Microsoft plugs nine holes in Windows, DNS, SQL

It's among the vendors patching a multiplatform DNS vulnerability

Microsoft Tuesday patched nine vulnerabilities in Windows, Exchange, SQL Server and the company's Domain Name System (DNS) server and client software.

All nine flaws were rated "important" by Microsoft, the second-highest threat rating in the company's four-step scoring system.

One of the Microsoft fixes for Windows DNS was part of a group of patches issued Tuesday by software vendors to plug a multi-platform hole. The researcher who uncovered the vulnerability called the group patch effort the "largest synchronized security update in the history of the Internet."

Microsoft patched its iterations of DNS in MS08-037, the security bulletin that called out two DNS bugs in every supported version of Windows except Vista.

"We've had four updates to Microsoft's DNS since 2007 -- and one led to a bot, Rinbot, in April 2007," noted Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security.

Storms was referring to the episode last year when researchers spotted then-new variants of Rinbot exploiting a zero-day flaw in Windows DNS Server Service. The most recent patch for Windows DNS was released as MS08-020 in April, part of that month's eight-update, 10-fix batch of updates.

The fix for the DNS cache poisoning vulnerability, which Dan Kaminsky, a noted researcher and director of penetration testing with US-based IOActive, reported to Microsoft, is part of a larger, coordinated rollout Tuesday. Internet Software Consortium (ISC) has also updated its popular open-source BIND DNS software, which vendors like Red Hat and Sun Microsystems will be pushing to their users Tuesday.

"This is pretty bad, pretty bad," said Kaminsky. "I wish I could go into full detail, but ..."

Kaminsky, who held a news conference Tuesday with Jerry Dixon, former director of the national Cyber Security Division at the US Department of Homeland Security, to discuss the DNS cache poisoning bug, said he would withhold specifics of the vulnerability for about a month. He plans to present his findings at the Black Hat security conference, which runs August 2-7 in Las Vegas.

"But look at how many people have worked this entire year to make this happen," Kaminsky hinted. "This is not your every-day vulnerability. There are vulnerabilities and then there are vulnerabilities. But that doesn't mean you panic."

He predicted that exploits will be crafted for the DNS flaw. "I don't think this will survive reverse engineering."

Storms of nCircle put it into perspective. "A reliable DNS cache exploit means that the probability of redirecting an unsuspecting user to a malicious website has just increased dramatically," he said, urging users -- enterprise administrators in particular -- to install the patch pronto. "Every network administrator in the world needs to drop that iPhone, get off their BlackBerry and patch their DNS now."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?