Wednesday 11 March 2009

Patch Tuesday: March 2009

This month includes 3 patches, one rated Critical and the other rated as Important. These patches affect all operating systems from Windows 2000, XP through to VISTA and Windows 7 beta and will require all servers and desktops running these operating systems to be rebooted. The good news is that from an application compatibility perspective this is a minor update from Microsoft.

This will bring relief to IT departments after the February release.

Looking further at the March update, after loading the ChangeBASE AOK application testing portfolio into a Patch Impact database, all three patches were tested for application level issues and in addition, application dependencies. None of three patches (MS09-006, MS09-007, and MS09-008) raised significant numbers of application level or dependency level issues with the AOK Application Test portfolio.

Given the very low numbers of issues, the ChangeBASE AOK team recommends that these patches are rapidly deployed to a staging environment and then subsequently into Production. The ChangeBASE AOK team recommends that with all changes to an environment basic UAT testing is performed on all business critical applications. However, for these three March Microsoft Security updates, only marginal build level testing should be required.

Here is a sample report extract from one of the few applications in the AOK ChangeBASE Application Test Portfolio that raised a dependency level issue with the MS09-006 Security Update.

Testing Summary
  • MS09-006: Marginal Impact (both Package level and dependencies) detected across portfolio
  • MS09-007: Marginal Impact (both Package level and dependencies) detected across portfolio
  • MS09-008: Marginal Impact (both Package level and dependencies) detected across portfolio

Patch NameTotal
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-00627<1%YESCriticalCritical
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-0077<1%YESImportantImportant
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-00822<1%YESImportantImportant

No IssueNo Issues Detected
FixablePotentially fixable application Impact
SeriousSerious Compatibility Issue

c. 800 applications were tested against these patches using the ChangeBASE ACL (Application Compatibility Lab)

Security Update Detailed Summary
MS09-006Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958690)
DescriptionThis security update resolves several privately reported vulnerabilities in the Windows kernel. The most serious vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user viewed a specially crafted EMF or WMF image file from an affected system.
ImpactRemote Code Execution

MS09-007Vulnerability in SChannel Could Allow Spoofing (960225)
DescriptionThis security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Secure Channel (SChannel) security package in Windows. The vulnerability could allow spoofing if an attacker gains access to the certificate used by the end user for authentication. Customers are only affected when the public key component of the certificate used for authentication has been obtained by the attacker through other means.

MS09-008Vulnerabilities in DNS and WINS Server Could Allow Spoofing (962238)
DescriptionThis security update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities and two publicly disclosed vulnerabilities in Windows DNS server and Windows WINS server. These vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to redirect network traffic intended for systems on the Internet to the attacker's own systems.
PayloadAfd.sys, Dns.exe, Dnsperf.dll, Dnsperf.h, Dnsperf.ini, Msafd.dll, Sp3res.dll, Tcpip.sys

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