In Microsoft’s October 2023 Patch Tuesday, a comprehensive set of security updates was released, addressing a total of 104 vulnerabilities, with a notable focus on remedying three zero-day vulnerabilities that had been actively exploited.
Among the fixed vulnerabilities, forty-five remote code execution (RCE) flaws were rectified, but Microsoft rated only twelve of them as ‘Critical,’ all of which were RCE vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities were categorized into different classes, including Elevation of Privilege, Security Feature Bypass, Remote Code Execution, Information Disclosure, Denial of Service, and Spoofing.
Of particular concern were the three actively exploited zero-day vulnerabilities that were resolved in this release. These vulnerabilities were:
CVE-2023-41763: An actively exploited Skype for Business Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability, which, if successfully exploited, could enable an attacker to view sensitive information within the impacted component. This vulnerability, discovered by Dr. Florian Hauser, posed a significant threat, potentially allowing attackers to breach internal networks.
CVE-2023-36563: An actively exploited Microsoft WordPad Information Disclosure Vulnerability, capable of stealing NTLM hashes when opening a WordPad document. Attackers could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system by convincing a user to open a malicious file.
CVE-2023-44487: This zero-day vulnerability pertained to the ‘HTTP/2 Rapid Reset Attack,’ an active DDoS technique that had been breaking records since August. Microsoft released mitigations for this attack, which leveraged the HTTP/2 standard’s stream cancellation feature to overwhelm target servers and impose a DoS state.
Furthermore, the text highlighted updates and advisories from other tech companies in October 2023, including Apple, Arm, Cisco, Citrix, Google, GNOME, and Linux distros, addressing various vulnerabilities and issues across their respective products and services. This comprehensive Patch Tuesday release underscores the critical role of staying up to date with security patches and the ever-evolving threat landscape in the digital world.