Security Update for Windows Shell to Address Remote Code Execution (MS15-109)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2015-126
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Subject: 
Security Update for Windows Shell to Address Remote Code Execution (MS15-109)
Overview: 

Vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft Windows, which could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows RT and RT 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 - Server Core Installation
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 - Server Core Installation
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 - Server Core Installation
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 - Server Core Installation
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
High
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
High
Home Users: 
High
Description: 

Vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Windows that could allow remote code execution if the user opens a specially crafted toolbar object in Windows or visits a specially crafted website. An attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Actions: 
  • Apply appropriate patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.