29 March 2020
Mohit Kumar‘s post (1) that was published past Monday on The Hacker News should instill fright to all users who haven’t migrated to Windows 10 yet.
The good news is that this vulnerability requires user interaction. Microsoft states in security advisory ADV200006 (2) that “There are multiple ways an attacker could exploit the vulnerability, such as convincing a user to open a specially crafted document or viewing it in the Windows Preview pane.” As always, user training is as crucial!
In addition, the impact on Windows 10 users is limited because the malicious code runs in an AppContainer which is destroyed once the preview is closed.
The bad news is that Microsoft recognized attacks where this vulnerability is leveraged (the vulnerability is in the Wild). And, a patch is not available yet.
In the meantime, Microsoft provides important mitigations in ADV200006. These mitigations must be kept on all pre-Windows 10 systems where no Extended Security Update (ESU) support is available.
The most interesting mitigation is to “Disable the Preview Pane and Details Pane in Windows Explorer”. I always disable preview features in Explorer and Outlook. Simply put, preview requires that documents are “executed”, so preview may also execute embedded malicious code.
My advice for all critical infrastructure operators is:
- Deactivate all preview features in the Windows OS and in all applications.
- Deactivate any kind of macros and scripting without notification.
- Deactivate all trusted locations in all applications.
- And, of course, the user should not be able to reverse this settings.
With this, the security baseline is raised at moderate effort.
Have a great week.
1. Kumar M. Warning — Two Unpatched Critical 0-Day RCE Flaws Affect All Windows Versions [Internet]. The Hacker News. 2020 [cited 2020 Mar 29]. Available from: https://thehackernews.com/2020/03/windows-adobe-font-vulnerability.html
2. MSRC. ADV200006 | Type 1 Font Parsing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability [Internet]. Microsoft Security Response Center. 2020 [cited 2020 Mar 29]. Available from: https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/ADV200006