It’s a brand new year and this January has been an interesting one. On the technology front, CES brought us a glimpse of some fascinating new consumer products – personal assistants, robots, drones, new cameras and phones and a big focus on the Internet of Things.

When we IT pros – especially those who specialize in security – think about IoT, though, our first thoughts are about the software running all those connected “smart things,” the vulnerabilities that are sure to be lurking therein, and whether and how we’ll be able to keep them all patched and prevent them from posing a major threat to our networks.

But that’s a problem for another day and a different blog post. Luckily, unlike some of the startups making these exciting new IoT devices, the venerable software vendors who produce the computer and mobile operating systems and applications we’ve been relying upon for years are very cognizant of the importance of security.

Let’s take a look at some of the updates they’ve issued in this first month of 2017:

Apple

In case you thought Apple’s release of seven major updates in December portended a light load for January, think again. This month we’ve already seen a whopping nine updates out of Cupertino, but interestingly none of those is an update for their Yosemite or El Capitan desktop operating systems; only the new macOS Sierra gets updated.

On December 5, Apple released an update for Transporter running on iTunes Producer, OS X v10.6 and later, Windows 7 and later and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Transporter is Apple’s Java-based command-line tool to validate metadata and assets and deliver them directly to iTunes. This update fixes an information disclosure vulnerability by correcting the parsing of EPUB.

On January 18, Apple released the following updates:

  • Logic Pro X 10.3 for OS X Yosemite and later. Logic Pro X is Apple’s “professional” advanced recording studio software. The update fixes a single memory corruption vulnerability that could lead to remote code execution.
  • GarageBand 10.1.15 for OS X Yosemite and later. GarageBand is Apple’s entry-level music creation studio applications. The update addresses the same memory corruption issue mentioned above.

On January 23, Apple released the following updates:

  • watchOS 3.1.3 for all models of Apple Watch. The update addresses thirty-four vulnerabilities, many of them in the OS kernel. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.
  • tvOS 10.1.1 for Apple TV 4th The update addresses eleven vulnerabilities, most of them in the WebKit component. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.
  • iOS 10.2.1 for iPhone 5 and above, iPad gen 4 and above, and iPod Touch gen 6 and above. The update addresses eighteen vulnerabilities, most of them in the WebKit component. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.
  • macOS Sierra 10.12.3 for Mac desktop and laptop computers. The update addresses eleven vulnerabilities, seven of which can potentially be exploited to accomplish code execution.
  • iCloud for Windows 6.1.1 for Windows 7 and above. This is Apple’s client for connecting Windows computers to their cloud file storage service. The update addresses four vulnerabilities in the WebKit component. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.
  • Safari 10.03 for OS X Yosemite, El Capitan and macOS Sierra. The update addresses twelve vulnerabilities in the WebKit component. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.
  • iTunes 12.5.5 for Windows for Windows 7 and above. The update addresses four vulnerabilities in the WebKit component. The most serious include memory corruption issues that could be exploited to accomplish remote code execution.

For more information about these and the previously issued patches and the vulnerabilities that they address, see the Apple Support web site at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222

Adobe

Adobe served up nine updates in December, but this month fell back to a more typical release of three patches, only one of which was issued on their regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday.

APSB17-01, the first Adobe patch of the year, was released prior to Patch Tuesday, on January 5. It’s an update for Acrobat and Reader running on Windows and Mac OS that addresses thirty-two vulnerabilities, including many critical memory corruption, buffer overflow, use-after-free and type confusion issues that could lead to code execution. It’s assigned a priority rating of 2.

APSB17-02 was released on Patch Tuesday (January 10) and is an update for Adobe Flash Player on Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome OS. It addresses thirteen vulnerabilities, including memory corruption, heap buffer overflow and use-after-free vulnerabilities that could be exploit to accomplish code execution, as well as a security bypass that could result in information disclosure. It’s assigned a priority rating of 1 on all except Flash Player for Linux, which has a rating of 3.

APSB17-03 was released on January 19 and is an update for the Adobe Acrobat extension for the Chrome web browser on Windows. It addresses a cross-site scripting issue that could lead to javascript execution.

For more information about these vulnerabilities and updates, see Adobe’s Security Bulletins and Advisories web site at https://helpx.adobe.com/security.html or see the individual bulletins linked in each bullet point above.

Google

Chrome v. 56.0.2924.76 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux was released by Google on January 25. It contains fifty-one security fixes, including a number rated high severity. The issues span the gamut from heap overflow, UI spoofing, content security policy bypass, type confusion, address spoofing, use-after-free and more. https://chromereleases.googleblog.com/2017/01/stable-channel-update-for-desktop.html

A security update for Android was released by Google on January 4, which patches ninety vulnerabilities, including twenty-nine issues that are rated critical, some of which can lead to remote code execution. The mediaserver component, Qualcomm components and NVIDIA drivers all had vulnerabilities that were patched by this fix, along with some Linux kernel issues. http://www.eweek.com/security/google-patches-android-for-90-vulnerabilities-in-january-update.html

Oracle

Oracle normally releases security updates on a quarterly cycle, in January, April, July and October.  This month they released a collection of patches (Critical Patch Update) that address two hundred and seventy security issues across a wide range of product families. Affected products include Oracle Database Server, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Industry Applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Sun Products, Oracle Java SE, and Oracle MySQL.

For more information about previously released patches, see Oracle’s Update Advisory at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/security-advisory/cpujan2017-2881727.html

Mozilla

Advisory 2017-01 for Firefox was released by Mozilla on January 24. It addresses six critical issues, six more of high impact, ten rated moderate, and three low impact for a total of twenty-five. These include memory corruption issues, ASLR and DEP bypass, use-after-free issues, pointer and frame data leakage of Javascript objects, information disclosure, a denial-of-service exploit and more.

For more information about those vulnerabilities and fixes, and to check for new version releases, see Mozilla’s web site at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2017-01/

Linux

Popular Linux distros, as usual, have seen a number of security advisories and updates this month. As of the date of this writing, January 27, Ubuntu has issued twenty-one security notices this month, which is somewhat fewer than usual. Many of these address multiple vulnerabilities and in some cases there are multiple advisories for the same vulnerabilities. Other commercial Linux vendors issued a similar number of updates. Here are the Ubuntu security advisories for January:

  • USN-3178-1: icoutils vulnerabilities – 24th January 2017. It was discovered that icoutils incorrectly handled memory when processing certain files. If a user or automated system were tricked into opening a specially crafted file, an attacker could cause icoutils to crash, resulting in a denial of service, or possibly execute arbitrary code.
  • USN-3179-1: OpenJDK 8 vulnerabilities – 25th January 2017. Karthik Bhargavan and Gaetan Leurent discovered that the DES and Triple DES ciphers were vulnerable to birthday attacks. A remote attacker could possibly use this flaw to obtain clear text data from long encrypted sessions. This update moves those algorithms to the legacy algorithm set.
  • USN-3177-1: Tomcat vulnerabilities – 23rd January 2017. It was discovered that the Tomcat realm implementations incorrectly handled passwords when a username didn’t exist. A remote attacker could possibly use this issue to enumerate usernames. This issue only applied to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
  • USN-3176-1: PCSC-Lite vulnerability – 23rd January 2017. Peter Wu discovered that the PC/SC service did not correctly handle certain resources. A local attacker could use this issue to cause PC/SC to crash, resulting in a denial of service, or possibly execute arbitrary code with root privileges.
  • USN-3174-1: MySQL vulnerabilities – 19th January 2017. Multiple security issues were discovered in MySQL and this update includes new upstream MySQL versions to fix these issues. MySQL has been updated to 5.5.54 in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.10 have been updated to MySQL 5.7.17.
  • USN-3173-1: NVIDIA graphics drivers vulnerability – 17th January 2017. It was discovered that the NVIDIA graphics drivers contained a flaw in the kernel mode layer. A local attacker could use this issue to cause a denial of service.
  • USN-3172-1: Bind vulnerabilities – 12th January 2017. It was discovered that Bind incorrectly handled certain malformed responses to an ANY query. A remote attacker could possibly use this issue to cause Bind to crash, resulting in a denial of service. (CVE-2016-9131) It was discovered that Bind incorrectly handled certain malformed responses to an ANY query.
  • USN-3171-1: LibVNCServer vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017.Josef Gajdusek discovered that the LibVNCServer client library incorrectly handled certain FrameBufferUpdate messages. If a user were tricked into connecting to a malicious server, an attacker could use this issue to cause a denial of service, or possibly execute arbitrary code.
  • USN-3170-2: Linux kernel (Raspberry Pi 2) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Andrey Konovalov discovered that the ipv6 icmp implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly check data structures on send. A remote attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (system crash).
  • USN-3170-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment (CS) in certain error cases. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).
  • USN-3169-4: Linux kernel (Qualcomm Snapdragon) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Baozeng Ding discovered a race condition that could lead to a use-after- free in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) subsystem of the Linux kernel. A local attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (system crash).
  • USN-3169-3: Linux kernel (Raspberry Pi 2) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Baozeng Ding discovered a race condition that could lead to a use-after- free in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) subsystem of the Linux kernel. A local attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (system crash).
  • USN-3169-2: Linux kernel (Xenial HWE) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017.USN-3169-1 fixed vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. This update provides the corresponding updates for the Linux Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernel from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment.
  • USN-3169-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment (CS) in certain error cases. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).
  • USN-3168-2: Linux kernel (Trusty HWE) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. USN-3168-1 fixed vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This update provides the corresponding updates for the Linux Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernel from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment.
  • USN-3168-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment (CS) in certain error cases. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).
  • USN-3167-2: Linux kernel (OMAP4) vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment (CS) in certain error cases. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).
  • USN-3167-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities – 11th January 2017. Dmitry Vyukov discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly initialize the Code Segment (CS) in certain error cases. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information (kernel memory). Baozeng Ding discovered a race condition that could lead to a use-after- free.
  • USN-3166-1: WebKitGTK+ vulnerabilities – 10th January 2017. A large number of security issues were discovered in the WebKitGTK+ Web and JavaScript engines. If a user were tricked into viewing a malicious website, a remote attacker could exploit a variety of issues related to web browser security, including cross-site scripting attacks, denial of service attacks, and arbitrary code.
  • USN-3164-1: Exim vulnerability – 5th January 2017. Bjoern Jacke discovered that Exim incorrectly handled DKIM keys. In certain configurations, private DKIM signing keys could be leaked to the log files.
  • USN-3163-1: NSS vulnerabilities – 4th January 2017. It was discovered that NSS incorrectly handled certain invalid Diffie-Hellman keys. A remote attacker could possibly use this flaw to cause NSS to crash, resulting in a denial of service. This issue only applied to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.