29 October 2010 | 17,071 views

Critical 0-day Vulnerability In Adobe Flash Player, Reader & Acrobat

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Well this seems to be a frequently recurring theme, yes there is yet another critical 0day vulnerability in Adobe products – pretty much across the board this time.

It was that long ago that a critical flaw in Flash put Android phones at risk. The core vulnerability exists in Flash but it’s being actively exploited in Adobe Reader via the usual pdf route.

The vulnerability exists across all OS versions (including Android), but as usual the active exploitation seems to be taking place on the Windows platform.

Adobe has confirmed reports that yet another unpatched vulnerability in the latest versions of its ubiquitous software is being actively exploited to infect end users with data-stealing malware.

The vulnerability exists in Adobe’s Reader document viewer and Flash Media Player for Windows, OS X and Unix operating systems, Adobe warned on Thursday. According to independent researchers, it is being exploited in the wild against Reader for Windows to install a nasty trojan known as Wisp, which according to Microsoft, steals sensitive user data and installs a backdoor on compromised systems.

The vulnerability itself resides in Adobe’s Flash Player, which is available as stand alone software and is also embedded into Reader. According to researcher Mila Parkour of the Contagio Malware Dump blog, poisoned PDF documents are circulating that drop two malicious binaries onto Windows machines that open the document files.

A screenshot identified the two files as nsunday.exe and nsunday.dll. A Virus Total scan showed just 15 of 42 antivirus programs were detecting the malicious EXE. She didn’t say whether the attacks succeed against more recent versions of the OS, which Microsoft has designed to withstand many of the most common types of exploits.

This vector comes to pass as Flash player is also embedded into Adobe Reader, so by using a malicious PDF file with the AuthPlay exploit – they can trigger the Flash player flaw and drop malware into the OS.

There is information on how to disable the AuthPlay functionality at the bottom of the Adobe advisory:

Security Advisory for Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Basically you need to go to the Adobe Reader directory and delete the AuthPlayLib.bundle (Windows/Mac OSX) or libauthplay.so.0.0.0. (linux) file.

Adobe said it planned to patch the vulnerability in Flash during the week of November 9 and in Reader during the week of November 15. The schedule is puzzling, since Reader has been confirmed to be under attack and Flash has not been confirmed.

In the meantime, users can protect themselves by using an alternate document viewer, such as Foxit. For those who must use Reader, Adobe said they can mitigate attacks by removing functionality known as AuthPlay, by following the instructions near the bottom of this advisory. Adobe provided no temporary measures Flash users can follow.

It’s been a bad couple of years for Adobe’s security team, which has gotten repeatedly hammered by critical vulnerabilities that are exploited by criminals to install malware on users’ machines. Three weeks ago, the company issued a fix for a security flaw in Reader that was also under attack by a highly sophisticated exploit. Last month, Adobe fixed a critical vulnerability in Flash that was also being used to compromise end user computers.

Adobe is also in the process of developing a patch for a code-execution bug in its Shockwave Player. By many researchers’ reckoning, Reader is among the world’s most exploited applications, in close competition with Oracle’s Java framework and, of course, various Microsoft programs.

From recent attacks it seems Adobe Reader and Flash are amongst the most exploited applications, especially when it comes to serious vulnerabilities that allow code-execution.

The new generation Adobe Reader with Sandbox Feature can’t come soon enough.

There’s also more here:

Hackers exploit newest Flash zero-day bug

Source: The Register



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