According to an Adobe security advisory, Flash Player suffers from a zero day vulnerability, which attackers are currently leveraging in the wild to execute malicious code on victim computers.
It seems like just last month I described this exact same zero day Adobe Flash vulnerability…. oh, wait. That’s because I did!
Ok, fine. They aren’t technically exactly the same, but on a functional level they might as well be. Though Adobe never gives much technical detail in their advisories, both the old and new vulnerability lie within Flash’s Authplay.dll component. In both cases, attackers embed malicious SWF files within Office documents. Last month, they used Excel documents, this month, they go for Word documents. Finally, in both cases, if you open said malicious Office document on a computer with Flash installed, the specially crafted SWF file can execute code with your privileges, and allow an attacker to install pretty much any malware he wants on your computer.
As with last month’s Flash zero day, Adobe just recently learned of this flaw from reports of attackers exploiting it in the wild, and haven’t had time to patch it yet. They plan to release Adobe Flash Player and Acrobat X updates that will fix this issue as soon as they can (they say they are still scheduling it). However, they do not intend to release a Reader X update till June, since Reader X’s default sandbox setting should prevent this exploit from working.
Like before, I recommend you warn your users about opening Word documents attached to strange emails. If you like, you could use the proxies on our XTM appliances to block all Word attachments. However, most organizations need to allow them for business. I will let you know when Adobes updates their products in Security Alerts posted here. – Corey Nachreiner, CISSP
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