Critical IE, Vista Flaws Patched

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-06-12 Print this article Print

Microsoft posts six security advisories for its June Patch Tuesday, four of which address flaws that are critical and could allow remote attackers to take over a system.

Internet Explorer is suffering from six vulnerabilities, five privately reported and one publicly disclosed, all of which are addressed in security bulletin MS07-033. Microsoft officials said June 12 that all but one of the IE flaws could allow system hijacking if a user were to visit a malicious Web page. One of the flaws allows spoofing and also requires a malicious Web page visit. In all cases of possible remote code execution, users who have configured IE to have fewer user rights could be at less risk than those running IE with administrative rights. For one of the vulnerabilities—the spoofing problem—user interaction is required. Microsoft officials said the IE problem is critical for Windows XP SP2, Professional x64 Edition and x64 Edition SP2. The vulnerabilities also affect other versions to a degree that Microsoft deems either important or moderate; details and the update addressing the problems can be found under the Affected Software and Download Locations section of Microsofts Security Bulletin Summary page.
IE is also involved in Microsofts Security Bulletin MS07-034, another critical advisory that covers four vulnerabilities in Windows Mail in Windows Vista. Three of the flaws could let information slip out if users visit malicious pages using IE—this particular flaw cant be exploited directly in Outlook Express. The fourth vulnerability allows for remote system hijacking if a user views malicious e-mail with Windows Mail in Windows Vista.
For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub. Again, users whove configured their accounts with fewer rights are less at risk than those running with administrative rights. For a list of affected software, criticality on particular versions and download locations for fixes, go to Microsofts Security Bulletin Summary page and look under the Affected Software and Download Locations section. The third critical security advisory has to do with the Schannel Security Package in Windows. This package implements the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) authentication protocols. The vulnerability could lead to remote code execution if a user visits a malicious page using a browser or an application that uses SSL/TLS. But even though Microsoft dubbed the flaw critical, the Redmond, Wash., company also says attempts to exploit the vulnerability probably would only wind up with the browser or application exiting. "The system would not be able to connect to Web sites or resources using SSL or TLS until a restart of the system," according to Security Bulletin MS07-031. This flaw affects Windows, Outlook Express and Windows Mail. Again, see Microsofts advisory site for more version details and download locations. Click here to read about Microsofts retrofitted advance notifications format and IE patch. The final critical advisory, Security Bulletin MS07-035, addresses a vulnerability in a Win32 API that could allow for system hijacking or privilege escalation when the API is used locally by a maliciously crafted application. Applications that use this Win32 API can be used as a vector to exploit the flaw. IE, for example, uses this Win32 API function when parsing specially crafted Web pages. Junes Patch Tuesday also saw an important update out for Visio. Security Bulletin MS07-030 covers two vulnerabilities that were privately reported to Microsoft as well as other security issues the company dug up while investigating the reported flaws. The reported vulnerabilities could lead to remote code execution if a user opens a maliciously crafted Visio file. Again, users running with fewer system rights are better off than those running with administrative rights. Vista is also getting a moderate flaw patched. The vulnerability could lead to local user information, including administrative passwords, leaking out to non-privileged users. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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