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Jun
8
Update, Tue 08 Jun 2021 08:36:49 PM MDT: Managed update reboots are well underway; we will monitor all rebooted hosts to ensure they come up in a normal timeframe.

Purpose of Work:

June's Patch Tuesday is here, and as far as particularly bad server-side vulnerabilities go, this one is relatively light on them. 

As far as the highlights, go: first, we have an RCE vulnerability in a common scripting platform used by all Microsoft-maintained browsers in use by operating systems from Server 2008 onwards: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-33742 .  This would result in users visiting malicious sites exploiting this vulnerability unknowingly running code under their current permissions.  In conjunction with some of the escalation of privilege vulnerabilities that are being patched this month, this could be a large risk for RDS servers in particular.

Second up, we have several escalation of privilege vulnerabilities leveraging various low-level components of all currently supported versions of windows, from 2008 to Server 2019 ( as well as windows 7 to windows 10):https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-31956 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-31201 https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-31199 .The first one in that list leverages NTFS, and the other two leverage the Cryptographic services provider, all requiring an authenticated user to run specially crafted applications to then gain administrator privileges.  This is of course, never a good thing to be open to, as existing attacks become higher stakes and can even spread laterally once the entire host is compromised.

Third of all, there's an active directory security feature bypass vulnerability affecting all currently supported versions of windows, from 2008 to Server 2019: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-31962.  This one could be used to bypass Kerberos authentication on a domain and spoof authentication to an arbitrary SPN / domain user, including those with administrative permissions on a given AD domain.   The possibly wormable nature of this vulnerability means it should be a top priority to get this installed ASAP on active directory environments, and we'll be following suite.


Impact of Work:


All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 8:00PM, 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.

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.
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May
11

Update, Fri 04 Jun 2021 11:19:01 PM MDT: This week's maintenance is concluded.

Update, Fri 04 Jun 2021 10:18:34 PM MDT:
Impacted VMs have largely been restored to service.  A subset of windows VMS are currently undergoing an automatic filesystem corruption check, and should be back up within 30-40m.  You will be notified shortly if your VM is among this group.

Update, Fri 04 Jun 2021 10:02:47 PM MDT:
Tonight's maintenance has completed, but with incident.  We are working on it; any impacted vms will be restored to service ASAP, and our procedure will be revisited to disable automatic workload migration, going forward.

Update, Thu 03 Jun 2021 11:14:11 PM MDT:
Tonight's maintenance is finished without further incident.  We will continue the work tomorrow; the maintenance window may be extended into next week to space out the number of nodes upgraded per night.

Update, Thu 03 Jun 2021 08:18:49 PM MDT: We will be beginning this maintenance shortly, taking the first node scheduled for upgrades tonight offline.  No service disruptions should result from this, but we will again be monitoring closely.


Purpose of Work:


We have noticed intermittent issues resulting in customer downtime during regular windows updates on our shared Hyper-V cluster the last few patch cycles (which is not typical on a failover cluster), and intend to address this before next week's Patch Tuesday.

Rolling reinstallation/Upgrade of HVs in the cluster will be done, starting the night of June 3rd, 2021 at 8PM-10pm, and continuing into the night of June 4th at the same times.

We will update this post as work begins.


Impact of Work:

No impact should occur in theory, but it is possible that downtime for VPS on the cluster will occur as a result of this maintenance.  As such, we will be monitoring the situation closely, will ensure the workload is failed away from, and back over to newly-updated HVs in very incremental phases, and will swiftly resolve any issues that occur with the workload as a result of this.

Only one node will be worked on at any given time, to reduce potential impact and keep all workloads running.

Customers will be notified if their VPS experienced any issues as a result of this maintenance.  Only highly available cloud instances could potentially be impacted by this work.


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Apr
13
[Update, Tue 13 Apr 2021 10:08:07 PM MDT]: 
Exchange servers are all fully updated, and further mail disruption is not expected tonight. The main server reboots have been initiated as of about 40 minutes ago, and we'll be monitoring updated hosts overnight to ensure they come up normally, then auditing for any hosts that did not update successfully in the morning, once the bulk of the updating is completed.

Purpose of Work:

April's Patch Tuesday has arrived, and it's not fooling around.  As is typical, there's a number of vulnerabilities patched this cycle that we deem worth patching ASAP, and a few stand out among the crowd, even compared to months previous.

https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2021-28310 First up, there's an escalation of privilege vulnerability affecting the kernel on Windows 10 (build 1803+) and Server 2019 that has been detected as in use by attackers' exploits 'in the wild' by Kapersky.  This exploit, like most EOP exploits, could be used to turn a relatively low-stakes compromise (think, a single website getting hacked) into something more serious and server-wide.

https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2021-28480 https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2021-28481 Secondly, there's another round of RCE vulnerabilities affecting up-to-date installations of Exchange Server 2013 and up which could be used to compromise those hosts and use them to laterally attack anything in the same domain.  We'll be updating our internal exchange and any customer exchange servers early, as such.

https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2021-28329 Third of all, there's a number of remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting the RPC service on pretty much all versions of windows (including 2008).  There are in fact 27 individual CVEs being addressed by this month's security patch regarding the same or similar vulnerabilities for a variety of operating systems.  The RPC service runs as system, so this would be an instant system compromise if leveraged.  It does at least appear to require some level of system privileges in the CVE listing, so it may not be wormable, at least.


Impact of Work:

Managed exchange hosts (including our internal exchange) will be rebooted and updated at 6:30pm.  Mail delivery to our helpdesk will be temporarily halted while this maintenance is occurring.  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.

All other affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 9:00PM, 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.


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.

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 »



Apr
5
[Completed] Security Patching for Managed SolusVM Hypervisor, April 6, 2021
Posted by David Cunningham on 05 April 2021 09:19 PM
Completion [ Tue 06 Apr 2021 10:09:40 PM MDT ] : Maintenance is completed, with all virtual servers confirmed as restored to service and apparently functioning normally.

Update [ Tue 06 Apr 2021 09:28:39 PM MDT]:
Maintenance pre-tasks are complete, and SolusVM guests are being shut down.  Virtual servers meeting the previously outlined criteria will be impacted until the host finishes rebooting. 



Purpose of Work:


We've done some vulnerability scanning on our internal network, and found that our SolusVM hypervisor is in need of some patching.  

During this maintenance, we'll be updating the management scripts of SolusVM, as well as the kernel and all packages on both the management and hypervisor nodes.

This will take place at 9:15PM on April 6, 2021.


Impact of Work:

All non-HA VPS (identifiable by having an IP on subnet 23.239.222.0/25) will be temporarily shut down when the time to reboot the HV arrives.  Impact should last until the reboot is complete, at which time VPS will be brought back up and monitored closely.

Questions from affected customers can be fielded during the maintenance, with updates being provided during maintenance milestones on request.
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Mar
9
Completion, Thu 11 Mar 2021 12:31:26 AM MST

We've finished updating all hosts except a few that are highly available (and thus should not result in any actual customer downtime), so no further impacts due to windows updates are expected.



Update, Wed 10 Mar 2021 12:44:03 AM MST:


Many hosts have been rebooted, and we are continuing to monitor to ensure they come up without incident.  We'll continue to manage reboots throughout the night, checking for any hosts that were unable to update and finishing their updates tomorrow night.



Purpose of Work:

March's patch Tuesday is underway, and while Microsoft did get alot of urgent Exchange-related patches released early this month ( See: https://helpdesk.handynetworks.com/supportsuite/index.php?/News/NewsItem/View/299/completed-emergency-out-of-band-security-patching-for-fully-managed-exchange-mail-servers-march-2nd-2021 ) , there's still a few vulnerabilities of note that we'll be taking care of on fully managed hosts, tonight.

Firstly, a few of these exchange patches have new revisions out ( https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2021-26855 ).  We'll be reapplying these to the handful of exchange hosts we manage.

Second, there's another DNS RCE exploit that affects 2008+ ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-26897 ).  This is, as always, a priority patch.  The DNS service runs as local system, so effectively, RCE exploits targeting the DNS server can be used to compromise a host outright.   The executive summary implies this might be related to (or at least, exacerbated by) the configure of insecure dynamic updates on Windows DNS servers.  While the exploit does affect 2008, which will not be patched, I will note that this configuration is not the default on any hosting panel or platform we manage, at least.  2012+ hosts will be patched.

Third, there's an IE memory corruption vulnerability that affects IE 9+ (and Edge): ( https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-26411 ).  The executive summary clarifies that this requires user interaction, so ASP sites that use underlying explorer libraries are probably unaffected by this.  This would be more of an issue on RDS servers that have users who run explorer or edge.

Fourth, there's a generic escalation of privilege affecting windows 2008+ (https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-27077).  The executive summary has little detail, but of course, these kinds of vulnerabilities could potentially exacerbate small-scale website or application compromises and turn them into host compromises, if left unpatched.



Impact of Work:

All affected hosts that are 2012 and up will be rebooted automatically / ASAP to propagate fixes, starting at 11:00PM, 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.


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.

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 »