Zero Day Attack Targets Adobe - InformationWeek
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12:30 PM

Zero Day Attack Targets Adobe

No patches yet while exploits are actively targeting Adobe's Flash, Acrobat and Acrobat Reader

Adobe on Friday released a security advisory warning of a vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Acrobat on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.

The "critical" -- Adobe's most severe rating -- vulnerability could, according to the company, "cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system." Furthermore, it reported that the vulnerability was "being actively exploited in the wild against both Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Reader, and Acrobat."

The vulnerabilities exist in Adobe Flash Player and before, and Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader version 9.x, but not version 8.x.

Adobe has not yet issued a fix.

To mitigate the threat, Flash users can download the still-in-beta Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate which, Adobe said, "does not appear to be vulnerable."

Meanwhile, for Acrobat and Acrobat Reader version 9.x, "deleting, renaming, or removing access to the authplay.dll" that ships with those files eliminates the threat, according to Adobe. On the downside, if you try to open a PDF file containing vector graphics animated with SWF (Shockwave), prepare to "experience a non-exploitable crash or error message."

Adobe's products, and in particular Flash and PDF files, have been favored targets of late for hackers, perhaps on account of their being both widely adopted and also cross-platform. In fact, according to Kaspersky Labs, just two families of Adobe-oriented attack code currently in the wild -- Exploit.Win32.Pdfka and Exploit.Win32.Pidief -- together accounted for nearly half of all exploits detected in the first quarter of 2010. The attacks utilize PDF documents containing JavaScript. If opened, they can automatically download and run malware on the user's computer.

The recent prevalence and severity of these and other attacks against Adobe's products has led the company to overhaul its patching processes, begin offering automatic security updates for Adobe Reader, and reportedly to weigh moving to a regular, monthly patch cycle, akin to Microsoft's.

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User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2014 | 7:17:38 PM
Thanks Adobe
Thanks Adobe.  I have no fewer than eleven copies of authplay.dll on my computer.   It seems to come in six different sizes.  There are different versions for Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Reader, and Acrobat, among others.
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