- These vulnerabilities affect: Lync Server and .NET Framework
- How an attacker exploits them: Various, including by sending maliciously crafted packets or launching specially crafted calls
- Impact: An attacker could slow down or disrupt connections to the server, or stop it from responding at all.
- What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you.
Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins that fix a pair of Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerabilities in two of their products; Lync Server and the .NET Framework. If you used either of these products, you should update them as soon as you can. We summarize the two DoS bulletins below:
- MS13-053: .NET Framework DoS Vulnerability
The .NET Framework is a software framework used by developers to create custom Windows and web applications. Though it only ships by default with Windows Vista, you’ll find it on many Windows computers. It suffers from a DoS vulnerability involving the way it handles communications that are hashed. In short, if a remote attacker sends a small amount of specially crafted packets to a server that uses .NET Framework ASP applications, he can cause the server to slow down, and eventually stop responding. If you have any public servers or web applications that use .NET, you should download and install the update as soon as possible.
Microsoft rating: Important
- MS13-055: Lync DoS Vulnerability
Lync is a unified communications tool that combines voice, IM, audio, video, and web-based communication into one interface. It’s essentially the replacement for Microsoft Communicator. It suffers from three vulnerabilities, including a DoS flaw involving the way it handles specially crafted calls. By sending a malicious call to your Lync server, a remote attacker can exploit the DoS flaw to cause the Lync Server to stop responding. If you rely on Lync for communications, you should patch your servers as soon as you can.
Microsoft rating: Important
Microsoft has released patches that correct both these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network as soon as possible. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install these updates for you.
The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find all of Microsoft’s update links:
For All WatchGuard Users:
Though you can use your XTM appliance to block the ports necessary for Lync, or use application control to restrict it, this would prevent you from using it externally at all. Right now, Microsoft’s patch are your best solution to these issues.
Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.
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