Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability CVE-2024-21412

Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability CVE-2024-21412

Introduction:

Microsoft releases a mitigation for Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability CVE-2024-21412.

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, a critical vulnerability has recently emerged, causing concern among Microsoft Windows users. Tracked as CVE-2024-21412, this security flaw exposes a potential avenue for attackers to bypass the robust Microsoft Defender SmartScreen security feature. Discovered and reported by the reputable Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative in late December 2023, the vulnerability has since become a target for exploitation by the Water Hydra Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group, marking a concerning development in the realm of cyber threats.

Understanding CVE-2024-21412:

At its core, CVE-2024-21412 is categorized as a security feature bypass. This means that malicious actors can exploit this vulnerability to circumvent the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, a critical component in the defense against various online threats. The affected software includes Microsoft Windows, spanning up to Server 2022 23H2. With a severity rating of critical (CVSS score: 8.1), the vulnerability demands immediate attention and remediation.

The Exploitation Scenario:

One notable aspect of CVE-2024-21412 is that its exploitation requires user interaction. This implies that individuals interacting with the affected systems inadvertently play a role in the execution of the exploit. The Water Hydra APT group, known for its sophisticated tactics, techniques, and procedures, has actively capitalized on this vulnerability, targeting systems that have not yet implemented the necessary security updates.

Patch and Resolution:

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Microsoft responded swiftly to address CVE-2024-21412. A patch was released on February 13, 2024, providing users with the means to fortify their systems against potential exploitation. It is imperative for Windows users to prioritize applying this update promptly to ensure the security and integrity of their computing environments.

Release DateKB ArticleOperating SystemVulnerability type
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 22H2 for 32-bit SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 22H2 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 22H2 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 21H2 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 21H2 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034763Windows 10 Version 21H2 for 32-bit SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034765Windows 11 Version 23H2 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034765Windows 11 Version 23H2 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034765Windows 11 Version 22H2 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034765Windows 11 Version 22H2 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034766Windows 11 version 21H2 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034766Windows 11 version 21H2 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034768Windows Server 2019 (Server Core installation)Security Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034768Windows 10 Version 1809 for 32-bit SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034768Windows 10 Version 1809 for x64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034768Windows Server 2019Security Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034768Windows 10 Version 1809 for ARM64-based SystemsSecurity Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034769Windows Server 2022, 23H2 Edition (Server Core installation)Security Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034770Windows Server 2022Security Feature Bypass
Feb 13, 20245034770Windows Server 2022 (Server Core installation)Security Feature Bypass

 

Implications for Security:

The critical nature of CVE-2024-21412 suggests that its exploitation can have severe consequences, impacting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of affected systems. Users and organizations must be proactive in adopting the necessary security measures, including staying informed about emerging threats, applying updates promptly, and fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness.

 

 

Conclusion:

In the face of evolving cyber threats, the collaboration between security researchers, organizations, and users is paramount. The timely response from Microsoft in addressing CVE-2024-21412 underscores the importance of a collective effort to mitigate potential risks. As we navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity, vigilance, education, and prompt action remain crucial components in safeguarding digital environments. Windows users are encouraged to stay informed, apply updates diligently, and reinforce their cybersecurity practices to stay resilient against emerging threats.

 

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