A Vulnerability in Windows Shell Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (MS16-057)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2016-089
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Subject: 
A Vulnerability in Windows Shell Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (MS16-057)
Overview: 

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow for remote code execution if an attacker successfully convinces a user to browse to a specially crafted website that accepts user-provided online content, or convinces a user to open specially crafted content. Successful exploitation could result in the attacker gaining the same user rights 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. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Windows 10 
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

A vulnerability exists when Windows Shell improperly handles object in memory which could allow for arbitrary code execution.

Successful exploitation could result in the attacker gaining the same user rights 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. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, apply appropriate patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems.
  • 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 untrusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown or untrusted sources or suspicious emails from trusted sources.