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There’s an amergency going on, it’s still going on, it’s still an emergency

Vulnerability Note VU#259425


Adobe Flash contains a vulnerability that may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system. Adobe Flash Player, Reader, Acrobat, and other products that include Flash support are affected.

I. Description

Adobe Flash is a widely deployed multimedia platform typically used to provide content in web sites. Adobe Flash Player, Reader, Acrobat, and other Adobe products include Flash support.
Adobe Flash Player contains a code execution vulnerability. An attacker may be able to trigger this vulnerability by convincing a user to open a specially crafted Flash (SWF) file. The SWF file could be hosted or embedded in a web page or contained in a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. If an attacker can take control of a website or web server, trusted sites may exploit this vulnerability.

This vulnerability affects Adobe Flash versions and and earlier 9.x and 10.x versions. Adobe Reader 9, Acrobat 9, and other Adobe products (including Photoshop CS3, PhotoShop Lightroom, Freehand MX, Fireworks) provide Flash support independent of Flash Player. As of 2009-07-22, Adobe Reader 9.1.2 includes Flash, which is likely vulnerable to issues addressed by Flash (APSB09-01).

This vulnerability is being actively exploited. [Emphasis mine]

II. Impact

By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (e.g., a web page or an HTML email message or attachment) or a PDF file, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code.

III. Solution

We are currently unaware of a complete solution to this problem. [Emphasis mine] Please see Adobe Product Security Advisory APSA09-03 and the workarounds listed below.
It is important to apply updates and mitigations not only Flash Player, but also to Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and other products that have independent Flash support.

Disable Flash in your web browser [Emphasis original]

Disable Flash or selectively enable Flash content as described in Securing Your Web Browser.

Disable Flash and 3D & Multimedia support in Adobe Reader 9 [Emphasis original]

Flash and 3D & Multmedia support are implemented as plugin libraries in Adobe Reader. Disabling Flash in Adobe Reader will only mitigate attacks using a SWF embedded in a PDF file. Disabling 3D & Multimedia support does not directly address the vulnerability, but does provide additional mitigation and results in a more user-friendly error message instead of a crash.

To disable Flash and 3D & Multimedia support in Adobe Reader 9 on Microsoft Windows, delete or rename these files:
“%ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\authplay.dll”
“%ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\rt3d.dll”
For Apple Mac OS X, delete or rename these files:
“/Applications/Adobe Reader 9/Adobe Reader.app/Contents/Frameworks/AuthPlayLib.bundle”
“/Applications/Adobe Reader 9/Adobe Reader.app/Contents/Frameworks/Adobe3D.framework”
For GNU/Linux delete or rename these files (locations may vary among distributions):
File locations may be different for Adobe Acrobat or other Adobe products that include Flash and 3D & Multimedia support. Disabling these plugins will reduce functionality, and will not protect against SWF files hosted on web sites. Depending on the update schedule for products other than Flash Player, consider leaving Flash and 3D & Multimedia support disabled unless they are absolutely required.

Enable DEP in Microsoft Windows [Emphasis original]

Consider enabling Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in supported versions of Windows. DEP should not be treated as a complete workaround, but DEP can mitigate the execution of attacker-supplied code in some cases. Microsoft has published detailed technical information about DEP in Security Research & Defense blog posts “Understanding DEP as a mitigation technology” part 1 and part 2. Use of DEP should be considered in conjunction with the application of patches or other mitigations described in this document.

Systems Affected

Vendor Status Date Notified Date Updated
Adobe Vulnerable 2009-07-23




This vulnerability was reported on the Adobe PSIRT blog.

This document was written by Chris Taschner, Will Dormann, Chad Dougherty, and Art Manion.

Other Information

Date Public: 2009-07-22
Date First Published: 2009-07-22
Date Last Updated: 2009-07-23
CERT Advisory:
CVE-ID(s): CVE-2009-1862
NVD-ID(s): CVE-2009-1862
US-CERT Technical Alerts:
Metric: 35.34
Document Revision: 34

Put simply… Flash has a flaw that can let people murder you in your sleep through your computer. You might want to batten down a few hatches.

July 23, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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