Microsoft Security Updates for October 2009

We don’t normally cover Patch Tuesday unless there is something unusual, but the October 2009 advanced notification appears to be just that. It lists patches for 13 different security bulletins, for what looks like 30 separate security problems. Eight of the bulletins are for critical vulnerabilities with the possibility of remote code execution. The majority of the patches are for Windows itself, with a couple for SQL Server, Office, and Forefront, but it looks like just about every production version of Windows is affected. Given the scope of this security patch and the seriousness of the bugs, it looks like IT departments are going to be working overtime for a while. Details of each of the vulnerabilities will be released later today, and I will update this post with specific points of interest as I find them. I am assuming that at least one of the patches is in response to the Server Message Block vulnerability discovered back in August. IIS is not listed as one of the affected products, but odds are the underlying OS will be, and folks will be restarting app servers either way. I am still trying to determine the issue with SQL Server. More to come… ==== Updated ==== Microsoft has updated the bulletin and included the security advisory links and some details on the threats. The SQL Server vulnerability is not within the core database engine, but the GDI ActiveX library in the print server. It’s in 2005, not 2000. When SQL Server Reporting Services is installed, the affected installations of SQL Server software may host the RSClientPrint ActiveX control. This ActiveX control distributes a copy of gdiplus.dll containing the affected code. Customers are only impacted when the RSClientPrint ActiveX control is installed on Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems. If the RSClientPrint ActiveX control is installed on any other operating system, the system version of GDI+ will be used and the corresponding operating system update will protect them. The GDI+ vulnerability pretty much allows you to take down any Microsoft platform or function that uses the GDI dll, which is basically anything that uses images for forms, which is just about everything. My earlier comment that IIS was not listed was true, but there is in fact a bug linked to IIS: version 5.0 of the FTP service is vulnerable to remote code exploitation. Some of the exploits have workarounds and can be masked through firewall and web application firewall settings, however given the number and severity of the issues, we do recommend patching as soon as possible. Share:

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Barracuda Networks Acquires Purewire

Today Barracuda Networks announced their acquisition of Purewire. Barracuda has an incredibly broad product suite, including AV, WAF, Anti-spam, anti-malware, SSL gateways, and so on, but are behind their competition in web filtering and seriously lacking in solutions delivered as SaaS. The Purewire product set closes Barracuda’s biggest product gap, giving them URL filtering and some basic content inspection. But most importantly it can be delivered as SaaS. This is important for two reasons: first, Barracuda has been losing market share to email and web security vendors with comprehensive SaaS product lines. SaaS offers flexible deployment and extends the usable lifespan of existing appliance/software security investments. Second, SaaS can be sold ‘up-market’ or ‘down-market’, as pricing is simply adjusted for the desired capacity. This will keep the handful of Barracuda enterprise customers happy, and provide SME customers the ability to add capacity as needed, hopefully keeping them from bolting to other providers. I have never had my hands on the Purewire product so I have little knowledge of its internal workings or competitive differentiators. I have only spoken with a couple customers but they seemed to be satisfied with the web filtering capabilities. No wholehearted endorsements, but I did not hear any complaints either – nothing wrong if the endorsements are not passionate as often the best than can be said for web filtering products is they perform their jobs and go unnoticed. Based on recent press releases and joint customer announcements, I was expecting Proofpoint to be the acquirer. Regardless, this is a better fit for both companies given Proofpoint’s significant overlap with Purewire. And Barracuda has greater need for this technology. It has been a long time coming but they are finally turning around and showing a dedication to a service based delivery model. Remember, it was only two years ago that Barracuda bet on Web Application Firewalls acquired with Netcontinuum. That bet did not pay off particularly well, as the WAF market never blossomed as predicted. And it further entrenched Barracuda as a box shop. This is a move in the right direction. Share:

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