Microsoft announced a release to fix an issue surrounding the recently discovered malware vulnerability in the wild. This fix is a temporary release to address the problem while Microsoft has time to create a patch and release during a patch cycle. The next patch release is Tuesday and they will probably not have enough time to build a patch for this release. The advisory can be found here, which also lists where to go to apply the fix until a patch is released.
The vulnerability affects the Win32k TrueTypefont parsing agent, which when passed a specially crafted document can allow an attacker kernel level access to an affected computer. This also affects all versions of Windows from XP through Windows 7. Microsoft has release information to security firms on how to detect attempts to exploit the security flaw. The first malware discovered to be using this flaw was the Duqu virus.
The Duqu virus is a very specific program that appears to have been targeted at a single company and the installer was said to have had an 8 day install window. This program was distributed via a word document and is said to affect a small amount of companies in about 8 countries. While this specific instance should not be a concern to most users the fact that this exploit is in the wild and proven is something to be concerned with.
Again the most important thing to remember with all reports such as this, make sure you Anti-Virus programs and operating systems are always up to date. I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure updates are done regularly. This shows that within hours of confirming the exploit Microsoft had released information not only on how to close the hole temporarily but had also released to the makers of security software the means to identify valid infections that use this exploit.
A recently discovered zero-day bug in the Mac version of Skype allows hackers to gain control of the user's system by sending a malicious instant message. According to Australian security consultancy company Pure Hacking, the vulnerability in Skype is dangerous and would allow anyone with the know-how to gain control of a Mac by simply sending a malicious instant message.
In a blog post, Gordon Maddern of Pure Hacking explained that he first discovered the bug when he sent a client’s payload to his colleague on Skype.
He later confirmed his suspicions by crafting a proof-of-concept malicious pay-load and testing it on Skype.
“The long and the short of it is that an attacker needs only to send a victim a message and they can gain remote control of the victims Mac. It is extremely wormable and dangerous,” he wrote on the blog.
That sound you just heard was millions of Mac users falling down from their high horse.
Way back when the most recent update to Skype had come out, Mac nerds all over the world were complaining about its design flaws. The sad reality was now the Mac version was starting to look like its bloated PC counterpoint. Have you ever used Skype on Windows? It takes up just about the entire screen. Let's scale that back a bit, eh, Skype?
I usually just use the Skype application on my iPhone, but even then I usually ignore all calls that come into my phone. Who wants to talk on a telephone anymore? Let's be honest here. Just text me so we can pass the awkward phone conversations that would no doubt take place.
Aside from the stingy design complaints, this is arguably the most notable Mac vulnerability I can think of. Just about every Mac user I know uses Skype all the time. And generally, they're on the up and up when it comes to updates. Sadly, this means that just about every Mac user I know is completely vulnerable to hackers. If you're in the enterprise field, hopefully your team has a backup plan to install a previous version of Skype. If not, you can always reach out to Trigon.