Addressing the Disclosed MDS Vulnerability for Azure VMs

A recently disclosed vulnerability affects many modern processors and operating systems including Intel, AMD, and ARM. Referred to as “speculative execution side-channel attacks,” this serious vulnerability can allow attackers to read privileged data across trust boundaries. Microsoft Azure platforms are fully protected and mitigation has already been deployed. However, customers managing their own VMs and virtual environments in Azure need to be aware that actions may need to be performed. Microsoft has supplied guidance for this scenario: Guidance for mitigating speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in Azure Customers that are running untrusted code within their VM need to take action to protect against these vulnerabilities by reading below for additional guidan...

Tip: Testing Your Security Hardening with an Office 365 Attack Simulation

Did you know that Microsoft provides and Attack Simulator for Office 365? If you are an Office 365 global administrator and your organization has Office 365 Threat Investigation and Response capabilities, you can use Attack Simulator to run realistic attack scenarios in your organization. This can help you identify and find vulnerable users before a real attack impacts your bottom line. There are three different simulations that can be run: Display name spear-phishing attack Password-spray attack Brute-force password attack See: Attack Simulator in Office 365

Microsoft News: March Updates for Office 365, Microsoft 365 Security and More

The Microsoft release cadence has become somewhat of a runaway train these days.  It’s near impossible to keep up with all the updates without help. Sometimes you need “just the facts”.  Microsoft is quite helpful in this regard and they sent us some news items (below).  In addition, they have their own blog site that is worth checking out to keep up with their cadence. One of the more exciting pieces of news revolves around the new features in Microsoft Teams.  One of the new features is the ability to replace your background during video chats.  You can put the company logo behind you or a cool picture or just blur the background.  Another new feature is support for an additional camera in Microsoft Teams Rooms so that you can show additional information (like analog wh...

Tip: Lockdown Creation of Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups

MVP, Anthony Caragol has put together a tool that provides the ability administrators to keep Teams and Office 365 Groups from being created except for those designated to do it. In this case, the tool can be used to lockdown creation to just a specific security group or to global and other admins. Download: Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Creation Lockdown Tool

Adaptive Network Hardening in Azure Security Center Now in Public Preview

Microsoft has now delivered adaptive network hardening capability into a public preview. What does it do? Adaptive Network Hardening uses intelligence to learn the network traffic and connectivity patterns of the Azure workloads and provide network security recommendations for rule configuration for your internet-facing virtual machines. To find this, in the Azure Portal go to Security Center select Networking and then Adaptive network hardening.

Microsoft Word Being Used as a Trojan Horse, Microsoft Says the Vulnerability Doesn’t Meet the Security Bar to Warrant a Fix

Mimecast Research Labs has identified a memory corruption problem with Microsoft Word in that attackers can use the exploit to bypass Windows antimalware security – and apparently, some are actively exploiting it now. Our detection engines spotted an attacker group, which seems to originate from Serbia, using specially-crafted Microsoft Word documents to take advantage of how Microsoft Word handles Integer Overflow errors in the OLE file format. The group was able to exploit this bug to circumvent many security solutions designed to protect data from infestation, including leading sandbox and anti-malware technologies. According to Mimecast, it notified Microsoft way back in May of 2018.  Two days later, Microsoft told Mimecast that the issue didn’t meet the security bar, so a ...

Adobe Chooses April 2019 to Euthanize Shockwave

Adobe’s web media helper apps have a long history of being problematic from a security perspective, needing constant patches and fixes to keep customers safe. So, it should come as no surprise that the company will end its Shockwave product soon. While it’s other popular media app, Flash, reaches its end of life in 2020, Shockwave will be retired next month. According to the company’s FAQ on the topic… Effective April 9, 2019, Adobe Shockwave will be discontinued and the Shockwave player for Windows will no longer be available for download. Retiring the Shockwave player for Windows is the last step in a multi-year process: Adobe Director, an authoring tool for Shockwave content, was discontinued on February 1, 2017 and the Shockwave player for macOS was discontinued...

With a Serious Exploit Being Actively Targeted Against Windows 7, Google Pushes Windows 10 Upgrades

Google recently patched a zero-day flaw in its Chrome web browser, but a second one that affects Windows 7 is still being actively exploited. Google relayed the information about the vulnerability to Microsoft, and the Windows company has responded directly to Google that a fix is in the works. Of course, there’s no timeline given, so Windows 7 users are vulnerable. Based on the vulnerability that only affects Windows 7, Google is providing this guidance: As mitigation advice for this vulnerability users should consider upgrading to Windows 10 if they are still running an older version of Windows and to apply Windows patches from Microsoft when they become available. We will update this post when they are available. Details: Disclosing vulnerabilities to protect users across platform...

Zero-Day: Leading Google Chrome Security Researcher Says Update Chrome Right Now

If there’s any reason to jump directly to updating any product due to a security flaw, the most compelling would be if the person that does the actual security research for the product told you so. In this case, that’s exactly what’s happened. Also, seriously, update your Chrome installs… like right this minute. #PSA — Justin Schuh 🗑 (@justinschuh) March 6, 2019 On March 1st, Google released a critical security update for Chrome. The update included a fix for a flaw that is being actively attacked. [$N/A][936448] High CVE-2019-5786: Use-after-free in FileReader. Reported by Clement Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group on 2019-02-27 Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2019-5786 exists in the wild.

Information Protection updates in Microsoft 365

Microsoft Information Protection is a family of complementary solutions to help you to discover, classify, protect and monitor your sensitive information, wherever it lives. Whether its on-premises, on devices, or in the Cloud.

Microsoft Introduces an Outsourced Security Service for Office 365 Customers

In addition to releasing it’s Azure-based AI threat investigation and reporting tool, Azure Sentinel, today Microsoft has also announced a new managed threat hunting service for Office 365 tenants. But, unlike Azure Sentinel which relies heavily on AI, this other service for Office 365 has a deeply human component. Called Microsoft Threat Experts, the service allows companies to partner with Microsoft security workers to head-off potentially damaging intrusions. This initial release offers the following two components (with more coming): Targeted attack notifications: Alerts that are tailored to organizations provide as much information as can be quickly delivered to bring attention to critical threats in their network, including the timeline, scope of the breach, and the methods of ...

Configuring Windows Server 2019 Open SSH Server to support Key Based Authentication

In this video, you will learn how to deploy and configure Open SSH Server on Windows Server 2019 as well as learn how to configure key based authentication.