Third Party Start Menu Causes Problems in Windows 10 Creators Update

Nettie James
May 10, 2017

Most anticipated are concrete details and, frankly, new features regarding Redstone 3, the codename for Microsoft's autumn Windows 10 update.

Last week, Microsoft announced a new SKU of Windows called Windows 10 S and after pondering how this new version of the OS fits into Microsoft's overall roadmap for the platform, it seems logical to conclude company is finally going to go all-in on UWP with Windows for desktop users. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update (version 1511), Anniversary Update (version 1607), and Creators Update (version 1703).

In fact Tavis Ormandy, a vulnerability researcher at Google, said in a tweet "This is insane bad".

Tavis Ormandy, one of the Google Project Zero researchers who discovered the flaw, warned exploits were "wormable", meaning they could lead to a self-replicating chain of attacks that moved from vulnerable machine to vulnerable machine.

There is also a security update for Adobe Flash Player for Windows 10 Version 1703 (KB4020821) and the standard monthly release of the updated Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830).

According to a Microsoft security advisory published Monday, the vulnerability can be triggered when the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine scans a specially crafted file. If an attacker were able to successfully exploit the vulnerability, they could execute arbitrary code in the security context of the LocalSystem account and take control of the system.

Over the past year, Google has in addition released information on a number of Windows bugs before Microsoft had a patch ready, and a vulnerability which can automatically spread from PC to PC without user intervention would be particularly serious.

Microsoft has released an update to fix a vulnerability discovered in its MsMpEng malware protection engine used in Windows Defender, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, Microsoft Security Essentials, and more. "What an awesome response, thanks so much Simon and MSRC!" If you don't have 1.1.13704.0, go into Windows Update (Start Settings Update & security), then click Check for updates. The company has pledged to support an individual edition, such as 1507, for just 18 months, not the 10 years it provided for previous Windows editions.

The researchers said mpengine offers attackers a "vast and complex attack surface", with numerous components including executable packers an cryptors, system emulators and interpreters that are accessible remotely. This is as surprising as it sounds.

While Microsoft can be commended for hurrying out a fix for the bug, which thus far does not look to have been exploited out in the wild, it has been caught with a fairly embarrassing software flaw.

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