Microsoft updates EMET security tool to solve compatibility issues, harden exploit mitigations

EMET 5.1 fixes incompatibilities detected between certain mitigations and popular software programs

Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), a security program popular with companies, was updated Monday to harden the exploit mitigations that it adds to other programs and to address compatibility issues with some of them.

The compatibility issues affected popular applications including Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Mozilla Firefox when EMET mitigations like Export Address Table Filtering Plus (EAF+) were applied to them.

Like most EMET mitigations, EAF+ is a set of safeguards and checks designed to block the execution of arbitrary code when memory corruption vulnerabilities are exploited. It was first added in EMET 5.0, released in July.

In addition to addressing the compatibility issues, EMET 5.1 also improves and hardens existing mitigations "to make them more resilient to attacks and bypasses," the EMET team said in a blog post Monday.

It's particularly important for users of Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to install the new version because the browser security patches scheduled to be released today are known to cause compatibility issues with EAF+.

EMET 5.1 also adds a new "local telemetry" feature that allows users to save memory dumps whenever an EMET mitigation is triggered. These memory dumps can later be analyzed to determine what triggered the mitigations, whether it was a malicious exploit or something else.

EMET is popular within enterprises environments because it allows companies to protect their end-point systems from software exploits even before the targeted vulnerabilities are patched. The tool can enforce memory protections like Data Execution Prevention (DEP), Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and 12 others on running programs that lack them by default.

It can also enforce pre-defined SSL certificate pinning rules in Internet Explorer. These rules can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks that use digital certificates for popular websites that are technically valid, but were illegally obtained -- for example, by compromising a certificate authority.

A complete list of changes and improvements in EMET 5.1 is available in a Microsoft knowledge base article.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesintrusionMicrosoftsecurityDesktop securityExploits / vulnerabilities

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?