The company gave no explanation for the change in its timetable, though speed is of the essence, since the firm acknowledged that "there are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against Adobe Flash Player on Windows." Adobe's security advisory rates the vulnerability as critical -- its most severe rating.
The forthcoming fix should cover Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, and Android operating systems.
Interestingly, however, users of Google Chrome already have access to the Flash fix, since Google now bundles Flash into Chrome, explicitly to help users avoid older Flash versions with known vulnerabilities. Sure enough, on Friday, Google released Chrome version 6.0.472.62 for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Going forward, Adobe will release patched versions of Adobe Reader 9.3.4 (for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix) and Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 (for Windows and Macintosh) during the week of October 4, 2010. No known attacks have emerged against either Acrobat or Reader.
According to vulnerability information provider Secunia, the underlying vulnerability stems from "an unspecified error when parsing Flash content."
According to United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), "by convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (e.g., a web page or an HTML email message or attachment), PDF file, Microsoft Office document, or any other document that supports embedded SWF [ShockWave Flash] content, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code" and take over a user's system.
In addition, the group said that "enabling Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in supported versions of Windows" will block some attacks that target the vulnerability.