Welcome to the Patch Tuesday update for May 2024, which lists fixes for 60 vulnerabilities. Three zero-day vulnerabilities have been listed by Microsoft this month along with a critical vulnerability.

After an initial discussion about this month’s updates, we’ll offer our advice for devising a plan to handle patch management in a hybrid work environment. You can also register for our free Patch Tuesday webinar and listen to our experts break down Patch Tuesday updates in detail.  

What is Patch Tuesday?   

Patch Tuesday falls on the second Tuesday of every month. On this day, Microsoft releases security and non-security updates for its operating system and other related applications. Since Microsoft has upheld this process of releasing updates in a periodic manner, IT admins expect these updates and have time to gear up for them.

Why is Patch Tuesday important?   

Important security updates and patches to fix critical bugs or vulnerabilities are released on Patch Tuesday. Usually, zero-day vulnerabilities are also fixed during Patch Tuesday unless the vulnerability is critical and highly exploited, in which case an out-of-band security update is released to address that particular vulnerability.

May 2024 Patch Tuesday   

Security updates lineup  

Here is a breakdown of the vulnerabilities fixed this month:

  • CVE IDs: 60 (this count doesn’t include the republished CVE IDs)
  • Republished CVE IDs: Eight (more details on this below)

 Security updates were released for the following products, features, and roles  

  • Windows Task Scheduler
  • Microsoft Windows SCSI Class System File
  • Windows Common Log File System Driver
  • Windows Mobile Broadband
  • Microsoft WDAC OLE DB provider for SQL
  • Microsoft Brokering File System
  • Windows DWM Core Library
  • Windows Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS)
  • Windows Hyper-V
  • Windows Cryptographic Services
  • Windows Kernel
  • Windows DHCP Server
  • Windows NTFS
  • Windows Win32K – ICOMP
  • Windows Win32K – GRFX
  • Windows CNG Key Isolation Service
  • Microsoft Windows Search Component
  • Windows Cloud Files Mini Filter Driver
  • Windows Deployment Services
  • Windows Remote Access Connection Manager
  • Windows MSHTML Platform
  • Microsoft Bing
  • Microsoft Office Excel
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint
  • .NET and Visual Studio
  • Visual Studio
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Windows Mark of the Web (MOTW)
  • Azure Migrate
  • Power BI
  • Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based)
  • Microsoft Intune

Learn more in the MSRC’s release notes.

The zero-day vulnerabilities     

Vulnerable component: Windows DWM Core Library

Impact: Elevation of Privilege  

CVSS 3.1: 7.8

Speaking about this actively-exploited vulnerability, Microsoft states, “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain SYSTEM privileges.” Also, this vulnerability has been publicly disclosed and rated as Important.

Vulnerable component: Windows MSHTML Platform

Impact: Security Feature Bypass

CVSS 3.1: 8.8

This actively exploited zero-day vulnerability in Trident (also known as MSHTML) has been publicly disclosed and is rated as Important. Speaking of the mode of attack, this vulnerability can be spread through social engineering attacks wherein the malicious file has to be loaded into a vulnerable system. Upon a successful exploitation, the attacker can execute arbitrary code.

Vulnerable component: Visual Studio

Impact: Denial of Service

CVSS 3.1: 5.9

This zero-day vulnerability in Visual Studio has been rated as Important and can cause denial of service. Although Microsoft has stated the exploitation of this vulnerability is “less likely,” it has been publicly disclosed.

Republished CVE IDs   

Besides the vulnerabilities fixed in this month’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has also republished six CVE IDs. These are as follows:

  1. CVE-2024-32002
  2. CVE-2024-32004
  3. CVE-2024-4331
  4. CVE-2024-4368
  5. CVE-2024-4558
  6. CVE-2024-4559
  7. CVE-2024-4671
  8. CVE-2024-4761

Third-party updates released after last month’s Patch Tuesday  

Third-party vendors such as Google, Cisco, Apple, Adobe, and VMware have also released updates this May.

Best practices to handle patch management in a hybrid work environment   

Most organizations have opted to embrace remote work even after they have been cleared to return to the office. This decision poses various challenges to IT admins, especially in terms of managing and securing distributed endpoints.

Here are a few pointers to simplify the process of remote patching:

  • Disable automatic updates because one faulty patch could bring down the whole system. IT admins can educate end users on how to disable automatic updates on their machines. Patch Manager Plus and Endpoint Central also have a dedicated patch, 105427, that can be deployed to endpoints to ensure that automatic updates are disabled.

  • Create a restore point—a backup or image that captures the state of the machines—before deploying big updates like those from Patch Tuesday.

  • Establish a patching schedule and keep end users informed about it. It is recommended to set up a time for deploying patches and rebooting systems. Let end users know what needs to be done on their end for trouble-free patching.

  • Test the patches on a pilot group of systems before deploying them to the production environment. This will ensure that the patches do not interfere with the workings of other applications.

  • Since many users are working from home, they all might be working different hours; in this case, you can allow end users to skip deployment and scheduled reboots. This will give them the liberty to install updates at their convenience and avoid disrupting their work. Our patch management products come with options for user-defined deployment and reboot.

  • Most organizations are deploying patches using a VPN. To stop patch tasks from eating up your VPN bandwidth, install Critical patches and security updates first. You might want to hold off on deploying feature packs and cumulative updates since they are bulky updates and consume a lot of bandwidth.

  • Schedule the non-security updates and security updates that are not rated Critical to be deployed after Patch Tuesday, such as during the third or fourth week of the month. You can also choose to decline certain updates if you feel they are not required in your environment.

  • Run patch reports to get a detailed view of the health status of your endpoints.

  • For machines belonging to users returning to the office after working remotely, check if they are compliant with your security policies. If not, quarantine them. Install the latest updates and feature packs before deeming your back-to-office machines fit for production. Take inventory of and remove apps that are now obsolete for your back-to-office machines, like remote collaboration software.

With Endpoint Central, Patch Manager Plus, or Vulnerability Manager Plus you can completely automate the entire process of patch management, from testing patches to deploying them. You can also tailor patch tasks according to your current needs. For a hands-on experience with either of these products, try a free, 30-day trial and keep thousands of applications patched and secure.

Want to learn more about Patch Tuesday updates? Join our experts as they break down this month’s Patch Tuesday updates and offer in-depth analysis. You can also ask our experts questions and get answers to all your Patch Tuesday questions. Register for our free Patch Tuesday webinar.

Ready, get set, patch!

  1. Scott Lau

    Was the webinar held? I couldn’t not join and now find the on-demand recording anywhere.