20 November 2014

Alert Priority High

Businesses are advised that Microsoft has released an update to address a critical vulnerability affecting a component found in all versions of Windows Server.

Businesses should ensure they install security updates regularly to minimise the risk of attackers gaining access to their systems.

The vulnerability could enable anyone with a regular user account to gain administrator privileges for any computer on the network. This could allow them to install or update software, change security policies, view, add or delete data, or create new accounts.

Microsoft said it was aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempted to exploit the vulnerability, which affects Microsoft server operating systems such as Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

The company’s security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting a weakness in the way user identities are authenticated.

Microsoft also releases the same update for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, even though no known vulnerability exists for these products.

More information

More information is available here.

Stay Smart Online also has information about securing your business systems on our website.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.

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Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.

Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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