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The January 2017 Security Update Review


Stick to your New Year’s resolution of understanding all there is about security patches and join us in taking a look at the security updates released by Adobe and Microsoft for the month of January 2017.

Microsoft Patches for 2017

After a record setting 2016, the folks in Redmond start 2017 off by releasing only four bulletins addressing three CVEs in Edge, Office, and windows. The fourth bulletin covers Adobe Flash. To call this a small release is no understatement, but given the number of patches released in 2016, I’m sure system admins everywhere appreciate the light release.

If you need to prioritize your patch testing, the update for Edge becomes the obvious choice since it’s fixing a publicly-known issue that allows for a cross-domain code injection. The LSASS bulletin also has a publicly disclosed CVE that could allow a denial of service (DoS) against unpatched systems. This bulletin is also a reminder to be sure you’re blocking TCP 389 the default port for LSASS at your perimeter. It’s a small mitigation, but every little bit helps. The other Microsoft patch corrects a critical remote code execution vulnerability in SharePoint and Word 2016 . This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Office vulnerabilities are usually listed as Important rather than Critical due to numerous dialogs a user clicks through to open a file, but this is listed as a Critical bulletin. Office bulletins can end up being critical if they have a Outlook preview pane exploit vector, but that’s specifically called out as not an option here. Finally, Microsoft released its own version of the Adobe Flash patch. No new advisories were released this month.

And yes, you read that correctly there is no security bulletin for Internet Explorer this month. One can’t help but speculate if the lightness of this release is related to test cycles or if Microsoft is intentionally holding things back ahead of its move away from bulletins to the “ Security Update Guide .”Despite the continued reduction of public information about its security patches, we’ll continue to discuss the monthly releases as best we can.

Adobe Patches for January 2017

Adobe kicks off the year by releasing updates for Flash and Reader. The update for Acrobat and Reader fixes 29 total CVEs, the worst of which could allow an attacker to execute code on the target system. A lucky 13 of these CVEs came through the ZDI program. The update for Flash contains 13 CVEs. Similar to Reader, the worst of these issues could allow an attacker to execute code on the target system. None of the issues addressed by Adobe today are reported as being under active attack.

Mobile Updates

Unlike the light updates from Microsoft and Adobe, the update for Google Android fixes 95 vulnerabilities. Many of these issues are critical and include an exploit that could allow malware or even malicious chargers to restart a Nexus device and install their own code. If you have an Android phone, this is definitely an update you don’t want to miss.

Looking Ahead

The next patch Tuesday falls on February 14, and we’ll be your valentine with details and analysis then. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest and greatest coming from the ZDI program. Until then, happy patching and may all your reboots be smooth and clean!

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