February 2013 Patch Tuesday Overview

This week New York gets hammered with snow and IT Admins get hammered with patches.  Microsoft has released 12 new security bulletins addressing 55 vulnerabilities.  The number of vulnerabilities this month comes very close to the record 64 vulnerabilities resolved in the April 2011 Patch Tuesday.

Of the 12 bulletins released this Patch Tuesday, 5 are critical.  MS13-009 and MS13-010 affecting Internet Explorer, MS13-011 and MS13-020 affecting the Windows Operating System, and MS13-012 affecting Exchange Server.

The first browser patch this month is MS13-009.  This is a cumulative security update covering 13 of the reported vulnerabilities and should be a priority for administrators.  IE 6-10 on all supported Windows Operating Systems are affected.

The second browser patch is MS13-010.  This bulletin resolves a single VML memory corruption vulnerability which could allow a specially crafted website to remotely execute code.   Exploit code is likely and Microsoft is aware of this being used as an information disclosure vulnerability.   IE 6-10 on all supported Windows Operating Systems are affected.

MS13-011 is a critical patch affecting supported versions of Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008.  It resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability that can allow remote code execution when a specially crafted streaming media is executed.  The attacker could gain equivalent rights to the user who executed the media file.  If the media is embedded in other files, like ppt, it can also be exploited.

The next critical bulletin is MS13-012.  It is a vulnerability in Exchange Server 2007 and 2010.  The vulnerability allows a specially crafted file using the Outlook Web App.

The last critical bulletin, MS13-020, resolves a vulnerability in OLE Automation.  The vulnerability could allow remote execution if a user opens a specially crafted file allowing the attacker to gain users rights equivalent to the current user.  This vulnerability affects Windows XP SP3.

The remaining seven patches are categorized as Important.  The majority are affecting the Windows Operating System, with one .Net, and one Microsoft FAST Search Server bulletin.

Chris Goettl

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