Category Archives: patch tuesday

Windows Updates February 2017

UPDATE: February Security Updates will be included with March Update 2017.

Traditionally Windows Updates are installed on the second Tuesday of each month (or the Wednesday that falls after the second Tuesday of each month for us Aussies). This month’s patches will be delayed after some last minute issues were discovered.

This month’s patches will include an update for a 0-day vulnerability in SMB which is the file sharing component of Windows.

Most computers will automatically update Windows each month, but my advice is to do a manual check to ensure that Windows Update is working correctly and patches are installed. Malware is known to disable Windows Updates as a method of staying persistent on your device.

‘Patch Tuesday’ December 2016

Microsoft Security Patches

This months Microsoft Patch Tuesday includes 12 security updates for products including:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Flash Player

Of these 12 security updates, 6 are marked as critical.

Each of the critical updates patches vulnerabilities that can lead to remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities, will have access to the machine with the same rights as the user who is logged in. If the user is running as Administrator, the attacker could then install software; view, edit, or delete data; or change other setting within the machine.

Standard users will be less impacted for 4 of these updates than those running as Administrator.

All users, should run as a standard user, with the administrator account being left for administrative tasks. i.e. install software, changing settings.

Update can be install for Windows by holding the Windows Key and Pressing R. When the dialog box appears, type control update and press enter. In the windows that appears click check for updates. After some time, available updates will be shown. Click Install Updates.

Apple Security Patches

Apple have also release updates for the following products:

  • iOS
  • tvOS
  • macOS Sierra
  • Safari
  • iTunes for Windows
  • iCloud for Windows

iOS is now updated to version 10.2 and is available for iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4th generation and later, and iPod touch 6th generation and later. iOS 10.2 is a major update including many vulnerability patches and newer features added to iOS.

tvOS  is now updated to version 10.1 and is available for the Apple TV 4th Generation. It patches many security vulnerabilities that may lead to remote code execution.

macOS Sierra is now updated to version 10.12.2 and patches many many security vulnerabilities including some that may lead to remote code execution. Some of these patches are also available for OS X El Capitan. If you are running older OS X operating systems it would be wise to upgrade to macOS if your device can support it.

Safari is now updated to version 10.0.2 and patches vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution. It is available for Yosemite, El Capitan, and macOS Sierra.

Information on installing updates for Mac can be found here. Information on installing updates for iPhone, iPad, or iPod can be found here.

Updates for iTunes and iCloud for Windows can be installed using Apple Software Update. This can be found in the start menu, under All Apps, or All Programs.

Updates for iTunes and iCloud fix vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution as well as fixing other bugs within the software.

Windows Updates November 2016

It is ‘Patch Tuesday’ again (Falls on a Wednesday for us Aussies), and Microsoft have released 14 security bulletins for various products including Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Office, and Edge.

Even if you are not using Internet Explorer or Edge it is important to update the products as they cannot be removed from you machine.

To run Windows Update hold the ‘Windows Key’ and Press ‘R’ to bring up the Run dialog box. Type in ‘Control Update’ (without the Apostrophes) and Press Enter. When the Windows Update window appears click ‘Check for updates’. This may take some time, after which you may have to click ‘Install‘.

Critical Updates

6 of the 14 security bulletins are rated critical, meaning updates should be installed as soon as possible.

Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3198467): Patches a vulnerability that can allow remote code execution if the user is to visit a specially crafted website. If the user is logged in as  an Administrator, the attacker can install software, view, change or delete files.

Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3202790): Patches a use-after-free vulnerability. This kind of vulnerability corrupts memory and may allow an attacker to execute code on the affected machine. Information about disabling Flash can be found here.

Security Update for Microsoft Graphics Component (3199120): Patches a vulnerability in how Windows handles fonts. A specially crafted font installed by the user could allow a remote code execution. If the user is logged in as an Administrator the attacker can install software, view, change, or delete files.

Security Update for Microsoft Video Control (3199151): Patches a vulnerability that allows an attacker to run code as the current user. The user would first have to be tricked into opening a malicious file from a website or email.

Security Update for Microsoft Windows (3199172): Patches a vulnerability that allows remote code execution if a locally authenticated attacker runs a malicious program.

Cumulative Security Update for Microsoft Edge (3199057): Patches a vulnerability that can allow remote code execution if the user is to visit a specially crafted website. If the user is logged in as  an Administrator, the attacker can install software, view, change or delete files.