Online Attackers Try To Exploit Unpatched Microsoft Bugs 

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Online Attackers Try To Exploit Unpatched Microsoft Bugs 

Online muggers have managed to identify two vulnerabilities in Microsoft and are using it to exploit unpatched systems.

The incident first came to notice after the security researchers at Varonis Threat Labs and Numen Cyber gave the company a heads-up. The issue pertains to the Win32k subsystem and the Visual Studio— both of which had been compromised in the past.

As of now, the attacks are only restricted to older Windows versions. Only the devices that run on Windows 11 are deemed safe.

Avast first highlighted it in a blog that explained the consequences of an attack on these vulnerabilities. Soon, Redmond issued fixes for both these vulnerabilities in April and May, respectively.

There hasn’t been much talk about the incident after that, and no one mentioned if their patches fixed the issue from the root. But considering the recent turn of events, it looks like it hasn’t been as effective on all devices.

A detailed report on the incident, along with pictures of the faulty codes, has been shared on Numen Cyber’s official website.

The privilege escalation Win32k.sys flaw that’s been recorded in CVE-2023-29336 is very severe. It has a CVS severity rating of 7.8 out of 10 and has already been heavily exploited by attackers.

It poses a significant risk to earlier systems. The exploitation of such vulnerabilities has a notorious track record.Researchers

If the mugger manages to compromise the system, they’ll have larger control over the device and gain certain system privileges that only the owner should have.

What Happens Now?

This time around, the case has been handed to Numen Cyber. Their analysts have already managed to figure out the main issue. In simple terms, they said that although Win32k locks a window object, it doesn’t do the same for a menu object embedded within it. So all that a hacker has to do is gain control over the menu object and link to other vulnerabilities to gain more privileges within the system.

Microsoft had made certain changes to the kernel code that managed to protect Windows 11 devices from the recent round of attacks. It’s expected that Numen analysts will use something similar to patch the earlier Windows versions.

Visual Studio Bug

The other concern is over a user interface bug in Visual Studio of Microsoft. Visual Studio is an integrated development environment used by many developers across the globe to create codes and programs for their websites, apps, and other digital products.

Visual Studio is the second most popular IDE in the industry, with a total market share of 26%.

However, this new bug is causing the developers to unknowingly add malicious links to their code which will, in turn, affect all the users who will use their website or app.

Just like the Win32k.sys flaw, this vulnerability is also a serious concern as it can hand over confidential user information to attackers. In the worst case, they might also gain complete control over the system.

This one flaw has put more than 30k users at risk. The company is yet to announce how they plan to handle this bug.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise