Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Gave Their All for Their Country

Vietnam Memorial Wall
April 30, 2005
Photograph by Luigi Masu

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who have died in the service of their country.  It is also a time when I remember a very special Canadian who likely knew more about U.S. politics and history than most U.S. citizens. Memorial Day 2007 was his last blog post, reading in part:
"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). For more history of Memorial Day visit Memorial Day History."

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Microsoft Security Bulletin Release for May, 2015

Microsoft released thirteen (13) bulletins.  Three (3) bulletins are identified as Critical and the remaining ten (10) are rated Important in severity.

The updates address vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Server Software and .NET Framework.  Details about the CVEs can be found in the below-referenced TechNet Security Bulletin.

For those who have had issues with .NET Framework updates, it is suggested that MS-041 be installed separately with a shut/down restart between other updates.

Also released was one new Security Advisory:
One Security Advisory was revised:

  • MS15-043 -- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3049563)
  • MS15-044 -- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Font Drivers Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3057110)
  • MS15-045-- Vulnerability in Windows Journal Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3046002) 
  • MS15-046 -- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3057181) 
  • MS15-047 -- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3058083) 
  • MS15-048 -- Vulnerabilities in .NET Framework Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3057134)
  • MS15-049 -- Vulnerability in Silverlight Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3058985)
  • MS15-050 -- Vulnerability in Service Control Manager Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3055642)
  • MS15-051 -- Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3057191) 
  • MS15-052 -- Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3050514)
  • MS15-053 -- Vulnerabilities in JScript and VBScript Scripting Engines Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3057263) 
  • MS15-054 -- Vulnerability in Microsoft Management Console File Format Could Allow Denial of Service (3051768) 
  • MS15-055 -- Vulnerability in Schannel Could Allow Information Disclosure (3061518) 

Additional Update Notes

  • MSRT -- Microsoft released an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services, and the Download Center. 

  • Internet Explorer -- For additional information about the blocking of out-of-date ActiveX controls see the TechNet article, Out-of-date ActiveX control blocking.  Additional changes introduced this month include the blocking of outdated Silverlight.  Additional information is available in the IE Blog.

  • Windows 8.x -- Non-security new features and improvements for Windows 8.1 are now included with the second Tuesday of the month updates.  Additional information about this change is available here.

  • Windows XP -- Although Microsoft has stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP, definitions will be available until July 15, 2015.  See Microsoft antimalware support for Windows XP.  The MSRT still works on Windows XP.


    Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
    May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

    Adobe Flash Player and AIR Security Updates

    Adobe Flashplayer

    Adobe has released Version of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for Windows and Macintosh.  Version information for Linux and the Extended Release is available in the Release Notes.

    These updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.  Details of the vulnerabilities are included in the below-referenced Security Bulletin.

    Release date: May 12, 2015
    Vulnerability identifier: APSB15-09

    CVE number: CVE-2015-3044, CVE-2015-3077, CVE-2015-3078, CVE-2015-3079, CVE-2015-3080, CVE-2015-3081, CVE-2015-3082, CVE-2015-3083, CVE-2015-3084, CVE-2015-3085, CVE-2015-3086, CVE-2015-3087, CVE-2015-3088, CVE-2015-3089, CVE-2015-3090, CVE-2015-3091, CVE-2015-3092, CVE-2015-3093
    Platform: All Platforms
    • Users of the Adobe Flash Player desktop runtime for Windows and Macintosh should update to Adobe Flash Player
    • Users of the Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release should update to Adobe Flash Player
    • Users of Adobe Flash Player for Linux should update to Adobe Flash Player
    • Adobe Flash Player installed with Google Chrome, as well as Internet Explorer on Windows 8.x, will automatically update to the current version.

    Flash Player Update Instructions

    It is recommended that you either use the auto-update mechanism within the product when prompted or the direct download links.  The problem with the auto-update mechanism is that it can take a few days to finally provide the update and up to a week if using the "Notify me to install updates" setting.

    Flash Player Auto-Update

    The update settings for Flash Player versions 10.3 and above can found in the Advanced tab of the Flash Player Settings Manager.  The locations are as follows:
    • Windows: click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Flash Player
    • Macintosh: System Preferences (under Other) click Flash Player
    • Linux Gnome: System > Preferences > Adobe Flash Player
    • Linux KDE: System Settings > Adobe Flash Player
    Also note that the Flash Player Settings Manager is where to manage local settings.

    Flash Player Direct Download Links

    Warning:  Although Adobe suggests downloading the update from the Adobe Flash Player Download Center, that link includes a pre-checked option to install unnecessary extras, such as McAfee Scan Plus or Google Drive.  If you use the download center, uncheck any unnecessary extras.

      • If you use the Adobe Flash Player Download Center, be careful to uncheck any optional downloads that you do not want.  Any pre-checked option is not needed for the Flash Player update.
      • Uncheck any toolbar offered with Adobe products if not wanted.
      • If you use alternate browsers, it is necessary to install the update for both Internet Explorer as well as the update for alternate browsers.
      • The separate 32-bit and 64-bit uninstallers have been replaced with a single uninstaller.
      • Users of the Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release should update to Adobe Flash Player
      Adobe Flash Player for Android

      The latest version for Adobe Flash Player for Android is available by downloading it from the Android Marketplace by browsing to it on a mobile phone.   

      Verify Installation

      To verify the Adobe Flash Player version number installed on your computer, go to the About Flash Player page, or right-click on content running in Flash Player and select "About Adobe Flash Player" from the menu. 

      Do this for each browser installed on your computer.

      To verify the version of Adobe Flash Player for Android, go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Adobe Flash Player x.x.


      Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
      May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

      Adobe Reader Critical Security Updates Released

      Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.10) and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh.  The updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take over the affected system. 

      Release date: May 12, 2015
      Vulnerability identifier: APSB15-10
      Priority: See table below
      CVE Numbers: CVE-2014-8452, CVE-2014-9160, CVE-2014-9161, CVE-2015-3046, CVE-2015-3047, CVE-2015-3048, CVE-2015-3049, CVE-2015-3050, CVE-2015-3051, CVE-2015-3052, CVE-2015-3053, CVE-2015-3054, CVE-2015-3055, CVE-2015-3056, CVE-2015-3057, CVE-2015-3058, CVE-2015-3059, CVE-2015-3060, CVE-2015-3061, CVE-2015-3062, CVE-2015-3063, CVE-2015-3064, CVE-2015-3065, CVE-2015-3066, CVE-2015-3067, CVE-2015-3068, CVE-2015-3069, CVE-2015-3070, CVE-2015-3071, CVE-2015-3072, CVE-2015-3073, CVE-2015-3074, CVE-2015-3075, CVE-2015-3076
      Platform: Windows and Macintosh

      Update or Complete Download

      Update checks can be manually activated by choosing Help > Check for Updates.
        Note: UNcheck any pre-checked additional options presented with the update. They are not part of the software update and are completely optional.

        Windows XP

        If you are still using Windows XP and have Adobe Reader installed, please note that there will be no additional security updates for it.  I suggest uninstalling it and install an alternate reader.  Personally, I like Sumatra PDF.  It isn't a target and doesn't include unwanted extras with the install or updates.  (See Replacing Adobe Reader with Sumatra PDF.)  Adobe Reference:  End of support | Acrobat and Reader for Windows XP

        Enable "Protected View"

        Due to frequent vulnerabilities, it is recommended that Windows users of Adobe Reader and Acrobat ensure that Protected View is enabled.  Neither the Protected Mode or Protected View option is available for Macintosh users.

        To enable this setting, do the following:
        • Click Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) menu. 
        • Change the "Off" setting to "All Files".
        • Ensure the "Enable Enhanced Security" box is checked. 

        Adobe Protected View
        Image via Sophos Naked Security Blog
        If you are looking for a replacement for Adobe Reader, consider Replacing Adobe Reader with Sumatra PDF.


        Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
        May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

        Mozilla Firefox Version 38.0 Released with Security Updates

        Mozilla sent Version 38.0 to the release channel.  The update includes five (5) critical, five (5) high, two (two) moderate and one (1) low security updates.

        Fixed in Firefox 38

        • 2015-58 -- Mozilla Windows updater can be run outside of application directory
        • 2015-57 -- Privilege escalation through IPC channel messages
        • 2015-56 -- Untrusted site hosting trusted page can intercept webchannel responses
        • 2015-55 -- Buffer overflow and out-of-bounds read while parsing MP4 video metadata
        • 2015-54 -- Buffer overflow when parsing compressed XML
        • 2015-53 -- -- Use-after-free due to Media Decoder Thread creation during shutdown
        • 2015-52 -- Sensitive URL encoded information written to Android logcat
        • 2015-51 -- Use-after-free during text processing with vertical text enabled
        • 2015-50 -- Out-of-bounds read and write in asm.js validation
        • 2015-49 -- Referrer policy ignored when links opened by middle-click and context menu
        • 2015-48 -- Buffer overflow with SVG content and CSS
        • 2015-47 -- Buffer overflow parsing H.264 video with Linux Gstreamer
        • 2015-46 -- Miscellaneous memory safety hazards (rv:38.0 / rv:31.7)

        What’s New

        • New -- New tab-based preferences
        • New -- Ruby annotation support
        • New --  Base for the next ESR release.
        • Changed --  autocomplete=off is no longer supported for username/password fields
        • Changed -- URL parser avoids doing percent encoding when setting the Fragment part of the URL, and percent decoding when getting the Fragment in line with the URL spec
        • Changed -- RegExp.prototype.source now returns "(?:)" instead of the empty string for empty regular expressions
        • Changed -- Improved page load times via speculative connection warmup
        • See the Release Notes for HTML5 and Developer updates.

        Known Issues

        • unresolved -- Responsive images do not update when the enclosing viewport changes


        To get the update now, select "Help" from the Firefox menu at the upper left of the browser window, then pick "About Firefox."  Mac users need to select "About Firefox" from the Firefox menu. If you do not use the English language version, Fully Localized Versions are available for download.


        Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
        May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

        Friday, May 08, 2015

        Pale Moon Versaion 25.4 Released

        Pale Moon
        Pale Moon has been updated to version 25.4.  This is a major update which numerous fixes/changes as well as security updates.

        IMPORTANT: If you use a language pack, make sure to update it to the latest version!  Although automatic updates are enabled for language packs, double-check that the version matches. If you are using an older language pack with this version of the browser, some dialog boxes may come up blank.

        Update:  Version 25.4.1 was released to address two minor but important bug fixes.

        Security fixes:
        • Fixed several memory safety hazards (UAF/DF/UU); applicable bugs covered by CVE-2015-0815 and CVE-2015-0815.
        • Fixed CVE-2015-0811 [qcms] heap info leak.
        • Fixed CVE-2015-0810 clickjacking attacks via a Flash object in conjunction with DIV elements.
        • Fixed CVE-2015-0801 a variant of CVE-2015-0818.
        • Fixed CVE-2015-0800 improve randomness of DNS resolver queries on Android.
        • Fixed CVE-2015-0798 access to privileged URLs through about: redirector.

        Listed below is just a small portion of the fixes and changes to this release.  For the complete list, including many Android, Linux changes, see the Release Notes
        • Added a new "mixed-mode" state for HTTPS connections. Clarified mixed-mode connections with a mixed-mode padlock and better tooltips.
        • Added a conditional partial shading to the URL bar and made it default (shading only on secure sites, no red shading at all by default).
        •  Added native IPv6 lookups to NSPR to solve IPv6-only and dual-stack setups in some situations
        • Added a pref to control the unloading of idle plugins from memory and lowered the default "idle" time to 60 seconds before plugins are unloaded\
        • Added fix to prevent spurious re-paints with plugins (performance/UX improvement)
        • Added display of HTTPS protocol (SSL/TLS) to the page info window (thanks Travis!)
        • Updated SQLite from 3.7.17 to v3.8.8.3, improving history/bookmark/etc. performance by up to 50% depending on operation
        • Windows: Set the double-click/Ctrl+arrow word selection to not eat the space (only select the actual word)
        • Updated a number of trusted root certificates, and distrusted the CNNIC root certificate by popular demand
        • Removed the plugin check link from the Addons Manager, since it's no longer reliable and not officially available for browsers except Mozilla Firefox. (Bonus: no user profiling/tracking through optimizely!)
        • Optimized the NSS callback for secure connections
        • Updated the domains that are whitelisted for installation of extensions/themes/personas, streamlining the use of
        • Improved certificate display: Removed MD5 and added SHA256 fingerprint, and made them selectable/copyable
        • Updated classification of secure connections: Classify any encryption with less than 128 bits or including RC4 (if manually enabled, see previous version notes) as weak.
        • Fixed an NVIDIA specific GLX server vendor bug for pixmap depth and fbConfig depth
        • Removed most telemetry code, reducing code complexity and wasted CPU
        • Made DNS caching a lot less aggressive to align the browser's behavior with the dynamic nature of the modern web.
        • Removed Mozilla-specific parameters for searches. Search suggestions should now work again for Google searches.
        • Fixed the "double padlock while loading a secure site" niggle in the UI

          Minimum system Requirements (Windows):
          • Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Server 2008 or later
          • A processor with SSE2 support
          • 256 MB of free RAM (512 MB or more recommended)
          • At least 150 MB of free (uncompressed) disk space
          Pale Moon includes both 32- and 64-bit versions for Windows:
          Other versions:


            To get the update now, select "Help" from the Pale Moon menu at the upper left of the browser window.  Select About Pale Moon > Check for Updates.

            Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
            May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...