A security flaw in Adobe Systems Macromedia Shockwave Installer could put millions of PC users at risk of code execution attacks, the company warned in an advisory.
The flaw, which carries a "critical" rating, affects Shockwave Player 10.1.0.11 and earlier versions. According to Adobes advisory, the vulnerability occurs only during the installation process, and current users do not need to take action.
"Customers downloading and installing the latest Shockwave Player are also no longer vulnerable with the updated Shockwave Player ActiveX installer," Adobe officials said.
The company credited Tipping Points Zero Day Initiative with reporting the issue, which is caused due to a boundary error in the Shockwave Installer ActiveX control. It sets up a scenario where a malicious hacker can trigger a stack-based buffer overflow via overly long values passed in two specific parameters to the control.
Security alerts aggregator Secunia warned that successful exploitation allows arbitrary code execution, but it requires that users are tricked into visiting a malicious Web site that prompts them to install Shockwave Player.
Users should only install Shockwave Player directly from Adobes Web site, Secunia officials said.
A separate alert from the Zero Day Initiative said that the target user is not required to have fully completed an installation of Shockwave to be vulnerable.
"This specific flaw exists within the ActiveX control with CLSID 166B1BCA-3F9C-11CF-8075-444553540000. Specifying large values for two specific parameters to this control results in an exploitable stack based buffer overflow," company officials added.
The Macromedia Shockwave player, which was originally designed for use in Web-based movies and animations, is popular in the online gaming industry. It is marketed as a browser plug-in alongside the more popular Macromedia Flash Player.
The Shockwave patch is the second from Adobe this year. Earlier this month, the company pushed out security updates to cover a potentially serious code execution flaw that affected Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Illustrator CS2 on both Windows and Mac OS platforms.