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Tech Alert Briefing for 4/20/2007

April 20, 2007
Update covering April 13 - April 19, 2007

Welcome to Tech Talk! In this week's edition of Tech Talk, BOL Guru Jeff Patterson warns about the return of the Storm email worm.


Jeff Patterson,
BOL GURUYou'll also learn about:

  • A major internet server security gap,
  • Attempts to exploit that vulnerability,
  • More problems with a Microsoft patch,
  • Another look at ATM skimming scams,
  • Details on Oracle's patch release,
  • This week's Apple update,
  • RIM's Blackberry service outage; and,
  • US-CERT's latest list of security vulnerabilities.

Get the details below.

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Gartner's "FFIEC Guidance Drives Online U.S. Banking Security Upgrades" report finds that "two-thirds of 50 U.S. banks surveyed met the year-end 2006 deadline."

The Gartner report, made available by SecureWorks, includes financial institution security spending, what solutions were implemented, status on implementations across the industry and numbers of breaches and disclosures. Click here to view the report.
Return of Storm Worm
We warned about a virulent email worm dubbed "Storm" early this year. CNET warns that the Storm worm is back, and more dangerous than ever.The latest Storm worm variant arrives in an email consisting of an image, and includes a password-protected ZIP file. Opening the attachment unleashes more trouble than found in Pandora's Box. Old wisdom still rings true: Avoid opening email attachments -- especially ZIP files -- unless you know the sender and what the attachment is.

Microsoft Reveals Major Server Gap
The big vulnerability announcement of the week is a gaping hole in Microsoft's DNS Server service that can allow remote code execution.The flaw is in the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) interface.With tens of thousands of servers running the DNS Server service, this flaw is rated as highly critical.Read the advisory and ensure that you are taking all necessary precautions.

Seizing the Moment
Almost immediately after the Windows DNS Server flaw was announced, the Internet saw a sizable spike in port scans against the vulnerable TCP port 1025.CSOOnline has additional details on this dramatic increase in malicious internet activity. Microsoft's latest security blog entry lists four known attacks that exploit the DNS Server vulnerability and mentions another TCP port (139) that should be blocked for the workarounds to be effective.

Cursing the Cursors -- Again
Additional issues have cropped up with the out-of-cycle patch released by Microsoft earlier this month to fix the much-publicized animated cursor vulnerability.Windows XP and 2000 computers printing to a limited number of printers may reboot after the patch is installed.Computers printing form Microsoft's SQL Reporting Service to PCL printers may also report errors.Learn about the issue from Microsoft.

Another Look at an Old Scam
Security Fix has an interesting post with a picture on how criminals are using skimmers and cameras at ATMs to steal your customers' money.Stolen card details and PIN numbers are sold on a thriving internet black market for ID thieves. Have you checked all of your ATMs recently?

Time to Patch Oracle Offerings
Oracle's quarterly patch release includes fixes for thirty-seven security flaws.The flaws affect their entire suite of products and include nine critical vulnerabilities.InformationWeek has additional details on the release.

Apple Update Plugs OS X Gaps
Apple released another major security update this week.The release includes fixes for about twenty flaws in OS X.Several of the vulnerabilities are critical and could allow for remote code execution.CSOOnline has more information on the update.

Blackberry Glitch Leaves Users Blue
Blackberry users experienced access issues from late Tuesday until early Wednesday morning.Research in Motion says that a new system routine is to blame for the outage that left millions of users without access to email.Read the full story on CNet and review your business continuity plan to ensure your mobile users can stay productive in the event of a service provider outage.

141 Make US-CERT Weekly List
The US-CERT Vulnerability Summary for the Week of April 9, 2007, lists sixty-two High, thirty-six Medium and forty-three Low severity vulnerabilities. Gaps were announced in multiple Microsoft and SAP products, Adobe ColdFusion, AOL, Apache's HTTP Server, Apple's AirPort Extreme driver, HP-UX, IBM's Lotus Notes, Tivoli, and WebSphere applications, Mozilla Firefox, and the Linux Kernel.


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First published on 04/19/2007

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