released five critical security bulletins Sept. 8
to cover issues in
Microsoft Windows that company officials said could allow hackers to remotely
None of the vulnerabilities are known to be under attack at this time.
Still, two of the bulletins address vulnerabilities that have been given the
highest possible rating on Microsoft's Exploitability Index, and security
researchers recommend that administrators pay attention.
One is MS09-047,
which deals with the way Microsoft Windows handles certain MP3 and ASF
format files. The Windows component that processes MP3 files does not properly
handle specially crafted metadata; likewise, the component that processes ASF
files fails to properly handle specially crafted ASF
files with malformed headers.
"We've seen similar exploits in the past and all a user would have to
do is visit a compromised Website hosting one of these malicious files, which
could be an MP3, WMA or WMV file, and they could become infected," said
Ben Greenbaum, senior research manager for Symantec
The update covers Windows Media Format Runtime 9.0, Windows Media Format
Runtime 9.5, Windows Media Format Runtime 11, Microsoft Media Foundation,
Windows Media Services 9.1 and Windows Media Services 2008.
lies in the way the JScript scripting engine processes
scripts in Web pages. When the scripting engine attempts to load the decoded
script into memory to run it, it may trigger a memory corruption that can shut down
Internet Explorer or lead to code execution. The vulnerability affects multiple
versions of Microsoft's operating system, including editions of Windows Server
2003 and 2008.
"MS09-045 is not a typical update from Microsoft and is particularly
said Josh Abraham, security researcher for Rapid7.
"This is to be
expected, since most of the vulnerability scanners are unable to help with
contrast to the three years that have passed since the JScript bulletin that
this update replaces."
Both these bulletins have an Exploitability Index rating of 1, the highest
such rating Microsoft gives out. Additional information about workarounds and
mitigations can be found inside the bulletins.
The other vulnerabilities are a bug tied to the DHTML
Editing Component ActiveX control,
a vulnerability in Wireless
and several privately reported vulnerabilities in TCP/IP
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
"A patch has not yet been made available for the Internet Information
Services vulnerability Internet
Information Services vulnerability
made public last week," Greenbaum
noted. "Until a patch for this is issued, as a temporary workaround we
suggest IT administrators using IIS 5.0 and 6.0 turn off anonymous write access
immediately. We also recommend using a firewall and restricting access to
creating directories. Those using IIS 7.0 with FTP Service Version 6.0
installed should upgrade to FTP Service Version 7.5."