Adobe to Patch Flash Zero Day Bug This Week

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-04-13 Print this article Print

Adobe has updated its advisory from earlier this week warning users of another Flash zero-day bug with the expected patch timing.

Adobe will update Flash Player and earlier for Windows, Mactintosh, Linux and Solaris on April 15, but the Google Chrome update will be available from Google by April 14, Adobe's Product Security Incident Response Team posted on its blog on April 13.

Adobe had warned users of a zero-day vulnerability in Flash (Security Advisory APSA11-02) very similar to the one found and patched last month. An exploit in the wild took advantage of the security hole by embedding malicious Flash code inside a Word document. The previous bug used an Excel spreadsheet to wrap the Flash code.

An update for Adobe Acrobat X and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Reader X for Macintosh and Adobe Reader 9.4.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh will be available by the week of April 25, according to the PSIRT blog.

Adobe and Google have a code-sharing partnership, where the Chrome team receives updated builds of Flash Player for integration and testing. As soon as Google engineers finish testing the build for Chrome, the team pushes out the fix via the Chrome auto-update mechanism, an Adobe spokesperson told eWEEK. Adobe has a longer testing cycle, as it needs to test against more than 60 supported configurations of Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris and Android.

Since the sandbox in Adobe Reader X Windows prevents the exploit from being executed, Adobe said it will wait till the quarterly update for Reader on June 14 to update that version.

Until the patches are available, users are encouraged to disable Flash altogether, upgrade to Adobe Reader X or downgrade to Adobe Reader 9. They should also disable the ability to execute Flash within Microsoft Word.

Adobe Reader 9.x for UNIX, Adobe Reader for Android, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x do not contain the vulnerability.

It's cheering that Adobe is moving quickly to fix the latest vulnerabilities. The previous bug's fix came a little too late for RSA Security, who'd been compromised by that malicious Excel spreadsheet, but hopefully, Adobe's quick action will prevent similar attacks.

However, Adobe's increasing reliance on its sandbox technology to delay fixes to certain versions of software because "it can't be executed," is a little worrying. Bug should be fixed in all versions as quickly as possible. It's just waving a red flag in front of malware authors, daring them to try to crack that sandbox. What would Adobe do then? |

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel