Microsoft August 2009 Black Tuesday Overview

Published: 2009-08-11
Last Updated: 2009-08-13 17:20:37 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 1)
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Overview of the August 2009 Microsoft patches and their status.

# Affected Contra Indications Known Exploits Microsoft rating ISC rating(*)
clients servers
MS09-036 Request handling vulnerability leads to a DoS opportunity.

KB 970957 Active exploitation attempts according to Microsoft. Severity:Important
N/A Important
MS09-037 Multiple vulnerabilities allow for arbitrary code execution. Fixes issues in a librarry used by Outlook Express, Media Player, DHMTL ActiveX controls, and MSWebDVD ActiveX control.
For a description of the relationship between MS09-037, MS09-035 , MS09-034 and MS09-032 see the updated SA973882.
Replaces MS08-048 and MS07-047.
ATL (Active Template Library)

KB 973908 CVE-2008-0015 is actively exploited.
CVE-2009-0901 and CVE-2009-2493 are already known from MS09-035.
Critical Critical
MS09-038 Multiple input validation errors in AVI file processing allows arbitrary code to be executed with the rights of the logged on user.

KB 971557 No known exploits Severity:Critical
Critical Important
MS09-039 Multiple vulnerabilities in WINS servers allow random code execution. Best practice is to block WINS from traversing a firewall (block port 42 TCP and UDP).

KB 969883 No known exploits Severity:Critical
N/A Critical

A validation vulnerability allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code with system privileges.
Typical environments that run MSMQ might be highly sensitive to internal privilege escalations.
Replaces MS08-065 and MS07-065.

MSMQ (Message Queing Service)

KB 971032 No known exploits. Severity:Important

A double free error allows privilege escalation or Denial of Service problems.
Standard firewall practices block ports 139 and 445 that are needed to exploit this remotely. Servers are more exposed to their clients exploiting them.

Workstation service

KB 971657 No known exploits Severity:Important
Important Critical
MS09-042 NTLM authentication reflection shows up in the telnet client, allowing for arbitrary code execution with the rights of the logged on user. The reflection requires the firewall on the client machine to not block the NTLM authenticated ports.

KB 960859 exploit code exists for similar problems in NTLM Severity:Important
Important Important

Multiple vulnerabilities in Office Web ActiveX controls allow arbitrary code execution.
Replaces MS08-017.

Office Web Components

KB 957638 CVE-2009-1136 is actively exploited according to Microsoft. Severity:Critical
Critical Important
MS09-044 Multiple heap overflows allow arbitrary code execution in the remote desktop client with the rights of the logged-on user.
Also affect the remote desktop client for Mac.
Remote Desktop

KB 970927 No known exploits Severity:Critical
Critical Important
We will update issues on this page for about a week or so as they evolve.
We appreciate updates
US based customers can call Microsoft for free patch related support on 1-866-PCSAFETY
(*): ISC rating
  • We use 4 levels:
    • PATCH NOW: Typically used where we see immediate danger of exploitation. Typical environments will want to deploy these patches ASAP. Workarounds are typically not accepted by users or are not possible. This rating is often used when typical deployments make it vulnerable and exploits are being used or easy to obtain or make.
    • Critical: Anything that needs little to become "interesting" for the dark side. Best approach is to test and deploy ASAP. Workarounds can give more time to test.
    • Important: Things where more testing and other measures can help.
    • Less Urgent: Typically we expect the impact if left unpatched to be not that big a deal in the short term. Do not forget them however.
  • The difference between the client and server rating is based on how you use the affected machine. We take into account the typical client and server deployment in the usage of the machine and the common measures people typically have in place already. Measures we presume are simple best practices for servers such as not using outlook, MSIE, word etc. to do traditional office or leisure work.
  • The rating is not a risk analysis as such. It is a rating of importance of the vulnerability and the perceived or even predicted threat for affected systems. The rating does not account for the number of affected systems there are. It is for an affected system in a typical worst-case role.
  • Only the organization itself is in a position to do a full risk analysis involving the presence (or lack of) affected systems, the actually implemented measures, the impact on their operation and the value of the assets involved.
  • All patches released by a vendor are important enough to have a close look if you use the affected systems. There is little incentive for vendors to publicize patches that do not have some form of risk to them

(**): If installed.

(***): Critical of ISA servers

Swa Frantzen -- Section 66

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Wordpress unauthenticated administrator password reset

Published: 2009-08-11
Last Updated: 2009-08-12 12:03:41 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 3)
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Juha-Matti pointed out multiple reports on a vulnerability in the widely used wordpress blog software that supposedly allows  remote users to reset the administrative password. They all lead to an original post on a full disclosure mailing list.

The attack uses an ability of PHP to not only set values on variables, but also make them arrays.

Basically a GET request can add data like:

Many environments use the data portion to create variable=value pairs:

actually the & needs to be encoded as & to create proper html, but many ignore that rule

PHP takes this a notch further by allowing arrays to be created from a GET as well:[]=value1&variable[]=value2

PHP being a typeless environment, this means that if you process variables submitted by a user, the developer needs to be careful not to be fed an array by an attacker instead of the expected string ...

A fix is in the making here: So I guess those who use wordpress will see an updated version soon enough.

One cannot stress the importance of proper input filtering enough.

The "handy" feature to submit an array in a GET request might well be ignored by many other developers beyond those at wordpress, so if you wrote PHP code yourself, best verify for this possibility.


Wordpress released 2.8.4 to fix the issue.

Swa Frantzen -- Section 66

Keywords: wordpress
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Safari 4.0.3

Published: 2009-08-11
Last Updated: 2009-08-11 21:33:45 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 3)
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Apple released today Safari 4.0.3. which is said to include -at this point still unknown- some security fixes.

Quoting the information on the updater:

This update is recommended for all Safari users and includes improvements to stability, compatibility and security including: 
  • Stability improvements for webpages that use the HTML 5 video tag
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some users from logging into
  • Fixes an issue that could cause web content to be displayed in greyscale instead of color
For detailed information on the security content of this update, please visit this site:


More details of the vulnerabilities

Swa Frantzen -- Section 66

Keywords: apple safari
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