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Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Windows Security Fix

Microsoft on Monday pushed out an emergency security fix for all versions of Windows.

According to the security advisory, the flaw could lead to a remote code execution attack through the use of a malicious document or Web site. Microsoft is releasing the fix outside of its normal monthly security release because information on the vulnerability was made public through the leaked documents stolen from Italian security vendor Hacking Team earlier in the month.

Microsoft said that the vulnerability lies in how Windows OS and Server handle OpenType fonts. "A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows when the Windows Adobe Type Manager Library improperly handles specially crafted OpenType fonts," read the advisory. "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."

While Microsoft has acknowledged that the flaw information has gone public, it hasn't seen any active exploits being used in conjunction with the OpenType hole. However, due to the nature of the issue, Microsoft said that a reusable exploit code could be developed sometime in the near future.

Along with releasing a patch, Microsoft also acknowledged Mateusz Jurczyk of Google Project Zero, Genwei Jiang of FireEye, Inc. and Moony Li of TrendMicro in discovering and disclosing the issue.

Today's fix is just the latest emergency patch released connected to the July 5 breach of the Hacking Team network, which saw 400GB of internal security documents leaked online. Adobe has already had three zero-day issues in Flash exposed, causing browser maker Firefox to temporarily ban the plugin in its product.

While today's issue has been known for a couple of weeks, Microsoft was not able to release a fix in time for last Tuesday's July security update.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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