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10/29/2010
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Adobe Acknowledges Active Flash Exploit

Zero-day bug, which won't be patched for two weeks, is being delivered in a malicious PDF targeted toward job seekers.

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
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Adobe on Thursday warned that a critical new zero-day vulnerability exists in Flash and is being actively exploited by attackers. The company plans to release a patch, but not for another two weeks.

According to Adobe, "there are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x," though so far, not against Flash Player.

According to Kaspersky Lab, "the vulnerability affects Flash on all of the relevant platforms, including Android," as well as Windows, Macintosh, Unix, and Solaris. Reader and Acrobat on Windows, Mac, and Unix are also vulnerable.

The vulnerability was first disclosed by security researcher Mila Parkour, who spotted a zero-day attack exploiting the vulnerability. The attack involves a malicious PDF file that arrives attached to an email from jobs@usajobs.gov, with a subject line referencing a new U.S. Office of Personnel Management application for the iPhone and iPad. The malicious file drops multiple Trojan applications which can compromise a user's system.

Parkour said she would not release a copy of the malicious PDF until Adobe patched the vulnerability. According to Kasperksy Lab, "Adobe security officials said they plan to patch the Flash bug on Nov. 9 and will release a fix for Reader and Acrobat during the week of Nov. 15."

The new Flash vulnerability disclosure comes in the wake of Apple's recent pronouncement that it would no longer push Flash updates to Macintosh users via the built-in OS X software update feature. That said, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox users will have the ability to get their Flash players updated automatically.

For everyone else, a manual update will be required. Adobe has said it is working on the ability to have the Flash player automatically update itself, but hasn't announced a release date for that functionality.

Adobe's Flash vulnerability warning arrived on the same day that the vendor released a patch for a previously disclosed vulnerability in its Shockwave Player, affecting all versions up to 11.5.8.612 on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

The Thursday Shockwave update addresses 11 vulnerabilities, including memory corruption, stack overflow, and heap-based buffer overflow bugs, which can allow an attacker to run malicious code on a user's system. According to Adobe, "there are reports that this issue is being exploited in the wild."

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