Monday, June 20, 2016

New Release: 0patch Agent 2016.06.14.850

We released a new build of 0patch Agent for Windows today. There are two reasons for this: we'd like to test the updating mechanism with our beta users; and we have fixed a couple of issues reported by our beta users, plus a few minor issues we had on our own hit list.

The two issues reported by our beta users were:

  1. Gjoko Krstic of Zero Science Lab reported a security issue in the way 0patch Service was registered: we forgot to enclose the path to the service in quotes when registering it, which allowed a local attacker with ability to create an executable (program.exe) in the root of the drive where 0patch Agent was installed to have this executable launched as user SYSTEM whenever 0patch Service was launched (e.g., after restarting the computer or updating the agent). You can find more information about this type of vulnerability here and here. After being alerted of this issue, we reviewed the entire code for similar issues and indeed found two in the way 0patch Tray was executed, both from the installer and upon login.
    It may be tempting to conclude with the impression that default Windows permissions do not allow regular users (those that don't already have admin privileges in some way or another) to create files in C:\ root, which would effectively make this a non-issue. But that would not cover all cases: one could still install 0patch Agent on a non-default location, e.g., D:\Apps\My apps\, and there is no guarantee that a non-admin user couldn't create D:\Apps\My.exe there.
  2. Ryan O'Horo alerted us about a number of silly terms in our beta license agreement, which we forgot to update before going public. While we responded to his alert with an updated agreement on our web site, we have now also put this updated agreement in the installer.

Big thanks to Gjoko and Ryan for providing valuable feedback and helping us improve. And they're not the only ones: we're getting great feedback from many other beta users as well, including some issues related to user interface, which we'll address at a later time. Let us reiterate: You guys are the real value of this beta! Thank you!

When your 0patch Agent syncs (which it does once an hour, but you can also force it through 0patch Console), it will detect a new version of itself being available and will inform you about it. All you need to do is open the 0patch Console and click "Get latest version" as shown on the image below. The console will disappear and relaunch after a while, showing the new agent version (2016.06.14.850).

We'll appreciate your telling us about any problems encountered during this update process or elsewhere. Just shoot us a quick email to (or encrypted with our PGP key to Thanks!

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