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.

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 the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/6/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15564
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.13.x, allowing Arm guest OS users to cause a hypervisor crash because of a missing alignment check in VCPUOP_register_vcpu_info. The hypercall VCPUOP_register_vcpu_info is used by a guest to register a shared region with the hypervisor. The region will be map...
CVE-2020-15565
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.13.x, allowing x86 Intel HVM guest OS users to cause a host OS denial of service or possibly gain privileges because of insufficient cache write-back under VT-d. When page tables are shared between IOMMU and CPU, changes to them require flushing of both TLBs....
CVE-2020-15566
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.13.x, allowing guest OS users to cause a host OS crash because of incorrect error handling in event-channel port allocation. The allocation of an event-channel port may fail for multiple reasons: (1) port is already in use, (2) the memory allocation failed, o...
CVE-2020-15567
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.13.x, allowing Intel guest OS users to gain privileges or cause a denial of service because of non-atomic modification of a live EPT PTE. When mapping guest EPT (nested paging) tables, Xen would in some circumstances use a series of non-atomic bitfield writes...
CVE-2020-15563
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.13.x, allowing x86 HVM guest OS users to cause a hypervisor crash. An inverted conditional in x86 HVM guests' dirty video RAM tracking code allows such guests to make Xen de-reference a pointer guaranteed to point at unmapped space. A malicious or buggy HVM g...