Just When You Thought Your Devices Were Secure…

October 21, 2014 | Heroix Staff

Last month’s Shell Shock bug had Unix, Linux and Network admins patching their systems against a bash shell vulnerability. This month everyone gets to play along as October adds patches for Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle and a new SSL bug named POODLE.

    • Microsoft October 2014 patches
      Microsoft has issued 3 Critical and 5 Important patches. One of the Critical patches addresses 14 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11, although the bugs are only rated as Moderate in IE 6. As discussed in a previous post Microsoft can’t test every possible configuration. I suggest installing patches on test systems in your own environment before deploying throughout your Windows environment.


    • Adobe Flash Player patches
      Adobe has issued patches for both Cold Fusion (Important) and Flash Player (Critical). The Critical Flash Player patches cover Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS and include patches for both Flash Player and Adobe AIR. Adobe also recommends upgrading to the latest versions in addition to patching, and you’re better off patching and upgrading Flash sooner rather than later. You may also want to consider using a Flash Block/Flash Control plugin or configuring IE to require you to approve sites before you allow them to run Flash Player content.


    • Oracle Critical Patch Update
      The National Vulnerability Database lists 131 CVE vulnerabilities for Oracle in October 2014. Oracle patches also cover their Java, Solaris and MySQL acquisitions and the patches for Java SE on Windows rate up to 10 out of 10 for severity level. The Oracle update page provides an extensive risk matrix for each of the patched applications – use this to evaluate the severity of the vulnerability for your specific applications and then test and patch accordingly.


  • POODLE bug in SSL3.0
    POODLE stands for Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (CVE-2014-3566) and works by listening in and decrypting less secure SSL 3.0 traffic. Most web servers and clients use the secure TLS protocols for HTTPs connections and will fail back to SSL 3.0 only for legacy applications.. However it is possible for hackers to interfere with a HTTPs session negotiation so that TLS fails and the session fails back to the SSL 3.0 allowing this bug to be exploited. The patch for POODLE is to remove the SSL 3.0 protocol from web servers and clients or to disable failback to SSL 3.0 if you need to maintain legacy applications.  This vulnerability should be addressed for both web servers and web clients as soon as possible but is rated as 4.3 (Medium) and is nowhere near the threat level of either Shell Shock or Heartbleed.Microsoft provides instructions on a registry edit to disable SSL 3.0 for IIS web servers and has information on how to remove SSL 3.0 support for Apache, Nginx and other web servers. Qualys SSL Labs provides an SSL Server test that will evaluate the security of your site for SSL 3.0 and other potential vulnerabilities.Qualys also provides a browser test for SSL 3.0 support. Eventually newer browsers will stop supporting SSL 3.0 but until then it can be disabled:
      • Firefox
        Set “security.tls.version.min” to 1 in “about:config” to disable SSL 3.0.


      • Google Chrome
        You can use the startup flag “--ssl-version-min=tls1” to start Chrome without SSL 3.0 support. Recent versions of Chrome also support the TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV mechanism that prevents failing back to SSL 3.0.


    • Internet Explorer
      In Tools – Internet Options – Advanced – Security, uncheck the boxes for SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0.
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