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Nov
8
Monthly Security Patching for Fully-Managed Windows 2012+ servers - November 8, 2022
Posted by David Cunningham on 08 November 2022 11:10 PM
Purpose of Work:

November's patch Tuesday has arrived.  There are 69 windows vulnerabilities being patched this month, compared to 55 in November 2021. 

Of those 69 vulnerabilities, 6 are under active exploitation, with one of those publicly disclosed.   Only two of the six vulnerabilities found 'in the wild' are Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities: the first requires user interaction, the other requires unprivileged authentication, so nothing wormable appears to be out there and spreading.

Preliminary reports from early adopters indicate no apparent widespread issues (though there are some edge case problems I've seen reported with WinRM functionality), and the test environment has shown no major trouble, post-update, so I guess that's something to be thankful for.



To kick off the highlights, we'll start with a pair of Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities affecting all supported versions of windows, and using the Windows Scripting Language engines as their vector ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41128 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41118 ).  Both affect Jscript9, with CVE-2022-41128 also affecting the Chakra language.  CVE-2022-41128 is on the shortlist of actively exploited vulnerabilities this month, has a no authenticatoin / network vector, but requires user interaction to exploit: specifically, a user must be tricked into clicking on a link to a malicious server carrying the exploit as a payload.  CVE-2022-41118 is not in the wild yet, but works in a similar fashion, requiring user interaction.  Until this one is patched in your environment, users should be wary of email links on windows VDIs or workstations.

There are also a pair of exchange server vulnerabilities this month, affecting all supported versions ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41040 , https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41082 ). One is RCE, the other is EOP, and both require authentication.  We'll be updating our own exchange server (which may affect mail flow tonight, so if you get a bounce, contact us via phone or helpdesk), and recommend you do the same if you maintain one.  This patch appears to require additional hardening actions after installation.

There are three more vulnerabilities detected 'in the wild' this month: an EOP vuln leveraging the Print Spooler and affecting all supported versions of windows ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41073 ), an EOP vuln leveraging the CNG Key Isolation service and affecting Windows 8/Server 2012 and up ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41125 ), and lastly, a security feature bypass vulnerability affecting Windows 10/2016 and up ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41091 ).  There's not much to talk about with the Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities: they require no additional action, and of course can only be used to amplify non-privileged compromises.  The security bypass feature is interesting for those who work with end-user systems like VDI or workstations: it allows for bypassing of the "Mark of the Web" security flag applied to downloaded files that causes browser and Microsoft office programs to treat said files with more suspicion and prompt for end-user review before executing those files.

Fourth on the list, there's a pair of EOP vulnerabilities leveraging different aspects of Kerberos and affecting all supported versions of Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-37967 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-37966 ).  These vulnerabilities will require post-patching action to properly mitigate, and like most Kerberos patches, the fixes will be eventually made mandatory via a phased rollout.  Said updates have major implications for AD domains and domain controllers, so I recommend anyone in charge of an AD domain reviews both articles and their linked articles carefully, as we will be doing.  Both updates are still in their staging phase at this time, having just been released.

There are a few other vulnerabilities worth mentioning offhand without further detail: a Hyper-V denial of service vulnerability ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-38015 ) and three RCE vulnerabilities affecting the windows point-to-point tunneling protocol service ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41044 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41088 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41039 ).


As usual, we're only scratching the surface with the highlights.  The rest of the updates this month are all reviewable at https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide with the proper filtering.


Impact of Work:


All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 11PM, with some exceptions.

Internal systems on Windows 2012 and up (such as the management portal) may be temporarily impacted in the time it takes to reboot them.  Mail delivery to our helpdesk may be temporarily halted while our mail servers are updated as part of this patch cycle.  If you receive a delivery failure, you can still reach us by logging directly into the helpdesk and submitting a ticket directly via the portal, or calling us at 303-414-6910 x2, for emergencies.  


Hypervisors in a failover cluster will have rolling reboots done, in order to eliminate VPS downtime on said clusters.  Hypervisors not in a failover cluster will either be updated overnight, or have their updates scheduled, depending on customer policy / VM density.

Hypervisors in DR scenarios may be updated up to one hour early, as they are not running active workloads.

Any hosts where updates are managed directly by the customer (or an approval process is required for zero-day updates) will not be impacted; the controlling organizations will be notified separately.

Read more »



Oct
11
Purpose of Work:

October's Patch Tuesday is here, and it's not especially spooky.  There are 85 windows vulnerabilities being patched this month, compared to 82 in September 2021.

Preliminary reports from early adopters indicate no apparent widespread issues, and as usual the test environment will be updated first and monitored for any showstoppers.

Of those 85 vulnerabilities, one is under attack and another is publicly known, but neither are RCE vulnerabilities.


First for the highlights, we'll start with the vulnerability under active exploitation: a local Elevation of Privilege vulnerability leveraging the COM+ Event System service, and affecting all supported versions of Windows and Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41033 ).  Based on the information Microsoft has provided so far, there's not a lot to say about this, other than the usual: this being an Elevation of Privilege escalation, it will make any successful remote code execution more dangerous when paired with it; webservers and application servers in particular that are open to the internet could be impacted by this.

Second up, the public vulnerability is an Information Disclosure vulnerability affecting and leveraging recent versions of Office on Mac ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41043 ).  It seems users affected by this can get their authentication tokens and such sniffed by the attackers, so if you're on a Mac, make sure you're running those updates.  Vulnerabilities that are publicly disclosed often have a short fuse before we see them exploited by actual attackers.

Third, we have an Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability affecting and leveraging all supported versions of Microsoft Office ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-38048 ).  It's unclear exactly what the vector is, but user interaction is required.  Microsoft has labeled this as a "remote code execution" vulnerability to emphasize that attackers are likely to exploit this by sending payloads directly to end-users, per usual.  

Fourth on the list (and taking us back to Windows server products), we have an Elevation of Privilege vulnerability leveraging the DCOM Server and Active Directory Certificate Services, affecting all supported versions of Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-37976 ).  The actual EOP vector seems to be through forcing the DCOM Server to authenticate with a malicious client via ADCS, then capturing the resulting credential payload for malicious use.  There don't appear to be any special adjustments required to get the patch to work, though there is some pre-patching mitigation guidance.

Fifth on the list, there's an Elevation of Privilege vulnerability leveraging Hyper-V and affecting Windows Server 2016 / Windows 10 and up ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-37979 ).  Curiously, Microsoft mentions in the vulnerability FAQ that "An attacker on a Nested Hyper-V environment would gain Level 1 Hyper-V Windows Root OS privileges", leaving the question open on what they'd achieve on a standard Hyper-V deployment.  We'll be making no assumptions, and will patch as if it affects standard Hyper-V deployments the same way it normally would: allowing VMs to break the sandbox and run code on the HV.

Sixth up, we have a Denial of Service vulnerability leveraging the TCP/IP driver in all supported versions of Windows and Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-33645 ).  As is typical with these TCP/IP stack vulnerabilities as of late, it only affects hosts that have IPv6 enabled at the protocol/interface level, which is a default.

And, finally, there is a whole host of Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities leveraging the Windows Point to Point Tunneling Protocol Server feature, on all supported versions of Windows and Windows server (between each of them, at least: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-22035 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-24504 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-33634 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-38047 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-38000 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-41081 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-30198 ).  This one is more of an edge case, but if you have a host you're allowing users to dial into via PPTP, I'd shut that down until these patches can be deployed.


There is also an exchange security update this month, so our mail may be impacted more than usual.

I'll add that none of the vulnerabilities this month (including yet more Print Spooler and Kerberos Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities) seem to require additional action, beyond installing a given patch.

That's all for the highlights, but as usual, there's plenty more where that came from, all reviewable at https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide with the proper filtering.


Impact of Work:


All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 10:20PM, with some exceptions.

Internal systems on Windows 2012 and up (such as the management portal) may be temporarily impacted in the time it takes to reboot them.  Mail delivery to our helpdesk may be temporarily halted while our mail servers are updated as part of this patch cycle.  If you receive a delivery failure, you can still reach us by logging directly into the helpdesk and submitting a ticket directly via the portal, or calling us at 303-414-6910 x2, for emergencies.  


Hypervisors in a failover cluster will have rolling reboots done, in order to eliminate VPS downtime on said clusters.  Hypervisors not in a failover cluster will either be updated overnight, or have their updates scheduled, depending on customer policy / VM density.

Hypervisors in DR scenarios may be updated up to one hour early, as they are not running active workloads.

Any hosts where updates are managed directly by the customer (or an approval process is required for zero-day updates) will not be impacted; the controlling organizations will be notified separately.


Please contact us with any questions / comments / concerns.
Read more »



Sep
22
[Rescheduled] Firmware updates for all-flash SAN storage - September 27, 2022
Posted by David Cunningham on 22 September 2022 07:03 PM
Purpose of Work:

Tonight, at 9 PM MDT, we will be performing a routine firmware upgrade on one of our all-flash SAN units, to get it on the latest firmware and security update level.

This will a continuation of the maintenance done on the 22nd, which had to be rescheduled.



Impact of Work:

No impact is expected.  The unit will be automatically updating a single controller at a time, meaning it should be failing over gracefully to the other controller at any given phase of the updates.

We have performed this upgrade on two non-production SAN units earlier today, and no impact occurred.


If any impact occurs, you may see degraded performance or an outage on certain standalone hypervisors, or lower-volume clusters.

We will be monitoring the process closely for any issues to mitigate and will update this news post, if we notice anything of the sort.


Please contact us with any questions / comments / concerns.
Read more »



Sep
13

Purpose of Work:

September's Patch Tuesday has arrived, and while there's a few standout vulnerabilities, volume seems normal. There are 64 windows vulnerabilities being patched this month, compared to 66 in September 2021.

Preliminary reports from early adopters indicate no apparent widespread issues, which is about what we'd expect.  Still, the test environment will be updated first and monitored for any showstoppers.

Of those 64 vulnerabilities, only one is under active attack, and another one is a proper zero-day threat, in that it's wormable and affects a wide scope of hosts.


To get into the highlights, we'll start with the vulnerability under active exploitation: a local code execution vulnerability affecting Microsoft Edge and other chromium-based browsers ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-3075 ).  You'd have to interact with a malicious webpage for this to affect you, from what I'm seeing, so this is more of a concern on workstations, VDIs and RDS servers.

Second on the list, we have the wormable vulnerability: a Remote Code Execution vulnerability leveraging the TCP/IP service, on all supported versions of Windows Server and Windows ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34718 ).  Since TCP/IP support is in the windows kernel, all code executed through this vulnerability would be automatically elevated.  This vulnerability requires attackers are able to send a given host a specially crafted IPv6 packet, so hosts with no IPv6 address or protocol support enabled will be safe.  That said, since IPv6 (and an APIPA address) are defaults in most cases, it's important to roll this one out quickly, since it still has a potentially broad scope of applicability.

Third up, there are two more wormable vulnerabilities, with what may be a more limited scope: Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities leveraging the IKE Protocol Extensions stack, on all supported versions of Windows Server and Windows ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34721 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34722 ).  The executive summary for these ones is a little vague about the details, beyond that an attacker can send a specially crafted IKEv1 packet to any windows host with IPsec enabled to more or less open an RCE backdoor to the host.  As with the previous vulnerability, these ones will automatically run privilege elevated code.  The scope is a little more ambiguous, however: it's unclear if you simply need to have IKE supported in the networking protocol stack, or if you have have an actual IKE listener set up (as part of a tunnel or IPSec VPN dial in client).  We'll be erring on the safe side.

Fourth up, there's a Denial of Service vulnerability leveraging the Windows DNS Server service, on all supported versions of Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34724 ).  While not as high-stakes as the parade of RCE vulnerabilities above, giving attackers an easy way to bring any server with the DNS roll installed and running down is of course, to be avoided.  In particular, environments with a domain controller will want to see this deployed quickly.

Number 5 is a slightly more obscure one with less information: an Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability affecting all supported versions of .net framework ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-26929 ).  It sounds like on the client level, a user would have to download and run a specially crafted file for this to be exploited, but a website running .net may be targeted in the same way, if you can get it to access said file.  Something for the webservers to watch out for.

The sixth vulnerability is an Elevation of Privilege vulnerability leveraging the Windows Common Log File System Driver, and affecting all supported versions of Windows Server and Windows ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-37969 ).  This one has been reported by multiple agencies, and may be seeing some use in the wild, but it hasn't yet been reported as such.  As is the case with all EOP vulnerabilities, an attacker must first have a foothold to take advantage of it, but with the low attack complexity, it may not need to be much of one.

The final vulnerability I'll expand upon is a Remote Code Execution vulnerability leveraging the Remote Procedure Call Runtime, and affecting all supported versions of Windows Server (  https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-35830 ).   This one looks like it could be wormable and wide-scoped, based on the fact that it's targeting a core windows service,  the Network attack vector, and no user interaction or privileges required.  The only thing holding it back from being more of a showstopper is the apparently 'high' attack complexity, explained thusly: "Successful exploitation of this vulnerability requires an attacker to invest time in repeated exploitation attempts through sending constant or intermittent data.  An unauthenticated attacker on local networks could spoof their IP address as localhost and access functionality in portmap.sys intended to only be reachable from localhost."

I'll add that none of the vulnerabilities this month (including yet more Print Spooler and Kerberos Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities) seem to require additional action, beyond installing a given patch.

That's all for the highlights, but as usual, there's plenty more where that came from, all reviewable at https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide with the proper filtering.


Impact of Work:


All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 10:00PM, with some exceptions.

Internal systems on Windows 2012 and up (such as the management portal) may be temporarily impacted in the time it takes to reboot them.  Mail delivery to our helpdesk may be temporarily halted while our mail servers are updated as part of this patch cycle.  If you receive a delivery failure, you can still reach us by logging directly into the helpdesk and submitting a ticket directly via the portal, or calling us at 303-414-6910 x2, for emergencies.  


Hypervisors in a failover cluster will have rolling reboots done, in order to eliminate VPS downtime on said clusters.  Hypervisors not in a failover cluster will either be updated overnight, or have their updates scheduled, depending on customer policy / VM density.

Hypervisors in DR scenarios may be updated up to one hour early, as they are not running active workloads.

Any hosts where updates are managed directly by the customer (or an approval process is required for zero-day updates) will not be impacted; the controlling organizations will be notified separately.


Please contact us with any questions / comments / concerns.


Read more »



Aug
9

Purpose of Work:

August's Patch Tuesday has arrived, and it's certainly not a slow one.  There are 121 vulnerabilities being patched this month, compared to 44 in August 2021, and 120 in August 2020.  This makes this month's Patch Tuesday the 2nd most dense month of patching this year, just behind April.  Preliminary reports from early adopters indicate no apparent widespread issues despite Microsoft's heavy patching workload this month, but we'll be sure to roll things out later in the day, and keep an eye out in various external channels and our test environments, in case that changes.

Of these 121 vulnerabilities, two are listed as publicly known, one of those two is under active exploitation, and the exploited vulnerability isn't wormable... so, while the amount of overall vulnerabilities is high (and there are some standouts, as usual), the urgency is about average.

Kicking off the highlights, I'll start with the vulnerability that's already being exploited: a Local Code Execution vulnerability leveraging the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool, and affecting all supported versions of Windows and Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34713 ).  While the vulnerability is listed as a 'remote code execution', the CVSS summary makes it clear the vector is local.  Similar to previous MSDT vulnerabilities, however, the code execution can be invoked by an MSDT URL called by any MSDT-aware application, such as Microsoft Word, meaning social engineering and malicious emails are possible 'remote' methods of exploiting this local vector via user interaction.  Those with a lot of end users to look after (such as in VDI or RDS environments) will want to patch this ASAP.

Second on the list is a trio of Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities, all affecting every supported version of Exchange Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-24477 , https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-24516 , https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-21980 ).  Of the 3 in that group, CVE-2022-30134 is publicly disclosed.  There's not a clear picture of how these vulnerabilities work from any authoritative sources, but the fact that it requires administrators patching against it enable Extended Protection ( https://microsoft.github.io/CSS-Exchange/Security/Extended-Protection/ ) implies it's some kind of authentication bypass or MITM attack.  User interaction is listed as required on the CVSS breakdown, so my guess would be the latter.

Third up, we have yet another Remote Code Execution vulnerability leveraging SMB client / Server, and (curiously) only affecting Windows 11 x64 and Arm64 ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-35804 ).  If this vulnerability affected more versions of Windows or Windows server, it'd be of great concern, since it's definitely a wormable vulnerability.  However, it doesn't... so, I have to assume this is specific to some bleeding edge implementation of SMBv3 compression, based on the CVE summary from MSRC.  Windows 11 users should apply patches ASAP, of course.

Fourth on the list, we have an RCE vulnerability leveraging Hyper-V Server on Windows Server 2012 R2 / Windows 10 and newer ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34696 ).  As is the case with most RCE leveraging Hyper-V, the vector can be a VM on a Hyper-V server, which then sends its payload up the stack to change scope and execute on the Hyper-V server itself.  As is also typical of these vulnerabilities, the complexity is listed as 'high', and a race condition must be met for it to work, meaning even if executed perfectly, probability still plays a role in successful exploitation.

Fifth on the list, there's a Denial of Service vulnerability leveraging Outlook Client, and affecting all supported versions of Outlook ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-35742 ).  This one isn't a showstopper like many vulnerabilities, but it's got the potential to really annoy some end users just trying to use their mail.  Any email crafted to carry a payload that can exploit this vulnerability will cause outlook to crash, then fail to launch.  No amount of cache clearing will help: you'll have to identify and delete the malicious email to get outlook to start, even if it's never opened.  Naturally, patching is preferable to having to do that for a number of users, for those with a lot of end users to look after (VDI or RDS workloads).

Finally, there's more patching against Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities leveraging Active Directory Certificate Services in all support versions of Windows Server ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2022-34691 ).  This appears to mention the same hardening measures that were initially rolled out in May 2022, but it's not listed as a revision, nor are these hardening measures being made mandator yet, so we'll be conducting more reviews to see exactly what's being done here.  That said, compatibility mode (mentioned here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/kb5014754-certificate-based-authentication-changes-on-windows-domain-controllers-ad2c23b0-15d8-4340-a468-4d4f3b188f16 ) seems to still be in effect.

That's all for the highlights, but as usual, there's plenty more where that came from, all reviewable at https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide with the proper filtering.


Impact of Work:


All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 10:45PM, with some exceptions.

Internal systems on Windows 2012 and up (such as the management portal) may be temporarily impacted in the time it takes to reboot them.  Mail delivery to our helpdesk may be temporarily halted while our mail servers are updated as part of this patch cycle.  If you receive a delivery failure, you can still reach us by logging directly into the helpdesk and submitting a ticket directly via the portal, or calling us at 303-414-6910 x2, for emergencies.  


Hypervisors in a failover cluster will have rolling reboots done, in order to eliminate VPS downtime on said clusters.  Hypervisors not in a failover cluster will either be updated overnight, or have their updates scheduled, depending on customer policy / VM density.

Hypervisors in DR scenarios will be updated one hour early, as they are not running active workloads.

Any hosts where updates are managed directly by the customer (or an approval process is required for zero-day updates) will not be impacted; the controlling organizations will be notified separately.


Please contact us with any questions / comments / concerns.


Read more »