthly release of
    security bulletins. This release is predicated on successful completion of
    quality testing.

    The update will be released worldwide simultaneously in 23 languages for all
    affected versions of Windows once it passes a series of rigorous testing
    procedures. It will be available on Microsoft's Download Center, as well as
    through Microsoft Update and Windows Update. Customers who use Windows'
    Automatic Updates feature will be delivered the fix automatically.

    Based on strong customer feedback, all Microsoft's security updates must
    pass a series of quality tests, including testing by third parties, to
    assure customers that they can be deployed effectively in all languages and
    for all versions of the Windows platform with minimum down time.

    Microsoft has been carefully monitoring the attempted exploitation of the
    WMF vulnerability since it became public last week, through its own forensic
    capabilities and through partnerships within the industry and law
    enforcement. Although the issue is serious and malicious attacks are being
    attempted, Microsoft's intelligence sources indicate that the attacks are
    limited in scope and are not widespread.

    In addition, anti-virus companies indicate that attacks based on exploiting
    the WMF vulnerability are being effectively mitigated through up-to-date

    Customers are encouraged to keep their anti-virus software up-to-date. The
    Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) can also help protect your system from
    spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Customers can also visit
    Windows Live Safety Center and are encouraged to use the Complete Scan
    option to check for and remove malicious software that takes advantage of
    this vulnerability. We will continue to investigate these public reports.

    If you are a Windows OneCare user and your current status is green, you are
    already protected from known malware that uses this vulnerability to attempt
    to attack systems.

    Customers who follow safe browsing best practices are not likely to be
    compromised by any exploitation of the WMF vulnerability. Users should take
    care not to visit unfamiliar or un-trusted Web sites that could potentially
    host the malicious code.

    Microsoft encourages users to exercise caution when they open e-mail and
    links in e-mail from untrusted sources. While we have not encountered any
    situation in which simply opening an email can result in attack, clicking on
    a link in an email could result in navigation to a malicious site. For more
    information about Safe Browsing, visit the Trustworthy Computing Web site.

    The intentional use of exploit code, in any form, to cause damage to
    computer users is a criminal offense. Accordingly, Microsoft continues to
    assist law enforcement with its investigation of the attacks in this case.
    Customers who believe they have been attacked should contact their local FBI
    office or post their complaint on the Internet Fraud Complaint Center Web
    site. Customers outside the U.S. should contact the national law enforcement
    agency in their country.

    We continue to encourage customers to follow our Protect Your PC guidance of
    enabling a firewall, applying software updates and installing antivirus
    software. Customers can learn more about these steps at the Protect Your PC
    Web site.

    Customers who believe they may have been affected by this issue can also
    contact Product Support Services. You can contact Product Support Services
    in the United States and Canada at no charge using the PC Safety line (1
    866-PCSAFETY). Customers outside of the United States and Canada can locate
    the number for no-charge virus support by visiting the Microsoft Help and
    Support Web site.

    Mitigating Factors:

    . In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web
    site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. An
    attacker would have no way to force users to visit a malicious Web site.
    Instead, an attacker would have to persuade users to visit the Web site,
    typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail or Instant Messenger
    request that takes users to the attacker's Web site.

    . .In an e-mail based attack involving the current exploit, customers
    would have to click on a link in a malicious e-mail or open an attachment
    that exploits the vulnerability. It is important to remember that this
    malicious attachment may not be a .wmf. It could also be a .jpg, .gif, or
    other format. At this point, no attachment has been identified in which a
    user can be attacked simply by reading mail.

    . An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could only
    gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are
    configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted
    than users who operate with administrative user rights.

    . By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003, on Windows
    Server 2003 Service Pack 1, on Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 for
    Itanium-based Systems, and on Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition runs in a
    restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration This mode
    mitigates this vulnerability where the e-mail vector is concerned although
    clicking on a link would still put users at risk. In Windows Server 2003,
    Microsoft Outlook Express uses plain text for reading and sending messages
    by default. When replying to an e-mail message that is sent in another
    format, the response is formatted in plain text. See the FAQ section of this
    vulnerability for more information about Internet Explorer Enhanced Security


    Russ Grover
    Small Business IT Support
    SBS Rocks!
    Portland/Beaverton OR
    Email: Sales at
    Russ Grover, Jan 4, 2006
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