Microsoft patches 19 vulnerabilities

For the December Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released thirteen security bulletins that fix vulnerabilities targeting Windows, Internet Explorer, and Office. Three are marked as critical and ten as important. In addition to all this, a fix for the Duqu exploit is also thought to have been delivered.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle comments: “It’s been a very long time since Microsoft pulled a bulletin at the last minute. Last week, Microsoft promised 14 bulletins but today we learned that one bulletin was pulled due to a bad interaction with a high profile vendor. This last minute change highlights the extensive testing Microsoft does during the patch releases. A bad patch makes for the worst sort of IT heartburn.”

“December’s patch is a mixed bag of treats. The only truly critical bug is a Windows Media drive-by flaw that should be patched immediately. The other critical bulletin is a fix for the vulnerability used by Duqu. After many dire predictions in the press, Duqu hasn’t turned out to be much of a threat. In a rare turn of events, this month’s IE vulnerability is not rated critical, and I can’t remember the last time that happened. I’m sure this is an anomaly and not, unfortunately, a new IE vulnerability trend,” he added.

Vulnerability in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted document or visits a malicious Web page that embeds TrueType font files.

Cumulative Security Update of ActiveX Kill Bits
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft software. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page that uses a specific binary behavior in Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights. This update also includes kill bits for four third-party ActiveX controls.

Vulnerability in Windows Media Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Digital Video Recording (.dvr-ms) file. In all cases, a user cannot be forced to open the file; for an attack to be successful, a user must be convinced to do so.

Vulnerability in Microsoft Office IME (Chinese) Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office IME (Chinese). The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if a logged-on user performed specific actions on a system where an affected version of the Microsoft Pinyin (MSPY) Input Method Editor (IME) for Simplified Chinese is installed. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights. Only implementations of Microsoft Pinyin IME 2010 are affected by this vulnerability. Other versions of Simplified Chinese IME and other implementations of IME are not affected.

Vulnerability in Microsoft Office IME (Chinese) Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office IME (Chinese). The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if a logged-on user performed specific actions on a system where an affected version of the Microsoft Pinyin (MSPY) Input Method Editor (IME) for Simplified Chinese is installed. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights. Only implementations of Microsoft Pinyin IME 2010 are affected by this vulnerability. Other versions of Simplified Chinese IME and other implementations of IME are not affected.

Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Publisher Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Publisher file. An attacker who successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Vulnerability in OLE Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 are not affected by the vulnerability.

The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a file that contains a specially crafted OLE object. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Vulnerabilities in Microsoft PowerPoint Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted PowerPoint file. An attacker who successfully exploited either of the vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Vulnerability in Active Directory Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Active Directory, Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Service (AD LDS). The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker logs on to an Active Directory domain and runs a specially crafted application. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first need to acquire credentials to log on to an Active Directory domain.

Vulnerability in Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Excel file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights. Installing and configuring Office File Validation (OFV) to prevent the opening of suspicious files blocks the attack vectors for exploiting the vulnerabilities described in CVE-2011-3403.

Vulnerability in Windows Client/Server Run-time Subsystem Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application designed to send a device event message to a higher-integrity process. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability.

Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application designed to exploit the vulnerability. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.

Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer
This security update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate HyperText Markup Language (HTML) file that is located in the same directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file.