Windows 10 Meltdown Patch brings critical security issues of its own

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
Windows 10 Meltdown Patch issues

Microsoft rolled out a few patches for the Meltdown vulnerability but it seems that they had a fatal flaw. This was reported by Alex Ionescu, a security researcher at Crowdstrike cyber-security. Ionescu tweeted that only Windows 10 patches were affected.

Older versions of Windows 10 are still exposed

Microsoft was quiet about this issue but fixed it on Windows 10 April 2018 Update which got released on April 30.

Welp, it turns out the Meltdown patches for Windows 10 had a fatal flaw: calling NtCallEnclave returned back to user space with the full kernel page table directory, completely undermining the mitigation,” Ionescu tweeted. He also said that older versions of Windows 10 are still running with Meltdown patched that have not been updated which exposes them to high risks.

Microsoft took care of another emergency

Microsoft issued an emergency security update that has nothing to do with the Meltdown patches. This update resolves a flaw in the Windows Host Computer Service Shim library that allowed attackers to remotely execute code on flawed systems. The company labeled the issue as critical.

A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Host Compute Service Shim (hcsshim) library fails to properly validate input while importing a container image. To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker would place malicious code in a specially crafted container image which, if an authenticated administrator imported (pulled), could cause a container management service utilizing the Host Compute Service Shim library to execute malicious code on the Windows host,” Microsoft wrote in the official note.

Microsoft rolled out its Meltdown and Spectre patches on January just one day after security experts found two flaws that allow attackers retrieved data from protected areas of modern processors. It was pretty challenging for the tech giant to patch these flaws, but it did release more security updates and also helped Intel with CPU microcode updates as well.

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