Microsoft updates August 2022: there is also the patch for a zero-day already under attack

With Patch Tuesday in August 2022, Microsoft fixed 121 security vulnerabilities in Windows and related software. Once again, a zero-day vulnerability has been fixed in the Microsoft Support Diagnostics Tool (MSDT), a service built into Windows. Here are all the details

Like every second Tuesday of the month (in America), also for August 2022 Microsoft has published Patch Tuesday to fix 121 vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and related software.

Once again, a zero-day vulnerability has been corrected in the Microsoft Support Diagnostics Tool (MSDT), a service integrated into Windows that had already been exposed in the past due to the Follina bug, which was then corrected with Patch Tuesday in June 2022.

Of the 121 vulnerabilities, 17 were classified as critical (i.e. they can be exploited to compromise a Windows PC remotely with limited or no user interaction), 102 as important, one with moderate severity, and finally one with a low severity level.

In particular, the vulnerabilities are classified as follows:

  • 64 are of the EoP (Elevation of Privilege) type;
  • 6 allow the safety functions to be bypassed;
  • 31 are of the RCE (Remote Code Execution) type;
  • 12 of type ID (Information Disclosure);
  • 7 Denial of Service type;
  • 1 spoofing type.

Full details on the cumulative update package are available on the official Microsoft page.

The details of the zero-day vulnerability

The most serious of the vulnerabilities fixed on Patch Tuesday in August 2022 is CVE-2022-34713 (which achieved a CVSS score of 7.8 out of 10).

This is a remote code execution problem that, as we said, affects the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) service, making it the second flaw in the same component after Follina (traced as CVE-2022-30190) to be armed in actual attacks within three months.

From the first technical analysis, the vulnerability appears to be a variant of the flaw publicly known as DogWalk, originally revealed by security researcher Imre Rad in January 2020.

As stated in the related security bulletin published by Microsoft, exploitation of the vulnerability requires a user to open a file specially created and sent to the victim, for example via a phishing e-mail.

In an alternate attack scenario, however, the attacker could exploit an already compromised website containing a malicious file designed to exploit the vulnerability and then trick potential targets into clicking a link in an email or an instant message to open the document.

The exploitation of the vulnerability, therefore, takes place through an attack vector, that of malicious documents and links, which is very common and this once again underlines the need to update and train employees to recognize and prevent this cyber attack methodology.

The other bugs fixed with Patch Tuesday of August 2022

Microsoft also fixed three privilege escalation vulnerabilities in Exchange Server with Patch Tuesday in August 2022: CVE-2022-21980, CVE-2022-24477, and CVE-2022-24516.

If exploited, they would have allowed an attacker to read targeted emails and download attachments.

Also in Exchange Server, an information disclosure vulnerability traced as CVE-2022-30134 and already publicly known before the patch was released, has also been fixed. At the moment, however, there is no news of its exploitation in real attacks.

Microsoft updates August 2022: how to install them

In light of the analysis of the critical vulnerabilities corrected by Patch Tuesday of August 2022, it is important to update your systems as soon as possible in order not to expose them to a high risk of cyber attack.

As we know, Windows is already configured to periodically check for critical and important updates, so there is no need to manually check. When an update is available, it is automatically downloaded and installed, keeping your device up to date with the latest security features and enhancements.

To immediately check the availability of Microsoft updates for August 2022, in Windows 10 simply click on the Start button, then go to the Settings / Update and security / Windows Update section and select Check for updates .

In Windows 11, on the other hand, simply click on the Start button, select Settings / Windows Update, click on Check for updates and proceed, if necessary, with the installation of the patches.

In all other recent versions of Windows, however, it is advisable to enable the Windows Update service from the Control Panel and configure it to automatically download and install updates released by Microsoft for both the operating system and individual applications.

The advice is to back up your system or at least your most important files and folders before applying any of the updates in the newly released cumulative package.

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