Patch Analysis for November 2008

2 patches this month both targeted at workstations and with exploit details public.

MS08-069 is yet another browser related patch affecting mostly workstations and terminal servers. Exploit details are public so get your workstations patched before it starts showing up in web pages that your users frequent or may be directed to through emailed links.

The other patch is rather interesting – again impacting principally workstations. The bulletin is poorly written and I’ve requested clarification from Microsoft. If I understand it correctly I’m not sure I agree with Microsoft’s. It’s not clear in the bulletin but apparently the victim user is tricked into authenticating an SMB session (mostly used for file sharing) to a malicious server which snaps the client’s credentials, initiates a new SMB session back to the Server service on the victim user’s computer using the snagged credentials. My question to Microsoft is “Does the Server service need to enabled on the victim client as a prereq for this attack to work? If so why isn’t that listed as a workaround?” If my understanding that a reverse SMB session (bad guy server back to victim’s PC) is required is correct then perimeter firewalls should protect you against malicious servers on the Internet leaving this basically an issue for other untrusted and internal networks.      

And here's the chart:   

BulletinExploit Types
/Technologies Affected
System Types AffectedExploit
details public?
/ Being exploited?
MS severity ratingProducts AffectedNotesRandy's recommendation

Arbitrary code

/ Windows XML
Terminal Servers
Yes/NoNoCritical Win2000
Server 2003
Addresses 3 vulnerabilitiesPatch ASAP with minimal testing

Arbitrary code

/ Windows SMB
Terminal Servers
Yes/NoYesImportant Win2000
Server 2003
NTLM Authentication not handled correctlyEnable SMB signing or patch ASAP with minimal testing

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