Microsoft reports 73 security vulnerabilities in Patch Tuesday – Feb 2024

Microsoft has released security updates for multiple operating system platforms under February month’s ‘Patch Tuesday’ initiative. We share details of the security vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft has released information about 73 security vulnerabilities affecting various products and software.
  • 2 zero-day threats are being actively exploited by threat actors. The details of these vulnerabilities are shared below.
  • 5 CRITICAL security vulnerabilities have been reported in the latest Microsoft security reports. Information about the 5 CRITICAL vulnerabilities is listed below.
  • CVE-2024-21351 is a zero-day threat. It affects the Windows SmartScreen and is a Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability.
  • The CVSS score is 7.6.
  • The severity of this vulnerability is ‘IMPORTANT’.

This security vulnerability affects the following Windows versions:

  • Windows 10 all versions
  • Windows 11 all versions
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2022

The threat is patched in the latest security updates for the aforementioned Windows versions.

When you download a file from the internet, Windows adds the zone identifier or Mark of the Web as an NTFS stream to the file. So, when you run the file, Windows SmartScreen checks if there is a zone identifier Alternate Data Stream (ADS) attached to the file. If the ADS indicates ZoneId=3 which means that the file was downloaded from the internet, the SmartScreen does a reputation check.

An authorized attacker must send the user a malicious file and convince the user to open it. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could bypass the SmartScreen user experience.

  • CVE-2024-21412 is a zero-day threat affecting Internet Shortcut Files. It could lead to the Security Feature Bypass impact.
  • This vulnerability has a CVSS score of 8.1
  • The severity is IMPORTANT.

An unauthenticated attacker could send the targeted user a specially crafted file that is designed to bypass displayed security checks. However, the attacker would have no way to force a user to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, the attacker would have to convince them to take action by clicking on the file link.

This security vulnerability affects the following Windows versions:

  • Windows 10 all versions
  • Windows 11 all versions
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2022

The following CRITICAL security vulnerabilities have been reported by Microsoft:

  • CVE-2024-21380 with a CVSS score of 7.8 affects Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 2023 Release Wave 2. It could lead to Information Disclosure.
  • CVE-2024-21410 with a CVSS score of 9.8 affects Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 Cumulative Update 14. It could lead to the Elevation of Privilege attacks.
  • CVE-2024-21357 with a CVSS score of 7.5 affects Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation). An Extended security update has been released to resolve the threat. This vulnerability could lead to Remote Code Execution attacks.
  • CVE-2024-20684 with a CVSS score of 6.5 affects Windows Server 2022, 23H2 Edition (Server Core installation). It could lead to ‘Denial of Service’ attacks.
  • CVE-2024-21413 with a CVSS score of 9.8 affects Microsoft Office 2016 (64-bit edition). It could lead to Remote Code Execution attacks.

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.