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Microsoft Patch Tuesday – March 2012

Posted March 13, 2012    Chris Silva

March – the month that brings us spring training, NCAA March Madness, Pi Day, and St. Patrick’s Day (including the requisite Shamrock Shake). To go along with these exciting events, Microsoft has chipped in with six security bulletins for the March edition of Patch Tuesday.

By now, hopefully everyone realizes that DLL hijacking affects a lot of software. Case in point, Microsoft patched Expression Design with MS12-022, bringing the grand total of DLL hijacking related vulnerabilities addressed by Microsoft to 24. And seriously, as a reminder, even after patching it is a good idea to follow the mitigation steps outlined in KB2269637 as numerous other third-party software products are affected and unpatched.

The real madness this month is MS12-020, a remote code execution vulnerability in Remote Desktop (RDP). Hopefully everyone already has TCP/3389 safely tucked behind a firewall or VPN. If you do have RDP directly on the Internet, make sure you patch immediately, and put RDP behind a firewall with VPN if at all possible.

Join the eEye Research Team tomorrow for another episode of the Vulnerability Expert Forum (VEF). Learn about these bulletins plus security happenings from the last 30 days.

Retina Network Security Scanner (and free Retina Community) customers can review the list of audits associated with these bulletins.

And now for the good stuff – this month’s recommendations from the eEye Research Team:

Deploy Immediately

MS12-020 – Vulnerabilities in Remote Desktop Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2671387)
Recommendation: Install the patch immediately to prevent exploitation by attackers. Until the patch can be installed, turn on Network Level Authentication for supported systems (Vista, 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2). Additionally, block port 3389 at the perimeter firewall and disable any remote services if they are not necessary, such as Terminal Services, Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance, and/or Remote Web Workplace.

Deploy As Soon As Possible

MS12-017 – Vulnerability in DNS Server Could Allow Denial of Service (2647170)
Recommendation: Deploy patches as soon as possible. Until the patch can be installed, periodically clear the DNS cache.

MS12-018 – Vulnerability in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2641653)
Recommendation: Deploy patches as soon as possible; no mitigation is available.

MS12-021 – Vulnerability in Visual Studio Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2651019)
Recommendation: Deploy patches as soon as possible; no mitigation is available.

MS12-022 – Vulnerability in Expression Design Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2651018)
Recommendation: Deploy patches as soon as possible. Until the patch can be installed, block ports 139 and 445 at the perimeter firewall, prevent the WebClient service from running, and prevent DLLs from being loaded from WebDAV and remote shares.

Deploy At Earliest Convenience

MS12-019 – Vulnerability in DirectWrite Could Allow Denial of Service (2665364)
Recommendation: Deploy patches as soon as possible; no mitigation is available.

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