Tag Archives: Windows

Add new features to Notepad++ using Python scripts: keyboard shortcut to insert current time

I have to say, I spend a lot of time daily in Notepad++ text editor for Windows. I keep my “logbook” there. I record what I am doing now and what needs to be done. This allows me not to keep everything in my head and switch the context more efficiently. I can recommend this to everyone. And it is especially useful to note when you started working on a task and when you finished. This gives an understanding of what actually takes your time. I’m not a fan of very strict and formal techniques such as pomodoro, but using some form of time management is good.

Add new features to Notepad++ using Python scripts: keyboard shortcut to insert current time

Recording timestamps manually is inconvenient. It would be much easier to press a key combination and automatically insert the current timestamp into the document. It turned out that this is possible, and even more – you can get the results of any Python script this way!

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday April 2020: my classification script, confusing RCE in Adobe Type Manager and updates for older vulnerabilities

Easiest task ever?

Making the reviews of Microsoft Patch Tuesday vulnerabilities should be an easy task. All vulnerability data is publicly available. Even better, dozens of reviews have already been written. Just read them, combine and post. Right?

Microsoft Patch Tuesday April 2020: my classification script, confusing RCE in Adobe Type Manager and updates for older vulnerabilities

Not really. In fact it is quite boring and annoying. It may be fun to write about vulnerabilities that were already used in some real attacks. But this is a very small part of all vulnerabilities. What about more than a hundred others? They are like “some vulnerability in some component may be used in some attack (or may be not)”. If you describe each of them, no one will read or listen this.

You must choose what to highlight. And when I am reading the reports from Tenable, Qualys and ZDI, I see that they choose very different groups of vulnerabilities, pretty much randomly.

My classification script

That’s why I created a script that takes Patch Tuesday CVE data from microsoft.com and visualizes it giving me helicopter view on what can be interesting there. With nice grouping by vulnerability type and product, with custom icons for vulnerability types, coloring based on severity, etc.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday March 2020: a new record was set, SMBv3 “Wormable” RCE and updates for February goldies

SMBv3 “Wormable” RCE

Without a doubt, the hottest Microsoft vulnerability in March 2020 is the “Wormable” Remote Code Execution in SMB v3 CVE-2020-0796. The most commonly used names for this vulnerability are EternalDarkness, SMBGhost and CoronaBlue.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday for March 2020: a new record was set, SMBv3  "Wormable" RCE and updates for February goldies

There was a strange story of how it was disclosed. It seems like Microsoft accidentally mentioned it in their blog. Than they somehow found out that the patch for this vulnerability will not be released in the March Patch Tuesday. So, they removed the reference to this vulnerability from the blogpost as quickly as they could.

But some security experts have seen it. And, of course, after EternalBlue and massive cryptolocker attacks in 2017, each RCE in SMB means “OMG, this is happening again, we need to do something really fast!” So, Microsoft just had to publish an advisory for this vulnerability with the workaround ADV200005 and to release an urgent patch KB4551762.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday February 2020

IMHO, these are the two most interesting vulnerabilities in a recent Microsoft Patch Tuesday February 2020:

  • Mysterious Windows RCE CVE-2020-0662. “To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker who has a domain user account could create a specially crafted request, causing Windows to execute arbitrary code with elevated permissions.” Without needing to directly log in to the affected device!
  • Microsoft Exchange server seizure CVE-2020-0688. By sending a malicious email message the attacker can run commands on a vulnerable Exchange server as the system user (and monitor email communications). “the attacker could completely take control of an Exchange server through a single e-mail”.

There were also RCEs in Remote Desktop (Client and Service), a third attempt to fix RCEs in Internet Explorer, Elevation of Privilege, etc. But all this stuff we see in almost every Patch Tuesday and without fully functional exploits it’s not really interesting. 🙂

Read the full reviews in Tenable and Zero Day Initiative blogs.

Big Microsoft day: EOL for Win7, Win2008 and crypt32.dll

Big Microsoft day. End-of-life for Windows 7 desktops and Windows 2008 servers (strictly speaking Windows Server 2008 R2). I think that today many security guys had a fun task to count how many host hosts with win7 and win2008 they still have in the organization. So, Asset Management is a necessity! 🙂

Windows 7 desktop

Now an interesting time should begin, when critical unpatched vulnerabilities may appear for these operation systems. At the same time, the number of hosts with Windows 7 and Windows 2008 will be still big enough for massive attacks. 😈 Although I think that Microsoft will continue to release patches for the most critical vulnerabilities, like they did it for WinXP. Upd. Also note, that for Windows Server 2008/2008r2 it’s also possible to purchase an extended three years  security update subscription.

Windows 2008 server

The second interesting topic is the mysterious vulnerability in crypt32.dll (this dll appeared in Windows more than 20 years ago), which might somehow affect authentication and digital signatures in Windows.

crypt32.dll

Far now it has been only a rumor, but soon it will become clear how dangerous it is and how it can be used.

upd. 15.01. So, what about this vulnerability in crypt32.dll. Now it has the name NSACrypt (because NSA reported it) and the id CVE-2020-0601. It’s not for all versions of Windows, only for Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019.

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Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation problems

It’s not a secret, that Vulnerability Management vendors don’t pay much attention to the actual process of fixing vulnerabilities, that they detect in the infrastructure (Vulnerability Remediation). Although it seems to be the main goal of VM products: to make vulnerabilities fixed and whole IT infrastructure more secure, right?

In fact, most of VM vendors see their job in finding a potential problem and providing a link to the Software Vendor’s website page with the remediation description. How exactly the remediation will be done is not their business.

Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation

The reason is clear. Remediation is a painful topic and it’s difficult to sell it as a ready-made solution. And even when Vulnerability Vendors try to sell it this way, it turns out pretty ugly and does not really work. Mainly because the Remediation feature is sold to the Security Team, and the IT Team will have to use it.

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Why Asset Management is so important for Vulnerability Management and Infrastructure Security?

When people ask me how should they start building Vulnerability Management process in their organization (well, sometimes it happens), I advice them to create an effective Asset Management process first. Because it’s the foundation of the whole Infrastructure Security.

Asset Management. Because someone has to clean up this mess.

The term “Asset Management” has different meanings and if you start to google it, you will get some results related mainly to finance sphere. I use this term as Qualys and Tenable. For me Asset Management is the process of dealing with network hosts.

So, what should you do in situation described in the tweet above, when you don’t know exactly how many Windows hosts you have in your corporate IT environment? And, more importantly, why do you need to know?

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