Microsoft Tackles 49 Faults Including One Actively Exploited Weakness

Almost 50 weaknesses have been repaired by Microsoft on October Patch Tuesday including one zero-day weakness that is being actively abused in the wild by the FruityArmor APT group.

The zero-day (CVE-2018-8453) is connected to the Win32k part of Windows and is an elevation-of-privilege weakness found by Kaspersky Lab. If abused, a threat actor might run random code in kernel mode and might create new accounts, install programs, or access, modify or erase data. The fault is present in all supported types of Windows and Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019.

The FruityArmor threat group is based in the Middle East, which is where the attacks have so far been aimed. The group is famous for utilizing zero-day faults for its attacks and has been aiming older type of Windows, even though Microsoft has alerted that the weakness might let attacks on the latest Windows types.

Kaspersky Lab notices that two years before, on October Patch Tuesday 2016, Microsoft also repaired a fault that was being actively abused by the FruityArmor group – CVE-2016-3393. Kaspersky Lab will announce more details of the fault this week.

Altogether 49 weaknesses have been repaired, 12 of which have been ranked critical. One of those critical weaknesses, CVE-2010-3190 is eight years old and has been repaired several times over the past eight years. The latest repair tackles the weakness in Exchange Server 2016. If abused, it would let an attacker take complete control of a weak system. The other critical repairs affect the Internet Explorer and Edge browsers, Hyper-V, and XML Core Facilities.

The latest repairs also tackle three weaknesses that were publicly revealed before repairs being released: A fault in the JET Database engine, Azure IOT, and Windows kernel. The patch for the JET Database Engine fault is specifically important, as last month sample exploit code was also circulated together with details of the weakness. As a consequence, companies were exposed for numerous weeks. It was a similar tale in August when a weakness and proof of concept code was circulated online for a weakness in Windows task scheduler which also left Windows users defenseless.

Most of the other patches in this round of updates were for Windows 10, the Edge browser, and connected Server types.

Adobe has also publicized patches this week, which tackle 16 weaknesses including four critical faults in Adobe Digital Edition. The critical faults allow distant code implementation, three of which are heap-overflow faults and one is a use-after-free weakness.