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Microsoft is distributing security patches through insecure HTTP links

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#1 JohnC_21


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:31 PM

The Microsoft Update Catalog uses insecure HTTP links – not HTTPS links – on the download buttons, so patches you download from the Update Catalog are subject to all of the security problems that dog HTTP links, including man-in-the-middle attacks.



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#2 jarlmaster47


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:22 PM

I'm simultaneously surprised and not surprised. I'm not surprised in that big companies do some of THE stupidest things. I'm surprised in the sense that this is asking for trouble Microsoft doesn't want. And my main issue is that, and correct me if I'm wrong, switching to HTTPS requires no effort. 

#3 SleepyDude


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:26 PM

Don't think this is a big problem because the updates provided as exe files or the newer .msu files are signed by Microsoft, windows will not accept to install any updates not signed by Microsoft.

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#4 isaccasi


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:51 PM

Hello, I am not a techie at all but I think it sounds disturbing :bounce:



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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:37 AM

To sign you need certificates. If the links to get certificates are http as well then a MITM attack is also possible i would have thought.

#6 DavidLMO


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Posted 23 February 2018 - 03:22 PM

Garbage such as this is why I use HTTPS Everywhere extension.

#7 rp88


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Posted 24 February 2018 - 05:15 PM

I have to download MS updates through the browser from the catalog website, since I avoid feature ones and just do security fixes, I always check the signatures in the relevant tab of window's "properties" windows of the file browser. And I upload copies to virustotal as well to let them check signatures to. Should these actions generally mean any man in the middle trying to supply a fake update will not be able to match the signatures and/or pass virustotal's checks?
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#8 Didier Stevens

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:02 PM

Yes, if the files you download are tampered with, then the signatures will no longer be valid.

When you check signatures, you still have to make sure that it is signed by Microsoft though. I guess it's unlikely in your case, but an attacker could substitute files signed with a certificate he obtained.

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#9 Kellysi


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Posted 28 February 2018 - 04:01 AM

That is all creepy. I agree that some companies are negligent but I think that Microsoft with all of its security and departments still knows what they're doing. Then again I hope. I dont think it should be imagined what would happen if someone was an attacker with a certificate obtained from Microsoft. That said, that would create a major digital bomb. 

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