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Wednesday, 12 January 2022 10:30

Microsoft begins the new year with a bumper crop of patches Featured

Microsoft begins the new year with a bumper crop of patches Image by miniformat65 from Pixabay

Microsoft has released 97 CVEs on its first patch Tuesday of 2022, including four zero-days that have been publicly disclosed but not yet exploited in the wild; one of these is wormable.

Nine of the vulnerabilities disclosed were classified as critical and 88 as important. Also included among the patches were two for open-source libraries.

Nearly a third of the vulnerabilities allowed for remote code execution, while a shade over two-fifths permitted elevation of privilege.

Commenting on the flaws, Tenable staff research engineer Satnam Narang said: "Microsoft patched CVE-2022-21907, a critical remote code execution flaw in the HTTP Protocol Stack.

"To exploit this vulnerability, a remote, unauthenticated attacker could send a specially crafted request to a vulnerable server using the HTTP Protocol Stack.

"Microsoft warns that this vulnerability is wormable, meaning no human interaction would be required for an attack to spread from system to system. As such, organisations that utilise the HTTP Protocol Stack should prioritise patching this vulnerability as soon as possible.

"Additionally, Microsoft patched three remote code execution vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server (CVE-2022-21846, CVE-2022-21969, CVE-2022-21855).

"All three are rated as 'exploitation more likely'. One of the flaws, CVE-2022-21846, was disclosed to Microsoft by the NSA.

"Despite the rating, Microsoft notes the attack vector is adjacent, meaning exploitation will require more legwork for an attacker, unlike the ProxyLogon and ProxyShell vulnerabilities which were remotely exploitable."

One of the remotely exploitable vulnerabilities, in the Remote Desktop Protocol, was disclosed to Microsoft by CyberArk.

Commenting on this vulnerability, researcher Gabriel Sztejnworcel said: "This vulnerability enables any standard unprivileged user connected to a remote machine via remote desktop to gain file system access to the client machines of other connected users, to view and modify clipboard data of other connected users, and to impersonate the identity of other users logged on to the machine using smart cards.

"This could lead to data privacy issues, lateral movement and privilege escalation.

"The latest versions of Windows (client and server editions) are affected by this vulnerability, and it goes back at least to Windows Server 2012 R2, so we can say that the majority of Windows versions in use today are affected."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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