Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/1/2018
05:50 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Adobe to Patch Flash Zero-Day Discovered in South Korean Attacks

Critical use-after-free vulnerability being used in targeted attacks.

A previously unknown and critical flaw in Adobe Flash found being exploited in targeted attacks against victims in South Korea will be patched the week of February 5.

Adobe today confirmed a report yesterday by South Korea's Computer Emergency Response Team (KrCERT/CC) of the discovery of the zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player ActiveX 28.0.0.137 and earlier versions. The bug (CVE-2018-4878) abused in the attacks is a use-after-free vulnerability that allows remote code execution, according to Adobe's advisory.

Johannes Ullrich, head of the SANS Internet Storm Center, says the fact that this was a targeted, zero-day attack makes it more likely to be the handiwork of a nation-state actor.

"The attack was rather limited, and targeted at individuals in South Korea who are involved in research about North Korea. I think this makes for a pretty strong case that this was a nation-state sponsored attack. Other actors would have little motivation to use a zero-day exploit in an attack against a group like this," Ullrich says. "On the other hand, it doesn't have to be North Korea," given the difficulty of attribution.

A researcher from South Korea in a tweet today said North Korea was behind the attacks, and the victims all conduct research on North Korea. Simon Choi, who is director of the security research center at Hauri, said the zero-day exploit had been in use since mid-November by North Korea. 

John Bambenek, manager of threat systems at Fidelis Cybersecurity, says the ideological theme of the attacks' targeting could mean the Lazarus Group is behind the attacks, but it's difficult to discern without the technical details from the South Korean CERT. Even so, the Lazarus Group isn't known for employing homegrown zero-day exploits, he says.

The Flash vulnerability was spotted targeting Windows users via emails with Office documents that contain embedded and malware-laden Flash content. "Successful exploitation could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," according to Adobe's advisory.

While awaiting the patch, an attack can be mitigated by configuring Flash Player 27 and above on Windows 7 and below (running Internet Explorer) to prompt the user before playing Flash content. Protected View for Office also can be set up for Windows that marks files as potentially unsafe, leaving them in Read-Only mode for users, Adobe noted in its advisory.

Products affected by the vulnerability include Adobe's Flash Player Desktop Runtime on Windows and Mac; Flash Player for Google Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS; Flash for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 and 8.1; and Flash Player Desktop Runtime on Linux.

Related Content:

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Privacy Careers Are Helping to Close the IT Gender Gap
Dana Simberkoff, Chief Risk, Privacy, and Information Security Officer, AvePoint, Inc.,  8/20/2018
Ohio Man Sentenced To 15 Months For BEC Scam
Dark Reading Staff 8/20/2018
Intel Reveals New Spectre-Like Vulnerability
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-10902
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-21
It was found that the raw midi kernel driver does not protect against concurrent access which leads to a double realloc (double free) in snd_rawmidi_input_params() and snd_rawmidi_output_status() which are part of snd_rawmidi_ioctl() handler in rawmidi.c file. A malicious local attacker could possib...
CVE-2018-10932
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-21
lldptool version 1.0.1 and older can print a raw, unsanitized attacker controlled buffer when mngAddr information is displayed. This may allow an attacker to inject shell control characters into the buffer and impact the behavior of the terminal.
CVE-2018-15660
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-21
** DISPUTED ** An issue was discovered in the Ola Money (aka com.olacabs.olamoney) application 1.9.0 for Android. If an attacker controls an application with accessibility permissions, then the attacker can read certain Ola Money data such as a credit card number, expiration date, bank account numbe...
CVE-2018-15661
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-21
** DISPUTED ** An issue was discovered in the Ola Money (aka com.olacabs.olamoney) application 1.9.0 for Android. If an attacker controls an application with accessibility permissions and the ability to read SMS messages, then the Forgot Password screen can be used to bypass authentication. NOTE: th...
CVE-2018-15481
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-21
Improper input sanitization within the restricted administration shell on UCOPIA Wireless Appliance devices using firmware version 5.1.x before 5.1.13 allows authenticated remote attackers to escape the shell and escalate their privileges by adding a LocalCommand to the SSH configuration file in the...