Patch Tuesday Analysis for September 2006

This month we have the dubious privilege of witnessing a 2nd Patch Tuesday.  Today Microsoft released MS06-055 to address the Vector Markup Language vulnerability that reared its ugly head last week.  Read on for the usual chart providing need-to-know information at-a-glance for this critical vulnerability. 

Also, released today is a re-release of MS06-049 - Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Result in Elevation of Privilege (920958).  Don’t worry about it unless you’ve already installed MS06-049 on a Windows 2000 computer (XP and 2003 were never impacted by this one) where you are using NTFS compression.  If so you will definitely want to install this new version of the update to prevent corruption of compressed files larger than 4k.

Finally, be aware of a yet-to-be-patched vulnerability in an ActiveX control called Microsoft DirectAnimation Path which is part of daxctle.ocx.  This is a publicly disclosed vulnerability but Microsoft says they have no reports of exploitation in actual attacks.  The security advisory at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/925444.mspx provides a number of workarounds you may consider until a update is released.  I recommend the “Modify the Access Control List on Daxctle.ocx to be more restrictive” workaround as the most effective and easiest to push out and later remove since you can use group policy.   

BulletinExploit Types
/Technologies Affected
System Types AffectedExploit
details public?
/ Being exploited?
Comprehensive,
practical
workaround
available?
MS severity ratingProducts AffectedNotesRandy's recommendation
MS06-054

910729
Arbitrary code

/ Office Publisher
Workstations
Terminal Servers
No/NoNoCritical Office 2000
Office 2003
Office 2002
PublisherA bad guy can create a malicious Publisher file and email or otherwise get the victim to open it and thereby execute arbitrary code on the victim’s PC under the victim user’s authority. I recommend thoroughly testing this update on sample workstations and then deploying.
MS06-052

919007
Denial of service

/ Windows
Servers
No/NoNoImportant XP
Absence of MSMQ service is a mitigating factor. See recommendationFor XP computers with MSMQ installed I recommend testing and applying this patch as soon as possible; otherwise I believe you can avoid this patch.
MS06-053

920685
Information disclosure

/ Windows
Workstations
Terminal Servers
Servers
No/NoNoModerate XP
Server 2003
Small Business Server 2003
Small Business Server 2000
Indexing Service. May be possible to avoid. See recommendation.A malicious website or a insecure website that allows posting of untrusted content hosts a page that exploits a vulnerability in the Indexing Service on the local client computer of a user that browses across said page. For a successful attack the user’s PC must be running IIS, the Indexing Service and the Indexing Service must be accessible to IIS. This is primarily a Windows 2000 Professional vulnerability since neither XP nor 2003 have IIS installed by default. Additionally, this is only a vulnerability on systems where you might be browsing the web and you deserve to get whacked if you indiscriminately browse the web from servers! Well, by a ruler anyway. Bottom-line: don’t browse the web from servers and use the workarounds on vulnerable workstations and you can avoid loading the patch.
MS06-055

925486
Arbitrary code

/ Windows
Workstations
Yes/YesNoCritical XP
Server 2003
Small Business Server 2003
Vector Markup Language (VML)The vulnerability would allow an attacker who creates a malformed web page or email with VML content to take control of the computer of a user who reads the email or views web page.

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