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Microsoft fixes Windows zero-day flaw exploited by hackers

Microsoft

Microsoft has released a fix for ‘Folina’. Folina is a zero-day vulnerability in Windows was exploited by state-backed hackers through poisoned Word documents. A zero-day is a computer-software vulnerability previously unknown to those who should be interested in its mitigation, like the vendor of the target software. Until the vulnerability is mitigated, hackers can exploit it to adversely affect programs, data, additional computers or a network.

The document used a remote template feature in Word to retrieve an HTML file from a remote web server. The file then used Microsoft’s ms-msdt MSProtocol URI Schemeto load more code on the target system and executed some Powershell commands. Situation was worsened when the document didn’t even have to be opened to execute its payload. It will run even if the document is displayed in the preview tab of windows explorer.

Microsoft fixes the flaw

The Follina zero-day was initially flagged to Microsoft on April 12. However, a security researcher who goes by the handle Crazyman and was credited with first reporting the vulnerability said in a tweet that Microsoft initially tagged the flaw as not a “security-related issue”.

There was substantial speculation leading up to Patch Tuesday about whether Microsoft would be releasing patches given Microsoft’s early dismissal of the flaw and its widespread exploitation in the weeks since its public disclosure. Tenable, a cybersecurity firm, discovered and disclosed two vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Analytics, one of which has been patched and one which has not. Neither of these vulnerabilities were assigned CVE numbers or documented in Microsoft’s security update guide for June. In addition to mitigating Follina, Microsoft fixed three “critical” remote code execution (RCE) flaws. However, none of these have yet been actively exploited.

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