Feeds

Researcher breaks security sandbox in Adobe Flash

Bypassing security with mhtml

The essential guide to IT transformation

A security researcher has found a way to bypass a measure in Adobe's Flash Player that's designed to harden it against hack attacks.

Billy Rios, a Google researcher who published the method on his personal website, said it circumvents the local-with-filesystem sandbox, which is supposed to prevent Flash files loaded locally from passing data to remote systems.

By design, the so-called SWF files are locked in perimeter that can't communicate with the outside world. That's intended to thwart malicious Flash content that would otherwise locate sensitive user data and send it to machines controlled by attackers.

Rios found that the measure can be circumvented using a file:// request to a network machine. After snatching sensitive data, an attacker can simply pass it along using the GET protocol to an address such as file://\\192.168.1.1. That works on local area networks. To pass information to remote servers on the internet, attackers can use various protocol handlers that haven't been blacklisted by Adobe developers.

One such protocol is the mhtml handler, which is available on Windows and can be used without any prompts.

“Using the mhtml protocol handler, it's easy to bypass the Flash sandbox,” Rios wrote.

Well, sort of.

An Adobe spokeswoman issued a statement that read:

An attacker would first need to gain access to the user's system to place a malicious SWF file in a directory on the local machine before being able to trick the user into launching an application that can run the SWF file natively. In the majority of use scenarios, the malicious SWF file could not simply be launched by double-clicking on it; the user would have to manually open the file from within the application itself.

The company's security team has rated the bug “moderate.” ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.