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A Vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (APSB18-44)

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:

2018-130

DATE(S) ISSUED:

11/21/2018

OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for arbitrary code execution. Adobe Flash Player is a widely distributed multimedia and application player used to enhance the user experience when visiting web pages or reading email messages. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of this vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

A Proof-of-Concept has been developed by the researchers who discovered this vulnerability to demonstrate this issue.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux versions 31.0.0.148 and earlier
  • Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome versions 31.0.0.148 and earlier
  • Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 versions 31.0.0.148 and earlier

RISK:

Government:
  • Large and medium government entities: HIGH
  • Small government entities: MEDIUM
Businesses:
  • Large and medium business entities: HIGH
  • Small business entities: MEDIUM
Home Users:
LOW

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for arbitrary code execution. This vulnerability occurs due to the interpreter code of the Action Script Virtual Machine (AVM) not resetting a with-scope pointer when an exception is caught, leading later to a type confusion bug, and eventually to arbitrary code execution.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of this vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

RECOMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply the update provided by Adobe to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Enable click-to-play to require user interaction before enabling SWF content for Internet Explorer 7 and below.
  • Enable read-only protected view for Microsoft Office.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.
  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.

REFERENCES:

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