Critical security patch for Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Systems Inc. has patched multiple Adobe Flash Player flaws attackers could exploit to hijack computers and cause a variety of damage.

Adobe Systems Inc. released a massive security update Tuesday to address multiple flaws in its popular Adobe Flash Player. Danish vulnerability clearinghouse Secunia warned that attackers could exploit the flaws to hijack targeted machines and gain extra user privileges, bypass security restrictions, launch cross-site scripting attacks, disclose sensitive data, and cause a denial of service.

Adobe Flash Player is a multimedia application used with Microsoft Windows, Mozilla, and Apple platforms. Adobe said in its APSB07-20 security advisory that the flaws affect Adobe Flash Player 9.0.48.0 and earlier, 8.0.35.0 and earlier, and 7.0.70.0 and earlier on all platforms. The vendor recommended users update to version 9.0.115.0.

Secunia said in its SA28161 advisory that the flaws are highly critical, given the variety of damage attackers could inflict. The firm outlined 10 vulnerabilities:

1.) An error when parsing specially crafted regular expressions can be exploited to cause a heap-based buffer overflow.

2.) An unspecified error in the parsing of SWF files can potentially be exploited to execute arbitrary code.

3.) An error exists when pinning a hostname to an IP address. This can be exploited to conduct DNS rebinding attacks via allow-access-from elements in cross-domain-policy XML documents.

4.) An error exists in the enforcing of cross-domain policy files. This can be exploited to bypass certain security restrictions on web servers hosting cross-domain policy files.

5.) Input passed to unspecified parameters when handling the "asfunction:" protocol is not properly sanitized before being returned to the user. This can be exploited to inject arbitrary HTML and script code in a user's browser session in context of an affected site.

6.) Input passed to unspecified parameters when calling the "navigateToURL" function is not properly sanitized before being returned to the user. This can be exploited to inject arbitrary HTML and script code in a user's browser session in context of an affected site.

7.) An unspecified error can be exploited to modify HTTP headers and conduct HTTP request splitting attacks.

8.) An error within the implementation of the Socket or XMLSocket ActionScript classes can be exploited to determine if a port on a remote host is opened or closed.

9.) An error within the setting of memory permissions in Adobe Flash Player for Linux can be exploited by malicious, local users to gain escalated privileges.

10.)An unspecified error exists in Adobe Flash Player and Opera on Mac OS X.

In an email to customers of its DeepSight threat management service, Cupertino, Calif.-based security vendor Symantec Corp. said the application is prone to a DNS rebinding flaw attackers could exploit to establish arbitrary TCP sessions.

"The application allows Flash movies to open TCP sockets to arbitrary hosts that serve an XML policy file authorizing the origin of the movie," Symantec said. "The issue occurs because Flash player checks the policy file against domain names and not IP addresses. Hence it is possible to authorize a domain and then rebind the domain to a different IP address. In addition SWF files are permitted to open socket connections to high-numbered ports (above 1024) on their origin domain without a policy file.

An attacker could therefore exploit the issue by constructing a specially crafted Flash movie and duping the user into viewing the file with a vulnerable version of Flash.

Dig deeper on Application Attacks (Buffer Overflows, Cross-Site Scripting)

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