IE gets security makeover in Patch Tuesday batch

Summary:Microsoft's final batch of patches for 2007 has been released to cover at least 11 security vulnerabilities that put millions of users at risk of remote code execution attacks.

IE gets security makeover in Patch Tuesday batch
Microsoft's final batch of patches for 2007 has been released to cover at least 11 security vulnerabilities that put millions of users at risk of remote code execution attacks.

The December updates includes a "critical" bulletin with patches for at least four flaws affecting Internet Explorer and a two separate high-severity bulletins for code execution bugs in Windows Media File Format and Microsoft DirectX.

The most serious bug addresses in the IE update (MS07-069) could allow drive-by exploits if a user viewed a specially crafted Web page using an unpatched browser.  It carries code execution risks for most versions of Windows, including the newer IE 7 on Windows Vista.

[ GALLERY: How to use Internet Explorer securely ]

Microsoft also called special attention to MS07-068, which covers a remote code execution vulnerability in the way Windows Media Format Runtime handles Advanced Systems Format (ASF) files. This issue affects all versions of Windows, Including Vista.

Microsoft spells out the potential attack vectors:

In client applications, such as Windows Media Player, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing specially crafted Windows Media Format Runtime content that could potentially allow remote code execution if a user visits a specially crafted Web site or opens an e-mail message with specially crafted content. In server applications, such as Windows Media Services, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing specially crafted Windows Media Format Runtime content that could potentially allow remote code execution if the server processes the specially crafted content. In client and server applications, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system.

A third critical bulletin (MS07-064) address two different vulnerabilities in Microsoft DirectX, the set of APIs that handles multimedia (game and video) programming.  The two bugs could allow code execution if a user visits a specially crafted Web site or opens an e-mail message with specially crafted content, Microsoft warned.

IE gets security makeover and Patch Tuesday batch

One of the seven bulletins (MS07-066) is unique to Windows Vista.  It provides an "important" fix for a privilege escalation flaw in the way the Windows kernel processes certain access requests.  Microsoft acknowledged that an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected Vista system.

Microsoft also provides a belated fix (MS07-067) for the well known --  and under attack -- vulnerability affecting the Macrovision secdrv.sys driver that's installed by default on  Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.  This issue first surfaced in mid-October and confirmed by Microsoft in early November but, inexplicably, it took two patch-release cycles for Microsoft to include the fix for Windows users.

Code execution holes are also patched in Server Message Block Version 2 (MS07-063) and  Message Queuing Service (MS07-065).  These bulletins are rated "important."

Topics: Mobility, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Security, Software, Windows

About

Ryan Naraine is a journalist and social media enthusiast specializing in Internet and computer security issues. He is currently security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, an anti-malware company with operations around the globe. He is taking a leadership role in developing the company's online community initiative around secure content managem... Full Bio

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