Older Windows unsafe, Microsoft issues warnings

Microsoft Patches 'Wormable' Flaw in Windows XP, 7 and Windows 2003

Referred to as the May 14, 2019-KB4500154 Update, this update brings the Windows 10 Mobile operating system to build number 15254.566.

The vulnerability (CVE-2019-0708) resides in the "remote desktop services" component built into supported versions of Windows, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008.

Windows 7, Windows 2008 and 2008 R2, are vulnerable, along with the even older and out of support Windows Server 2003 and XP variants. More information can be found, on our blog and the Security Update Guide. The vulnerability allows remote code execution with no user involvement or any authentication required, making it a gift to scum looking to spread malware. "Any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017".

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The company has not yet observed any exploitation of the vulnerability as yet. In the last 6 months, Microsoft appears to have made a decision to stop trying to force their plan on users and give them what they actually ask for, be it updates which could be postponed, to actually supporting Paint rather than the kludgy Paint 3D. For unsupported Windows XP and Windows 2003 systems, Microsoft has links to download the patches for CVE-2019-0708 in support article KB4500705.

The reason Microsoft has once again included XP is to prevent a wormable vulnerability that could - if unchecked - wreak havoc in the same way that WannaCry did.

Fortunately, Windows 10 and Windows 8 are immune from the threat. Microsoft has a comprehensive list at this page. Called CVE-2019-0863, this flaw has already been exploited by malicious actors to carry out targeted attacks. It's an elevation-of-privilege vulnerability in the way Windows Error Reporting handles files, which allows an attacker to gain kernel mode access to a victim system. Someone would need to run a malicious app on the target system. While details about the use of the exploit are not available, it is likely being used in limited attacks against specific targets.

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The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is not itself vulnerable.

The Patch Tuesday releases also fix several critical remote code execution vulnerabilities targeted the Edge and Internet Explorer 11 browsers. Additionally, there are "ZombieLoad" and "Store-to-Leak Forwarding" attack methods, per researchers at the Graz University of Technology. If you have automatic updates enabled on your Windows machine, you are automatically protected. In some cases, installing these updates will have a performance impact.

Microsoft also resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Skype for Android.

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