CIS Logo
tagline: Confidence in the Connected World
HomeResourcesAdvisoriesA Vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (APSA18-01)

A Vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (APSA18-01) (APSA18-03)

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:

2018-016

DATE(S) ISSUED:

02/02/2018

OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote 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.

February 06 – UPDATED OVERVIEW:
An additional vulnerability (CVE-2018-4877) was discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There has been a report of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild in a limited, targeted attack against users running Windows. The report states that the targeted attacks are being carried out over email using Microsoft Office document attachments that contain embedded malicious Flash content.

February 06 – UPDATED THREAT INTELLIGENCE:
There has been no reports of the additional vulnerability (CVE-2018-4877) being exploited in the wild.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux versions 28.0.0.137 and earlier
  • Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome versions 28.0.0.137 and earlier
  • Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 versions 28.0.0.137 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 remote code execution. This vulnerability occurs due to a use-after-free error (CVE-2018-4878). Adobe is scheduled to release a patch to address this vulnerability during the week of February 5th, 2018. In the meantime, Adobe has provided mitigation steps that are listed in the recommendations section below.

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.

February 06 – UPDATED TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution. These vulnerabilities occur due to a use-after-free error (CVE-2018-4878, CVE-2018-4877).

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities 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:

  • Install the update once it has been released by Adobe 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.

February 06 – UPDATED RECOMMENDATIONS:
We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Install the update released by Adobe immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Remove applications if there are no business need for their usage in your environment.

REFERENCES:

Get Email Updates When Cyber Threats Like This Arise

Arrow Subscribe to Advisories

Protect Your Systems from Cyber Threats Like This

CIS Control That Helps Avoid This Issue Arrow CIS Control 3: Continuous Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation CIS Benchmarks and Other Tools for Related Technology Arrow Distribution Independent Linux Arrow Google Chrome Arrow Microsoft Internet Explorer Arrow Microsoft Office Arrow Microsoft Windows Desktop