Microsoft December 2022 Patch Tuesday fixes 2 zero-days, 49 flaws
Today is Microsoft’s December 2022 Patch Tuesday, and with it comes fixes for two zero-day vulnerabilities, including an actively exploited bug, and a total of 49 flaws.
Six of the 49 vulnerabilities fixed in today’s update are classified as ‘Critical’ as they allow remote code execution, one of the most severe types of vulnerabilities.
The number of bugs in each vulnerability category is listed below:
- 19 Elevation of Privilege Vulnerabilities
- 2 Security Feature Bypass Vulnerabilities
- 23 Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities
- 3 Information Disclosure Vulnerabilities
- 3 Denial of Service Vulnerabilities
- 1 Spoofing Vulnerability
The above counts do not include twenty-five Microsoft Edge vulnerabilities previously fixed on December 5th.
Two zero-days fixed
This month’s Patch Tuesday fixes two zero-day vulnerabilities, one actively exploited and the other publicly disclosed.
Microsoft classifies a vulnerability as a zero-day if it is publicly disclosed or actively exploited with no official fix available.
The actively exploited and publicly disclosed zero-day vulnerability fixed in today’s updates are:
CVE-2022-44698 – Windows SmartScreen Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability discovered by Will Dormann.
“An attacker can craft a malicious file that would evade Mark of the Web (MOTW) defenses, resulting in a limited loss of integrity and availability of security features such as Protected View in Microsoft Office, which rely on MOTW tagging.”
When signed in this manner, it would cause SmartCheck to error out and not display a Mark of the Web security warnings, allowing the malicious scripts to run and install the malware automatically.
Threat actors actively exploited this flaw in numerous malware distribution campaigns, including ones spreading the QBot trojan and Magniber Ransomware.
The other publicly disclosed vulnerability is:
CVE-2022-44710 – DirectX Graphics Kernel Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability discovered by Luka Pribanić.
“Successful exploitation of this vulnerability requires an attacker to win a race condition. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain SYSTEM privileges.”
Recent updates from other companies
Other vendors who released updates in December 2022 include:
- Cisco released security updates for Cisco IP Phone 7800 and 8800 phones.
- Citrix released security updates for a ‘Critical’ and actively exploited RCE flaw in Citrix ADA and Gateway.
- Fortinet released security updates for an actively exploits SSL-VPN vulnerability in FortiOS.
- Google released Android’s December security updates.
- SAP has released its December 2022 Patch Day updates.
The December 2022 Patch Tuesday Security Updates
Below is the complete list of resolved vulnerabilities and released advisories in the December 2022 Patch Tuesday updates. To access the full description of each vulnerability and the systems that it affects, you can view the full report here.