Recently, news of Microsoft’s Zero Day vulnerabilities has caused concern among computer users worldwide. A Zero Day Vulnerability refers to a security vulnerability in a software or system that is unknown to the vendor or developer and can be exploited by attackers before a patch or solution is available. These cybersecurity related vulnerabilities are believed to have been present in the system for nearly a year, and no user interaction is needed for them to be exploited.
According to Microsoft, all currently supported versions of Outlook for Windows are impacted by these vulnerabilities, except for Outlook for the web or those running on Android, iOS, or Mac. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to remotely execute code, causing a denial of service or elevation of privileges attacks.
To make matters worse, the Microsoft Security Resource Center (MSRC) has confirmed that these vulnerabilities have already been used by a “Russia-based threat actor” in targeted attacks against government, transport, energy, and military sectors in Europe. This news is especially alarming as these sectors play a crucial role in national security, and any data breaches could have far-reaching consequences.
In response to these vulnerabilities, Microsoft has released security updates to fix two actively exploited zero-day vulnerabilities and a total of 83 flaws. Nine of these vulnerabilities have been classified as ‘Critical’ for their severity. Microsoft recommends that all users immediately install these updates to safeguard their systems from potential attacks.
Users can install these updates manually to ensure that their systems are always up to date. Furthermore, Microsoft advises users to be cautious when opening emails or attachments from unknown senders, as these could contain malicious code that can exploit these vulnerabilities.
The Microsoft Zero Day vulnerabilities are a significant concern for computer users worldwide. With these vulnerabilities present for almost a year, and because hackers have already exploited them, there is a heightened risk for them causing data breaches and other cyber attacks. Microsoft’s release of security updates is a welcome response to these vulnerabilities, but users must take steps to ensure that their systems are always up to date and that they exercise caution when opening emails or attachments from unknown senders. As always, staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to protect our systems is the best defense against cyber attacks.
What Does This Mean for You
It is crucial for all users to apply the relevant security patch to secure their systems. The vulnerability is relatively simple to exploit, doesn’t require user interaction, and is already being exploited. Microsoft has shared two temporary mitigations if you’re unable to patch immediately, both of which will impact NTLM and applications that use it, so proceed with caution.
The cybersecurity vulnerability discovered in Microsoft Outlook highlights the importance of addressing security threats promptly to prevent the risk of sensitive data being compromised. Failure to apply security updates in a timely manner can leave organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks, resulting in the potential loss or theft of sensitive information.
For EVERNET customers, it is highly recommended to install the update for Microsoft Outlook to prevent any potential attacks. Fortunately, for clients utilizing patch management software, they do not have to take any further action, as the update will be automatically applied for them.
This is just one example of the advantages of using patch management software for businesses. The patch management process can automatically detect and apply necessary updates and patches to systems, reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities being exploited. It saves time and effort by eliminating the need for manual updates, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
Moreover, patch management tools ensure that all devices are consistently updated, minimizing security gaps that may occur when certain devices are missed. It can also provide reports on the status of updates and patches, giving administrators a comprehensive view of their system’s security.
At EVERNET Consulting, we are dedicated to helping organizations with their IT needs. We work diligently to find the solutions that best fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re looking for IT support, advice on how to handle the Microsoft Outlook situation, or looking to add patch management software to your network, we are here to help. Let’s schedule a discovery call and see how we can help you work smarter, not harder.
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management.