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Adobe Flash is Hackable Again – Here’s How to Fix It

Apps & SoftwareHow-ToNews

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Adobe has issued another warning to Flash users (specifically Windows customers) explaining that they’ve discovered another security hole in the plugin. Of course, they’ve issued a fix for it, however flaws like this are being discovered like clockwork from the folks at Adobe. Just last month, there was a security flaw that could potentially allow a hacker to take total control of your computer. Then back in October of last year, another flaw was found in Flash that could crash your entire computer while ultimately leading to the elimination of all your data. I understand lots of content relies on Flash to run/play, but I think we’ve had enough. Seriously, Adobe, kill Flash. Soon.

Getting back to the issue at hand, Adobe has released a statement explaining what exactly the bug is and what harm it can do to you:

Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS.  These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.  

Adobe is aware of reports that CVE-2016-1019 is being actively exploited on systems running Windows 10 and earlier with Flash Player version 20.0.0.306 and earlier.

As stated above, this bug is specifically dangerous amongst Windows users, and while this bug may not be specifically for OS X, Chrome OS, or Linux, you’re better off updating your version of Flash anyway no matter what OS you’re on just in case Adobe comes out tomorrow and says that your current version of the plugin can destroy your computer.

Links to download the new, “safe” version of Flash can be found in Adobe’s security bulletin featured below for reference.

Security updates available for Adobe Flash Player

Release date: April 7, 2016

Vulnerability identifier: APSB16-10

Priority: See table below

CVE number: CVE-2016-1006, CVE-2016-1011, CVE-2016-1012, CVE-2016-1013, CVE-2016-1014, CVE-2016-1015, CVE-2016-1016, CVE-2016-1017, CVE-2016-1018, CVE-2016-1019, CVE-2016-1020, CVE-2016-1021, CVE-2016-1022, CVE-2016-1023, CVE-2016-1024, CVE-2016-1025, CVE-2016-1026, CVE-2016-1027, CVE-2016-1028, CVE-2016-1029, CVE-2016-1030, CVE-2016-1031, CVE-2016-1032, CVE-2016-1033

Platform: Windows, Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS

Summary

Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS.  These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Adobe is aware of reports that CVE-2016-1019 is being actively exploited on systems running Windows 10 and earlier with Flash Player version 20.0.0.306 and earlier.  Please refer to APSA16-01for details.

Affected Versions

Product Affected Versions Platform
Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime 21.0.0.197 and earlier Windows and Macintosh
Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release 18.0.0.333 and earlier Windows and Macintosh
Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome 21.0.0.197 and earlier Windows, Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS
Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 21.0.0.197 and earlier Windows 10
Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 11 21.0.0.197 and earlier Windows 8.1
Adobe Flash Player for Linux 11.2.202.577 and earlier Linux
  • To verify the version of Adobe Flash Player installed on your system, access the About Flash Player page, or right-click on content running in Flash Player and select “About Adobe (or Macromedia) Flash Player” from the menu. If you use multiple browsers, perform the check for each browser you have installed on your system.

Solution

Adobe categorizes these updates with the following priority ratings and recommends users update their installation to the newest version:

Product Updated Versions Platform Priority rating Availability
Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime 21.0.0.213 Windows and Macintosh 1 Flash Player Download Center

Flash Player Distribution

Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release 18.0.0.343 Windows and Macintosh 1 Extended Support
Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome 21.0.0.213 Windows, Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS 1 Google Chrome Releases
Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 21.0.0.213 Windows 10 1 Microsoft Security Advisory
Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 11 21.0.0.213 Windows 8.1 1 Microsoft Security Advisory
Adobe Flash Player for Linux 11.2.202.616 Linux 3 Flash Player Download Center
  • Adobe recommends users of the  Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows and Macintosh update to 21.0.0.213 via the update mechanism within the product when prompted [1], or by visiting the Adobe Flash Player Download Center.
  • Adobe recommends users of the Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release should update to version 18.0.0.343 by visiting http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html.
  • Adobe recommends users of Adobe Flash Player for Linux update to Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.616 by visiting the Adobe Flash Player Download Center.
  • Adobe Flash Player installed with Google Chrome will be automatically updated to the latest Google Chrome version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 21.0.0.213 for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Chrome OS.
  • Adobe Flash Player installed with Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer for Windows 10 will be automatically updated to the latest version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 21.0.0.213.
  • Adobe Flash Player installed with Internet Explorer for Windows 8.1 will be automatically updated to the latest version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 21.0.0.213.
  • Please visit the Flash Player Help page for assistance in installing Flash Player.
[1] Users of Flash Player 11.2.x or later for Windows, or Flash Player 11.3.x or later for Macintosh, who have selected the option to ‘Allow Adobe to install updates’ will receive the update automatically. Users who do not have the ‘Allow Adobe to install updates’ option enabled can install the update via the update mechanism within the product when prompted.

Vulnerability Details

  • These updates harden a mitigation against JIT spraying attacks that could be used to bypass memory layout randomization mitigations (CVE-2016-1006).
  • These updates resolve type confusion vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2016-1015, CVE-2016-1019).
  • These updates resolve use-after-free vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2016-1011, CVE-2016-1013, CVE-2016-1016, CVE-2016-1017, CVE-2016-1031).
  • These updates resolve memory corruption vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2016-1012, CVE-2016-1020, CVE-2016-1021, CVE-2016-1022, CVE-2016-1023, CVE-2016-1024, CVE-2016-1025, CVE-2016-1026, CVE-2016-1027, CVE-2016-1028, CVE-2016-1029, CVE-2016-1032, CVE-2016-1033).
  • These updates resolve a stack overflow vulnerability that could lead to code execution (CVE-2016-1018).
  • These updates resolve a security bypass vulnerability (CVE-2016-1030).
  • These updates resolve a vulnerability in the directory search path used to find resources that could lead to code execution (CVE-2016-1014).

Acknowledgments

  • Yuki Chen of Qihoo 360 Vulcan Team working with Trend Micro’s ZDI (CVE-2016-1015, CVE-2016-1016, CVE-2016-1017)
  • Tencent PC Manager working with Trend Micro’s ZDI (CVE-2016-1018)
  • Mateusz Jurczyk and Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero (CVE-2016-1011, CVE-2016-1013)
  • willj of Tencent PC Manager (CVE-2016-1020, CVE-2016-1021, CVE-2016-1022, CVE-2016-1023, CVE-2016-1024, CVE-2016-1025, CVE-2016-1026, CVE-2016-1027, CVE-2016-1028, CVE-2016-1029, CVE-2016-1031, CVE-2016-1032, CVE-2016-1033)
  • Stefan Kanthak (CVE-2016-1014)
  • bo13oy of CloverSec Labs (CVE-2016-1012)
  • Kang Yang of Qihoo 360 (CVE-2016-1006)
  • Nicolas Joly of Microsoft’s security team (CVE-2016-1030)
  • Kafeine (EmergingThreats/Proofpoint) and Genwei Jiang (FireEye, Inc.), as well as Clement Lecigne of Google (CVE-2016-1019)

Once you click on one of the links above to download the necessary update for your system, you’ll be presented with a download screen. Just click the big yellow “Install now” button to start downloading the appropriate update, open the file just added to your system, click “Install Adobe Flash” (if you’re on Mac) or proceed through the installation process (if your on Windows), and restart whatever browser you’re using.

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