After a number of exploits in the wild, Microsoft has confirmed that the long-standing “DogWalk” zero-day Windows vulnerability has received a patch.
The Windows “DogWalk” Vulnerability Is Finally Patched
In its August 2022 patch, Microsoft provided its users with security updates to tackle the exploitation of its high-severity “DogWalk” vulnerability present on Windows operating systems. An additional 140 flaws were also patched.
The DogWalk flaw, known officially as CVE-2022-34713, is associated with the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT). The zero-day exploits that have occurred use remote code execution to abuse the MSDT, allowing the attacker to execute code on a given vulnerable system.
To do this, the victim using the vulnerable system must first be sent a harmful diagnostic tool (.diagcab) file designed to exploit the system. The targeted user must click on this file via a malicious website (a beginners guide to malicious websites) or email to activate the exploit. Because the user must click on the file, the malicious party will usually need to convince them to do so, incorporating an element of social engineering into the attack.
Once the file has been clicked on and opened, the code is executed the next time the victim starts their Windows device.
DogWalk Has Been Exploited Multiple Times in the Wild
Though DogWalk was first discovered in 2019, it was not considered a vulnerability by Microsoft at the time. In January 2020, DogWalk was confirmed as a vulnerability, but Microsoft still did not view it as a legitimate threat.
It wasn’t until August 2022 that the company confirmed DogWalk had been exploited in the wild. But it didn’t take long after this announcement for Microsoft to confirm that the DogWalk vulnerability had been overcome in the August 2022 patch.
DogWalk Flaw Was Preceded By Another Zero-Day Vulnerability
Along with the high-severity DogWalk vulnerability, Microsoft also had to acknowledge an additional MSDT zero-day vulnerability known as Follina (or CVE-2022-30190), which was also exploited in the wild. Microsoft also did not initially consider Follina to be a security concern, but announced its threat to users in a security advisory published by the Microsoft Security Response Center in May 2022.
Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Continue to be Targeted by Malicious Actors
With more zero-day vulnerabilities being discovered on various operating systems, the threat of exploits in the wild continues to exist for users around the world. This is why Microsoft has urged users to run the patch for the DogWalk flaw so that they can steer clear of this wave of zero-day exploits.