Major Windows 7 zero-day discovered, enables privilege escalation in combination with...

William Gayde

TS Addict
Staff member

Security researchers at Google and Microsoft have observed attackers using a combination of a patched Chrome vulnerability and an unpatched Windows vulnerability to take advantage of Windows 7 systems. The announcement of the issue comes as part of their responsible vulnerability disclosure policy.

The Windows bug is a null pointer dereference in the win32k.sys kernel driver, while the Chrome bug is a use-after-free in the FileReader component. Both of these bugs deal with accessing memory that should not be accessed by the user.

Most modern web browsers use a "sandbox" to help protect against online attacks. This is similar to a virtual environment that websites and their associated code run in. These sandboxes are supposed to ensure that untrusted code can't get out and access system resources, but combining these two bugs allows for just that. Once code has broken out of the sandbox, it can access sensitive parts of the operating system and users' files.

Google patched this vulnerability last Friday, but unlike most updates which take effect immediately, this patch requires a manual restart by the user. The Windows vulnerability has yet to be patched but Microsoft believes it only affects Windows 7 32-bit systems. In the meantime, Microsoft is recommending that all users still running Windows 7 should upgrade to Windows 10.

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trparky

TS Evangelist
32-bit only? Whew.

If you're running a modern system with a modern processor, even one dating back to the Pentium 4, you should be running a 64-bit OS or you're seriously gimping your system.
 

PsyHawk

TS Rookie
Yes, because nothing makes more want to "upgrade" to Win10 like a continuous stream of screwed up updates. I hope they stabilize their updates before Windows 7 support ends.

But seeing how long Windows 10 has been out and how long they continue to screw up the updates that doesn't seem very likely
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
@William Gayde "In the meantime, Microsoft is recommending that all users still running Windows 7 should upgrade to Windows 10".

So what else is new? At least they stop blasting that up in the middle of TV newscasts.

What they meant to say was, "we don't feel like issuing a patch, so just buy a new OS. That way, we can have full access to your data, instead of those nasty, unkempt, ruffian, street hackers"..
 
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Deadlyta

TS Rookie
Windows 10 sucks and windows solution to everything is either swap to windows 10 or get used to windows 10. Had issues with my hp stream (my only 10) want a good laugh look how windows "helps" hp stream users . If it only affects 32 bit swapping to 64 bit would be better then dealing with windows 10.
Or looking on reddit for advice instead of Microsoft which is apparently now run by bif Standard which is ironic if you actually get that reference.
 

arrowflash

TS Booster
32-bit only? Whew.

If you're running a modern system with a modern processor, even one dating back to the Pentium 4, you should be running a 64-bit OS or you're seriously gimping your system.
Lots of corporations are still using 32-bit versions of Windows in their environments because of mission-specific legacy software that doesn't work in 64-bit versions of Windows. Heck, in some very specific corporate, medical and industrial fields, you have software still currently supported, updated and sold, that current versions still don't support 64-bit Windows. There's many of them in the tourism and medical fields, probably many other areas I'm not experienced with too. Because of that, you'll often see them using modern PCs and laptops with current gen CPUs, DDR4 ram and SSDs, but still on 32-bit Windows.

Sometimes they'll also be using and be very dependant on custom legacy software developed in-house, for which they don't have the source code, don't have documentation, and have lost contact with the original programmers. I've seen it.

Keep in mind I'm talking systems that could cost from tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars to update or replace to 64-bit compatible software, depending on company size and infrastructure. So it's not a simple matter of "they should just upgrade, lol". These corporations are probably the main reason Microsoft still releases and supports 32-bit versions of Windows.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
"Security researchers at Google and Microsoft have observed attackers using a combination of a patched Chrome vulnerability and an unpatched Windows vulnerability to take advantage of Windows 7 systems".

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but basically M$ has "discovered" its >>own security flaw in Windows<< 7, so you should update to Windows 10.

Isn't that really the same sh!t, different day?

I'm normally not much of a conspiracy theorist, but this nonsense is surely on the brink of one:

OK Kidz, please update to Windows 10 so that M$ can sell your Information to Google.

Now, if Chrome has been patched, shouldn't that isolate the Win 7 exploit? Even Opera has patched the exploit, since they asked for a cold restart on theit last update.
 
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trparky

TS Evangelist
Well I'm talking about it from a gaming system's point of view, an enthusiast's point of view. Running a 32-bit OS on modern hardware would be leaving a whole lot of performance on the table whereas with a 64-bit OS you've got access to every bit of the performance that system can give you to run any Triple-A game with max FPS.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Well I'm talking about it from a gaming system's point of view, an enthusiast's point of view. Running a 32-bit OS on modern hardware would be leaving a whole lot of performance on the table whereas with a 64-bit OS you've got access to every bit of the performance that system can give you to run any Triple-A game with max FPS.
That' pretty much the problem with many gamers and enthusiasts, they think their point of view is the only one that matters. Besides all the hot air produced by gamers themselves, it seems they could be categorized as, "hazardous to the environment", as their high energy usage is likely producing a fair amount of greenhouse gases as well:

"The study finds that while gaming computers comprise just 2.5 percent of personal computers worldwide, they account for 20 percent of global computer energy use.Sep 1, 2015"
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ae3b5k/gaming-computers-use-a-truly-astonishing-amount-of-energy.

And don't get me started about the miners.....Those greedy humps buy all the video cards and make the gamers cry. (Of course they're "off their game now," so to speak).
 

Amazon132017

TS Rookie
I'm so tired of MS trying to force users to upgrade to Windows 10! It's like they are holding customers who haven't updated to Windows 10 hostage... Every time I see where MS has screwed up updates to Windows 10, I get angry! I have yet to see where they have apologized for the screw ups! I do not want windows 10... Period.

Windows 7 is by far the best OS they have made thus far. Now the head of MS is treating Windows 10 like its a game for him to play, with the users. Users beware of the sneaky updates being done to Windows 7, through backdoors opened during updates! I have proof that this happens!

MS said, that they were done with Windows 7 updates, then changed their minds and extended the ending date. That is why, I do not allow automatic updates on my computer, I just don't trust anything about MS! Think I'm not telling the truth... Just go and read their Terms of Use, Rules and EULA. If users only knew, all the rights they have given up, when they agreed to all of the things that was changed when installing Window 10! Had they read about it, there wouldn't be nearly as many people updating to Windows 10.
 
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arrowflash

TS Booster
Not to mention, many gamers and enthusiasts don't buy Windows - they just pirate it, while the vast majority of corporate / enterprise users have legimate copies. Also, much more often than regular users, they will actually buy upgrade licenses or full new licenses of Windows rather than just obtaining legimate OEM licenses by means of buying a new computer, or just pirating it. So Microsoft better listen to their needs.

Including the U.S. Navy :gulp:
Wow, but at the same time doesn't surprise me. The US military probably uses lots of legacy software.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
Not to mention, many gamers and enthusiasts don't buy Windows - they just pirate it, while the vast majority of corporate / enterprise users have legimate copies. Also, much more often than regular users, they will actually buy upgrade licenses or full new licenses of Windows rather than just obtaining legimate OEM licenses by means of buying a new computer, or just pirating it. So Microsoft better listen to their needs.

Wow, but at the same time doesn't surprise me. The US military probably uses lots of legacy software.
Lot's of custom code that needs upgrading to Win/10 .. well .. maybe it shouldn't be!!