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December 2012 Patch Tuesday: Oracle Outside In, TrueType, and more

Posted December 11, 2012    Carter Jones

December’s Patch Tuesday brings us a great collection of vulnerabilities, ranging from Oracle Outside In vulnerabilities within Exchange to TrueType vulnerabilities in every version of Windows. It seems like these are the vulnerabilities that just keep giving. Along with these, other bugs were squashed in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Windows File Handling, DirectPlay, and IP-HTTPS.

The WebReady component in Exchange, which uses Oracle Outside In libraries, has previously seen attention back in August with MS12-058. It is making an appearance again this month in MS12-080. For those unfamiliar with the previous vulnerability, here’s a quick recap. Microsoft uses the Oracle Outside In libraries to parse and display documents in emails. Oracle recently patched a couple of vulnerabilities, which affect components of WebReady, thus making outlook Exchange vulnerable. These vulnerabilities affect the Outside In filters and the HTML Export SDK, which (if properly exploited) could allow an attacker to run code on the Exchange Server in the context of the LocalService account.

The other recurring vulnerability of significance is a TrueType font parsing vulnerability within the Windows Kernel. Stuxnet anyone? Duqu? Yeah, it’s the same type of bug being patched this month in MS12-078. We’ve continually seen TrueType and other font parsing bugs get patched over the past year, since the arrival of state-sponsored malware targeting these types of bugs. This is the most important patch to get rolled out this month, since malicious TrueType fonts can be embedded in documents as well as other mediums. This has been shown to be an effective method of exploitation, so be sure to patch this one immediately.

There is a good combination of vulnerabilities that can be mixed together to provide a good arsenal for client-side attacks. Internet Explorer 9 and 10 are both susceptible to three different vulnerabilities (MS12-077) that attackers can use to execute malicious code on a user’s computer. If the browser attacks don’t appeal to an attacker’s fancy, they still have the option of exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Word (MS12-079) that affects versions 2003, 2007, and 2010.

To finish off the month, a number of vulnerabilities were patched in various windows components. MS12-081 addresses a remote code execution vulnerability in the Windows File Handling Component. MS12-082 fixes a heap overflow in DirectPlay, which affects all versions of Windows, except for Windows RT. Lastly, MS12-083 plugs a hole in IP-HTTPS that permits a security feature bypass.

And don’t forget that when you’re doing your holiday shopping, be sure to consider that the new ARM-based tablets running Windows RT are not immune to vulnerabilities. This month marks the third bulletin being released to patch vulnerabilities in RT, fixing the fourth vulnerability since its release.

This December 2012 Patch Tuesday really stands for a good summary of the year in Microsoft vulnerabilities as a whole. At the end of the day, or year as it were, we still continue to see a consistent flow of vulnerabilities affecting everything from client and server applications to privilege escalations and everything in-between. While Microsoft continues to make strides to improve security, we see even their latest and presumably greatest code bases continue to have new vulnerabilities discovered, even within new flagship platforms such as Windows RT and Internet Explorer 10. At the end of the day, I think this December Patch Tuesday is a reminder that Microsoft security can be Scrooge all-year long with the vulnerability gift that keeps on giving even as Microsoft tries to continue to find their security hearts.

 

Update: You can detect vulnerable systems using Retina and Retina CS, via the following audits:

MS12-077
[17823] Microsoft Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update (2761465) – IE 9/10
[17824] Microsoft Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update (2761465) – IE 6/7/8

MS12-078
[17826] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2779030
[17827] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2753842 XP
[17831] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2753842 XP x64/2003
[17832] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2753842 Vista/2008
[17833] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2753842 7/2008R2
[17834] Microsoft Windows Kernel Mode Drivers (2783534) – KB2753842 8/2012

MS12-079
[17837] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Word 2003
[17838] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Word 2007
[17839] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Word 2010
[17840] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Word Viewer 2003
[17841] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Compatibility Pack
[17842] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Word Automation Services
[17848] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Compatibility Pack x64
[17852] Microsoft Word RTF Vulnerability (2780642) – Office Web Apps 2010

MS12-080
[17835] Microsoft Exchange Multiple Vulnerabilities (2784126) – 2007
[17836] Microsoft Exchange Multiple Vulnerabilities (2784126) – 2010

MS12-081
[17828] Microsoft Windows Filename Vulnerability (2758857)

MS12-082
[17829] Microsoft DirectPlay Heap Overflow (2770660)
[17830] Microsoft DirectPlay Heap Overflow (2770660) – x64

MS12-083
[17825] Microsoft IP-HTTPS Bypass (2765809)

Leave a Reply

One Response to “December 2012 Patch Tuesday: Oracle Outside In, TrueType, and more”

  1. Greg

    We intend improve our InfoSec practice by identifying immaturities within our practice, relying more on metrics to indicate trends that we should heed, and refining our risk management approach.

    December 14, 2012 11:34:59, Reply

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