July 2022 Patch Tuesday: Four Critical CVEs and a Zero-Day Bug Under Active Exploitation

Microsoft has released 84 security patches for its July 2022 Patch Tuesday rollout. Four vulnerabilities are rated Critical in severity and the rest are classified as Important, with one (CVE-2022-22047) under active exploitation. In this blog, the CrowdStrike Falcon Spotlight™ team offers an analysis of this month’s vulnerabilities, as well as insights into the vulnerabilities and patches affecting Microsoft products in the first half of this year. We highlight the CVEs in this month’s update that are most severe and recommend how to prioritize patching.

July 2022 Risk Analysis

The top three attack types — elevation of privilege, remote code execution (RCE) and information disclosure — continue to dominate, with denial of service following at almost 6%.

Figure 1. Breakdown of July 2022 Patch Tuesday attack types

Microsoft Windows received the most patches this month, with Extended Security Updates (ESUs) following close behind. There are also patches for 33 Azure vulnerabilities this month and a couple for Microsoft Office products.

Figure 2. Breakdown of July 2022 Patch Tuesday affected product families

Zero-Day CSRSS Vulnerability Under Active Exploitation

CVE-2022-22047 is listed as being under active attack, but there’s no information from Microsoft on where, or how widely, the vulnerability is being exploited. This vulnerability allows an attacker to execute code as SYSTEM, provided they can execute other code on the target. Bugs of this type are typically paired with a code execution bug, usually a specially crafted Office or Adobe document, to take over a system. These attacks often rely on macros, which are now disabled by default.

Rank CVSS Score CVE Description
Important 7.8 CVE-2022-22047 Windows CSRSS Elevation of Privilege

CrowdStrike recommends that you monitor your environment to see if it is affected by this vulnerability and apply the fix offered. For CrowdStrike customers using Falcon Spotlight, this CVE is ranked as Critical.

Critical Vulnerabilities in Network File System and RPC

Four vulnerabilities ranked as Critical received patches this month. Affected products are Remote Procedure Call (RPC), Windows Network File System (NFS) and Windows Graphics Component. Let’s review a couple of these vulnerabilities and how they could affect an organization’s environment.

CVE-2022-22038: This vulnerability could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to exploit code on an affected system. While not specified in the bulletin, the assumption is that, with elevated privileges, code execution would occur. By combining these attributes, you may end up with a potentially wormable bug. Microsoft rates the attack complexity as high since an attacker would need to make “multiple exploitation attempts” to take advantage of this vulnerability, but again, unless you are actively blocking RPC activity, you may not see these attempts. If the exploit complexity were rated low, which some would argue it should be since the attempts could likely be scripted, the CVSS would be 9.8. CrowdStrike recommends that you test and deploy this patch quickly.

CVE-2022-22029: This is the third month in a row with a Critical-rated NFS vulnerability, and while this one has a lower CVSS than the previously listed vulnerabilities, it could still allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute their code on an affected system with no user interaction. Microsoft notes multiple exploit attempts may be required to do this, but unless you are specifically auditing for this, you may not notice. If you’re running NFS, make sure you don’t ignore this patch.

Rank CVSS Score CVE Description
Critical 8.8 CVE-2022-30221 Windows Graphics Component Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
Critical 8.1 CVE-2022-22038 Remote Procedure Call Runtime Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
Critical 8.1 CVE-2022-22029 Windows Network File System Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
Critical 7.5 CVE-2022-22039 Windows Network File System Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Important Azure Site Recovery Service Vulnerabilities

Based on the total count of Azure vulnerabilities addressed this month, this set of CVEs should be prioritized. Azure Site Recovery is primarily a cloud-based service, but there are some on-premises components. An automatic update for these vulnerabilities is very unlikely to happen. Microsoft recommends upgrading to version 9.49 to remediate these vulnerabilities. Instructions can be found in this article. It’s incredibly unusual to see so many CVEs addressed in a single month for a single component.

Rank CVSS Score CVE
Important 8.3 CVE-2022-33674
Important 7.8 CVE-2022-33675
Important 7.2 CVE-2022-33677
Important 7.2 CVE-2022-33676
Important 7.2 CVE-2022-33678
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-30181
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33641
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33643
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33655
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33656
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33657
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33661
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33662
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33663
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33665
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33666
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33667
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33672
Important 6.5 CVE-2022-33673
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33642
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33650
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33651
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33653
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33654
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33659
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33660
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33664
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33668
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33669
Important 4.9 CVE-2022-33671
Important 4.4 CVE-2022-33652
Important 4.4 CVE-2022-33658

Falcon Spotlight provides the visibility SecOps teams need to quickly identify which vulnerabilities are prevalent in your organization’s environment. Since Falcon Spotlight is completely integrated within the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform, IT staff are able to take swift action by isolating potentially compromised hosts from exploited vulnerabilities. Additionally, the Falcon platform mitigates the risk from vulnerabilities that cannot be patched rapidly by detecting and automatically preventing exploitation attempts and post-exploitation activity.

Managing Vulnerabilities Is Ultimately about the Long Game

As evident in these monthly patch rollouts, no product is safe from vulnerabilities. Attackers will use any weakness to gain access, exploit flaws and move laterally to take advantage of your organization. While prioritization and patching are vital for immediately addressing critical issues, what makes a vulnerability management program successful is planning for the long term.

When your organization is planning for the long term, reviewing everything within your environment is important. Patching should not be done in a vacuum — it requires open communication with other parts of your cybersecurity organization and cross-collaboration with IT hygiene, threat intelligence and compliance teams to fully understand which areas of risk your organization might be exposed to and the types of threats or attackers are more likely to take advantage.

Organizations rely on full-suite platforms that offer comprehensive solutions to do this in a timely manner. Your staff should be able to make accurate and actionable recommendations based on any kind of suspicious activity surrounding the assets and entities in your environment while having access to relevant contextual data to provide the insight needed to make appropriate decisions to protect your environment. CrowdStrike stands resolutely behind this. When we say “We stop breaches,” we offer a holistic approach to creating a defensible security posture — and we do it in a way that is relevant, timely and accessible to all who are responsible for keeping your defenses strong. Beyond Falcon Spotlight, we suggest you try our Falcon platform to see how CrowdStrike can enable your team for success.

Learn More

This video on Falcon Spotlight™ vulnerability management shows how you can quickly monitor and prioritize vulnerabilities within the systems and applications in your organization.

About CVSS Scores

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is a free and open industry standard that CrowdStrike and many other cybersecurity organizations use to assess and communicate software vulnerabilities’ severity and characteristics. The CVSS Base Score ranges from 0.0 to 10.0, and the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) adds a severity rating for CVSS scores. Learn more about vulnerability scoring in this article.

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about vulnerabilities that can affect your environment at Fal.Con 2022, the cybersecurity industry’s most anticipated annual event. Register now and meet us in Las Vegas, Sept. 19-21!  
  • See how Falcon Spotlight can help you discover and manage vulnerabilities in your environments. 
  • Read how CrowdStrike Asset Graph works in conjunction with Falcon Discover to offer you advanced insights on how suspicious activity is related to other assets within your environment. 
  • Learn how Falcon Identity Protection products can stop workforce identity threats faster. 
  • Download the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report to learn who and what is affecting your environment.
  • Make prioritization painless and efficient. Watch how Falcon Spotlight enables IT staff to improve visibility with custom filters and team dashboards.
  • Test CrowdStrike next-gen AV for yourself with a free trial of Falcon Prevent™.
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