The mandate is clear from Microsoft; you must update Windows OS immediately!
Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), as of late, has been pushing out many updates for fixing faulty updates and security loopholes almost every single month. Thus, it is no longer surprising when the company announces the release of yet another update for Windows OS. This time, however, Microsoft, in order to fix some very critical bugs, managed to push out not one but two simultaneous security updates without any announcements as such.
These security updates released via Microsoft fixes remote code execution bugs in the Microsoft Windows Codecs Library which is something that handles how the operating system happens to compress big multimedia files like photos and videos and then decodes them for playback within various applications. The company, according to ZDnet, happened to credit a security researcher named Abdul-Aziz Hariri Microsoft for identifying the flaws and then reporting them to Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).
Both of these out-of-band updates which address a critical-severity flaw ‘CVE-2020-1425’ and an important-severity vulnerability ‘CVE-2020-1457’ were recorded to have been sent out via Windows Update on Tuesday night. They will affect several versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019.
According to the updates, both vulnerabilities in Windows OS happen to allow for remote code execution in the way in which Microsoft Windows Codecs Library tends to handle objects in memory. If the CVE-2020-1425 vulnerability is exploited then it can easily enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code. When it comes to the CVE-2020-1457 vulnerability, it can be exploited in order to allow a threat actor to obtain critical information that can further lead to the compromise of a user’s system.
If any user of an affected system opens a corrupted media file of any kind in applications that use the native Windows Codecs Library then the flaws can be exploited. Microsoft, in its advisories which offered very little specific details on the flaws, has included a complete list of the Windows 10 and Windows Server distributions affected and has mentioned that there happens to be ‘no mitigations or workarounds for the vulnerabilities’.
According to Microsoft, when the update is received, affected users needn’t take any action as they will be automatically updated by Microsoft Store. Alternatively, if there exist some users who wish to receive the updates this instantly, they can go ahead and check for updates with the Microsoft Store App itself.
Keep An Eye on Patch Tuesday
The second of Tuesday every month happens to be known as ‘Patch Tuesday’ for Microsoft, however, it is not completely uncommon for them to release updates outside of the second that. In this case, what did stand out is the fact that Microsoft actually happened to respond to the vulnerabilities which were uncovered by a third-party security researcher.
As of now, Microsoft said it has not yet detected either of the two Windows Codecs Library flaws being exploited for real by any malicious threat actors.
These patches came weeks after the regularly scheduled June Patch Tuesday of Microsoft wherein the company released the highest number of CVEs ever released in a single month. Within that humongous security update, 11 critical remote code-execution flaws were meticulously patched in Windows, SharePoint Server, Windows Shell, VBScript and other products.
It should also be noted that its June updates, unlike other recent monthly updates from Microsoft, did not include any zero-day vulnerabilities which were being actively attacked in the wild. Moving forward, it is evident that the company aims to keep its users safe by quickly deploying critical security updates at once. Thus, Windows users can remain at peace knowing Microsoft is actively working towards their customers’ safety. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.