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SANS ISC: Updated Exploit Index for Microsoft SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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Updated Exploit Index for Microsoft

We have received early notification that Microsoft is updating the method of guidance for patching. In 2008 Microsoft published its first Exploit Index to better guide customers on likelihood of getting "Sploited." This new notification reflects a change in the index ratings.


Microsoft Exploit Index
1 Consistent exploit code likely
2 Inconsistent exploit code likely
3 Functioning exploit code unlikely


Reviewing the publication by Microsoft, I think they are saying:

1 - Code easy to create and or already created.
2 - Moderate to create or maybe a DoS and or that results are not consistent.
3 - They don't feel the risk is high.

As always, the Storm Center Handlers will continue to independently evaluate "Microsoft Patch Tuesday" for "Reboot Wednesday" and provide our guidance :) On their site, if you recall MS08-021 (Vulnerability in GDI Could (Did and does :) Allow Remote Code Execution)? MSFT rates that with an EIA of 1.

Also, in the notification they included early warning of a light patch month that includes a set of Office patches and 2003-2008 R2 set of server patches.

Finally, MSFT will be aggregating their Index into Current Software and older software.

"As of this month, we are making some changes to the rating system to make vulnerability assessment more clear and digestible for customers. Specifically, we will be publishing two Exploit-ability Index ratings per vulnerability- one for the most recent platform, the other as an aggregate rating for all older versions of the software. " --


Check out:

http : //  <-- Index Definition

http : // <-- Original Notice

http : / /  <-- Advanced Notice


Richard Porter

--- ISC Handler on Duty


173 Posts
ISC Handler
May 6th 2011
I had a different interpretation of the Microsoft changes. It seems to me that the 3-level Exploit Index itself is remaining essentially the same...

...but that they're 1) going to start giving different scores for "new" vs. "older" software, e.g. Windows Vista / Office 2007 and newer mitigates many vulns via wider DEP enrollment, ASLR etc., whereas XP products are more easily exploited.

And 2) I think they're adding a new DoS Exploitability Assessment of Temporary vs. Permanent.

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