Patch Analysis for September 2008

This month there are four security bulletins to deal with, all critical. All have to do with applications that run on workstations and Terminal Servers so you server admins are off the hook (as long as you follow best practices like not browsing the web from servers!).

MS08-054 patches Media Player 11 against specially crafted server-side playlists. 

MS08-52 involves several GDI+ vulnerabilities. What is GDI+? This interacts with device drivers to provide graphics and formatted text for applications. The list is long for the applications that use GDI+ and some of them might not follow the rules. A badly written application could install the faulty gdiplus.dll even after the patch is applied. So be careful when installing software that it doesn’t install the older dll. There are workarounds offered too, but it seems like it would be easy to miss something.

MS08-053 involves an interaction between Windows Media Encoder and Internet Explorer. Setting the kill-bit is a workaround. Internet Explorer 7 will prompt to user before the ActiveX is installed, but don’t rely on losers - ahem, users - to make the right decision. 
Finally MS08-055 is about a specially crafted OneNote URL. If exploited it could be worse than that sticky-note with your password on it. 

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

Arbitrary code

/ Windows Media Player
Terminal Servers
No/NoYesCritical XP
Media Player 11 onlyPatch after testing

Arbitrary code

/ Windows Media Encoder 9
Terminal Servers
No/NoYesCritical Win2000
Server 2003
NoneSet kill-bit; Patch after testing

Arbitrary code

/ Microsoft GDI+
Terminal Servers
No/NoNoCritical XP
Server 2003
Applications running on Windows 2000 also affected.Patch after testing

Arbitrary code

/ Office
Terminal Servers
No/NoYesCritical Office XP
Office 2003
Office 2007
OneNote 2007
OneNote URLPatch after testing

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