Feeds

Attack code in the wild targets new (sort of) Adobe Flash vuln

At least 20,000 pawns recruited

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Updated Security researchers from Symantec have clarified an earlier report of attack code in the wild that targets a previously unknown vulnerability in the latest version of Adobe Flash. They now say current versions of Adobe's stand-alone Flash application are vulnerable, but that updated browser plug-ins are not.

At least 20,000 web pages have been found to carry links to a site that hosts malicious Flash applets that exploit the weakness, according to Symantec. While Flash plug-ins for Internet Explorer, Firefox and other browsers are immune to the attack, Adobe's stand-alone application for Flash is vulnerable, said Ben Greenbaum, a senior research manager at Symantec Security Response.

The security bug is a variation of one that Adobe has recently patched, but evidently, the update didn't work as expected. "This was one of the vulnerabilities that was reported as having been fixed," he said. "In the stand-alone versions, it does not happen."

The clarification is good news because the number of people using the application is relatively small. The Flash plug-in, by contrast, is installed on just about every computer known to man, thanks to its availability on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and the huge number of sites that require their visitors to use it. A well-executed attack of a zero-day flaw in the ubiquitous program could prove critical.

The malicious links are likely to be the result of SQL injections, an attack method that's grown rampant in recent weeks. The links silently redirect end users to a site that preys on a vulnerability in Flash Player versions 9.0.124.0 and older, according to this advisory from the Sans Internet Storm Center.

The seriousness of the vulnerability and the extent of the attack are still unclear. According to Symantec, "an attacker may exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code in the context of the affected application. Failed exploit attempts will likely result in denial-of-service conditions." Researchers at Symantec and Adobe were still analyzing the attack on Wednesday morning, Greenbaum said.

In a separate advisory, Sans is reporting the hosting of malicious SWF files, but it's unclear if they are related to the recently discovered vulnerability or to one that has already been patched.

Adobe says it's investigating the Symantec report. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.