Update: Attackers exploit critical bug in Adobe’s Flash and Reader

Critical Bug in Adobe Products

Last week, Adobe warned that attackers are exploiting a critical vulnerability in the company's most widely-used software: Flash Player and Adobe Reader.

The zero-day vulnerability is reminiscent of one Adobe disclosed and patched in July 2009, and comes just days after the company's head of security admitted hackers have its software in their crosshairs.

Adobe said that the bug affects Flash Player 10.0.45.2, the most up-to-date version of the popular media player, as well as older editions on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris. Also vulnerable: PDF viewer Adobe Reader 9.x and PDF creation software Adobe Acrobat 9.x on Windows, Macintosh and Unix.

Last week's advisory noted that vulnerability exists not only inside Flash, but also within the "authplay.dll" file packaged with every Windows copy of Reader and Acrobat. That file is the interpreter that handles Flash content embedded within PDF files.

Last year, hackers exploited the critical bug in Adobe's authplay.dll using rigged PDF documents, and also used it in drive-by attacks that enticed users into viewing malicious Flash streaming media on attack sites. Adobe gave no details Friday about the attacks it had spotted -- the first of which it received last week -- but it's likely that attacks will use those same tactics.

Adobe did not set a timetable for shipping a patch, but has metself-imposed 15-day rush patch deadlines several times last year. If the company again meets that deadline, it will deliver a fix no later than June 19.

In the meantime, Reader and Acrobat users can protect themselves by deleting or renaming authplay.dll. Doing so, however, means that opening a PDF file containing Flash content will crash the software or produce an error message.

Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate, which can be downloaded from Adobe's site, "does not appear to be vulnerable," Adobe said, implicitly urging users to shift to the unfinished software.

Orignal Story By Gregg Keizer, ComputerWorld, June 6, 2010 07:35 AM ET

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