10 August 2005
I ran across SANS Institute’s TOP TWENTY SECURITY FLAW list for the second quarter of 2005 and thought that it brought to light some good information. SANS releases these lists so that organizations and users can check the status of their systems to ensure all security holes or flaws are patched. The top twenty is really two smaller lists of ten. The two lists that I speak of are Windows flaws, and Linux/Unix flaws—since we don’t talk about Linux I’m just going to mention the Windows flaws. The list of Windows flaws isn’t restricted to Windows products, but also 3rd party applications that work with the Operating System.
So far in 2005 we have seen the normal slew of Microsoft exploits, for instance, MSN Messenger had a vulnerability with .png file types. Of course you have Internet Explorer that can’t seem to keep out of the news with it’s steady stream of exploits.
Besides Microsoft, however, there were a lot of not so familiar faces. Symantec along with competitors F-Secure, Trend-Micro and McAfee, all had Buffer Overflow bugs that allowed attackers to remotely take control of your system and were taken advantage of. Other programs that made the list were popular media players and components such as iTunes, Real Player, Winamp, and Windows Media Player. FireFox, Mozilla’s web browser, saw its share of security holes this quarter, which would be quite apparent given all the patches  put out for the browser in the past three months. Even one of the Internet’s major components, DNS (Domain Naming Service had ) had an exploit surface early in ’05.
There is certain criteria for making the top ten of a SANS Security list. Areas taken into consideration are things such as: how damaging was the security hole, how long on average do the systems stay compromised allowing attackers to take control of your PC, and all kinds of good stuff like that. There were 600 potential exploits in the the running and that’s just for the first Quarter. So, keep in mind that you should really get used to updating not just Windows, but every application in your system. Updating is the only way to know if you have all the patches for a product, which in turn makes your system more secure.
Stay safe out there,
For the complete report, check this out…