Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Technology | By Tonya May

Developers' Heads Will Be in the Cloud at Microsoft's Build Show

Developers' Heads Will Be in the Cloud at Microsoft's Build Show

The Redmond software maker had promised we will be getting a regular stream of security updates and feature upgrades and true to its word, we have already received two major updates: Anniversary Update and the latest Creators Update. He also repeatedly praised Microsoft for its work on the out of band patch on Twitter.

The engine, known as MsMpEng, is over-privileged and un-sandboxed, according to Google Project Zero researchers Tavis Ormandy and Natalie Silvanovich. However, it's likely that Microsoft will extend 1607's date of demise, as it did to 1507 and 1511, to separate it from the latter.

Silvanovich called it the "worst Windows remote code (execution vulnerability)" in recent memory.

An attacker could exploit this flaw by having the malware protection engine scan a specially crafted file, which could be delivered by email, a website, or instant message.

In Windows 7, click Start Run type Windows Defender and press Enter. 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. That functionality would make it easier to scale Windows 10 acrossmobile, laptops, Xbox, HoloLens and beyond.

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"So writing controlled contents to anywhere on disk (e.g. caches, temporary internet files, downloads (even unconfirmed downloads), attachments, etc) is enough to access functionality in mpengine", they wrote. While Microsoft's solution fixed the immediate problem, it's pretty clear that there's still a big potential security hole. These efforts are part of Google's Project Zero initiative through which it informs other companies about the vulnerability present in their software products, allowing them 90 days to fix the issue, before details are publicly disclosed.

The flaw, CVE-2017-0290, exists because the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine doesn't properly scan files, which could lead to memory corruption on computer systems, the company said in an advisory.

Answering why no action is required, Microsoft explains: "In response to a constantly changing threat landscape, Microsoft frequently updates malware definitions and the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine".

It seems that Microsoft has just released a new version of its Skype application for Windows 10 OS. With one email-one that would not have to be read by the user-an attacker could execute code remotely on a vulnerable computer running MsMpEng. The out of band patch will be pushed out automatically to users within 48 hours of release.

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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