Microsoft Patches Critical Vulnerability In Its Own Antivirus Software

Microsoft Patches Critical Vulnerability In Its Own Antivirus Software

It's like Pepsi declaring that Coke just won a taste test: Google Project Zero security researchers discovered a security hole in Microsoft's Malware Protection Engine, and two days later the Microsoft Security Response Center not only fixed the bug but also rolled out the update through the usual Windows Defender update mechanism.

After the Microsoft advisory regarding the out of band patch was posted, the Google Project Zero disclosure became public and Ormandy added new details on Twitter, saying that "Any service or program that touches the filesystem (IIS, SMB, Exhange, Outlook, IE, etc) can reach it though, hence RCE".

The latest issue is the most critical to date. Tavis Ormandy stated on the 6 of May that he and Natalie Silvanovich had found one of the worst RCE or remote code exec in Windows OS in recent times and described it as insane bad.

After the quick fix Mr Ormandy responded by saying he was "blown away at how quickly @msftsecurity responded to protect users, can't give enough kudos".

"The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the manner in which the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine scans specially crafted files", Microsoft said. There's the potential for a worm to be developed from the initial infection as the target PC could distribute the attack around its network. Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life.

Desktop and server Windows deployments might be at risk, especially if real-time protection is turned on in the affected security products. This means that files downloaded to your PC in the background - such as email attachments and parts of webpages - are scanned as they arrive. The recipient needn't even open the communication for this nasty zero-day bug to work. Ironically, the exploit uses Windows Defender to launch itself when the malware protection engine scans a specially crafted file. "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code in the security context of the LocalSystem account and take control of the system".

As Microsoft warns, these unofficial applications are responsible for a large number of failures and problems when upgrading the operating system as they overwrite system files for unofficial and incompatible versions of the system.

Even though Microsoft has stated that it's still committed to phones, the future of Windows 10 Mobile isn't very clear, with the company expected to migrate towards Windows 10 on ARM and leaving its platform specifically built for smartphones behind. Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows SMB Server, Windows COM, Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows kernel, Windows Server, and the.NET Framework.

Users don't have to take any action if their security products are set to the default, which will update their engines and definitions automatically, Microsoft said.

The bug is present in nearly all the versions under which the Redmond-based company markets its malware protection engine, including its Security Essentials, Endpoint Protection, Windows Defender, System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Endpoint Protection, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, and Forefront Security for SharePoint.

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