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Changes in Windows Authenticode Signature Verification


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#1 quietman7

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:53 PM

Microsoft is announcing the availability of an update for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows to change how signatures are verified for binaries signed with the Windows Authenticode signature format. The change is included with Security Bulletin MS13-098, but will only be enabled on an opt-in basis. When enabled, the new behavior for Windows Authenticode signature verification will no longer allow extraneous information in the WIN_CERTIFICATE structure, and Windows will no longer recognize non-compliant binaries as signed. Note that Microsoft may make this a default behavior in a future release of Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft Security Advisory 2915720
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS13-098 - Critical


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#2 palerider2

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

Interesting. Sounds like it's not possible to implement this additional security on every PC. I read the article but didn't quite get to understand why that is.

This development goes back to last year, at which time I wasn't aware of it. So it's good that it's come back up.

I'm guessing here that this security feature can be used by (for example) the producers of A/V and firewall software packages, so that their products update themselves securely. That would potentially overcome the threat posed by man-in-the-middle attacks.

But if the said producers don't adopt the security measure, then their users remain at risk. Quite recently my A/V product starting checking for updates without asking permission. I guess it reached a hidden time limit and just decided it was going to try. (Interesting in itself). Not long after that I got weird behaviour on the PC again. Had to flatten the PC. But if that supplier had been doing secure updates, that problem wouldn't have occurred.

Anyway, back to the secure update feature, would I be right to conclude that MS discovered a vulnerability in Authenticode - the old version ?

Edit to make the paragraphs visible

Edited by palerider2, 29 July 2014 - 09:41 PM.





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