Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


07:42 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme

Adobe Contemplates Monthly Patch Cycle

While Apple has turned up the heat on Adobe by refusing the Flash platform on the iPhone and iPad platform - Adobe's customers have been coming under increasing fire from attackers for using its Flash and Adobe Reader applications. Now the company is considering taking a move from Microsoft's playbook and switching to a monthly patch cycle.

While Apple has turned up the heat on Adobe by refusing the Flash platform on the iPhone and iPad platform - Adobe's customers have been coming under increasing fire from attackers for using its Flash and Adobe Reader applications. Now the company is considering taking a move from Microsoft's playbook and switching to a monthly patch cycle.When it comes to security, Adobe has had a rough few years. But that's what happens to software companies that focus so heavily on features and design and barely a nod toward developing sustainable and secure applications. And from what I've been able to tell, that's exactly what Adobe has done for far too long.

Now its business customers are putting on the pressure (not unlike the pressure government agencies and Fortune 500 businesses placed on Microsoft after so many worm attacks earlier this decade) on Adobe to help better keep their systems secure.

According to this report from The H Security:

In view of the large number of security vulnerabilities discovered in recent months, major customers appear to have increased the pressure on Adobe to reduce the interval between security patch releases. Arkin has told The H's associates at heise Security that a monthly cycle is one of the alternatives currently under discussion. He adds that, in emergencies, Adobe is also now in a position to develop patches within 15 days and to release them outside of the regular patch cycle. This compares with the 80 days Arkin's team needed to develop a patch for the JBIG2 vulnerability in spring 2009.

In addition to Adobe Reader, the company wants to bring products such as Flash and Shockwave into the update cycle. Previously, updates for these products have been released as needed and when ready. It's not clear whether products other than Adobe Reader will be patched automatically by means of the new update mechanism.

The article doesn't say what the new update mechanism may be, but let's hope it's not modeled after the updater provided for OS X which is one of the buggiest, most useless software utilities I've ever been forced to contend.

While the increased patch cycle is welcomed, and will help to reduce the "window of vulnerability" to its customers, the company really has to do more to secure its new and legacy codebase.

Late last year, security vendor McAfee predicted that Adobe Reader and Flash would surpass Microsoft Office applications as a favorite target of cyber criminals. From Antone Gonsalves story, Adobe To Surpass Microsoft As Hacker Target:

In unveiling its 2010 Threat Predictions report, McAfee said the growing popularity of the Adobe products has attracted the attention of cybercriminals, who have been increasingly targeting the applications. Adobe Reader and Flash are two of the most widely deployed applications in the world.

As a result of Adobe's success in client software, McAfee Labs believes "Adobe product exploitation will likely surpass that of Microsoft Office applications in 2010." Security experts for quite a while have warned of the potential security risk posed by Flash. In November, Foreground Security identified a flaw in the way Web browsers handle Flash files that could be used to compromise Web sites that have users submit content.

Remind me, again, why we would want this software installed on our mobile phones and tablets, let alone our PCs?

For my security, business, and technology observations throughout the day find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-15
Apache HTTP Server protocol handler for the HTTP/2 protocol checks received request headers against the size limitations as configured for the server and used for the HTTP/1 protocol as well. On violation of these restrictions and HTTP response is sent to the client with a status code indicating why...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
A buffer overflow vulnerability in SonicOS allows a remote attacker to cause a Denial of Service (DoS) by sending a specially crafted request. This vulnerability affects SonicOS Gen5, Gen6, Gen7 platforms, and SonicOSv virtual firewalls.
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
magento-scripts contains scripts and configuration used by Create Magento App, a zero-configuration tool-chain which allows one to deploy Magento 2. In versions 1.5.1 and 1.5.2, after changing the function from synchronous to asynchronous there wasn't implemented handler in the start, stop, exec, an...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
net/can/bcm.c in the Linux kernel through 5.12.10 allows local users to obtain sensitive information from kernel stack memory because parts of a data structure are uninitialized.
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the main dashboard of Ellipse APM versions allows an authenticated user or integrated application to inject malicious data into the application that can then be executed in a victim’s browser. This issue affects: Hitachi ABB Power Grids ...