KB2719615, a.k.a. CVE-2012-1889, has been used in the wild and is a vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0, Microsoft says. Marcus Carey, a security researcher at Rapid7, concurs that the bulletin may address this problem.
If victims access specially crafted Web pages using Internet Explorer, code on the page could execute malicious code remotely in the browser. Successful exploits could allow attackers to gain the same user rights as the logged-on user, Microsoft says.
Others are not so sure that KB2719615 will be addressed. Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst at Lumension, notes that it remains unclear if Microsoft will be issuing such a patch. "Microsoft normally includes details in their pre-release information if a Day Zero patch is included," Henry says. "However, in the July pre-release, no mention of the issue was included."
A second bulletin, also critical, is surprising, Kandek says, because it addresses an Internet Explorer issue out of phase with the usual bimonthly cycle. It affects Internet Explorer 9, so only machines with Vista or above operating systems might be affected, he says. The third critical bulletin is ranked such for XP, Vista and Windows 7 and is considered moderate for all other operating systems.
A third critical bulletin also represents the potential for exploits that fully compromise systems without user interaction. "These bulletins affect both business and consumer users of all modern versions of Microsoft Operating Systems," Carey says, "so they should be attention-grabbers."
While the remainder of the bulletins are ranked as important, Kandek calls attention to No. 4, which addresses a problem that can allow remote execution of code from any version of Office for Windows. Ratings drop from critical to important when the exploits involved require victims to open files in order for the attacks to be successful. But he says bulletins ranked important can fix problems that are just as dangerous to some users.
"We typically consider important bulletins for Office as almost the same severity level as critical," Kandek says. "After all, these document-based attack campaigns are usually quite successful in convincing at least a subset of end users to open the malicious document."
Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.
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