One week after patch, Flash vulnerability already exploited in large-scale attacks

The Fiesta exploit kit bundles an exploit for the CVE-2014-0569 vulnerability in Flash Player, researchers found

If you haven't updated your Flash Player with the fixes released on Oct. 14, you may be vulnerable to new attacks using a commercial exploit kit called Fiesta, security researchers warn.

The vulnerability, which is being tracked as CVE-2014-0569 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database, was fixed in Flash Player updates last week.

The bundling of an exploit for CVE-2014-0569 in an attack tool that's sold on underground markets is unusual, especially since the vulnerability was privately reported to Adobe through Hewlett-Packard's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) program, meaning its details should not be public.

The creators of exploit kits like Fiesta typically reuse proof-of-concept exploits published online by researchers or included in legitimate penetration testing tools like Metasploit. That's because reverse engineering patches to discover where vulnerabilities are located and then writing reliable exploits for them requires advanced knowledge and is generally done by professionals.

The use of custom, non-public exploits is much more common in targeted cyberespionage campaigns than in mass-scale drive-by download attacks that favor a catch-all approach and are typical to attackers using commercial exploit kits.

The use of a CVE-2014-0569 exploit in a Fiesta-powered attack was first spotted by an independent malware researcher known online as Kafeine. Initially he believed the exploit targeted a Flash vulnerability called CVE-2014-0556 that was patched in September, but Timo Hirvonen, a researcher at F-Secure, later determined it actually attacked the much newer flaw.

Kafeine expressed surprise that a CVE-2014-0569 exploit landed in Fiesta so quickly. Either the author has some really skilled contacts or someone might have been induced by money to break a non-disclosure agreement, he said in a blog post.

Regardless of where the exploit came from, users who have not yet installed the latest Flash Player updates should do so as soon as possible; especially companies, where automatic updates are typically disabled and the patch deployment process takes longer.

Windows and Mac users should update to Flash Player 15.0.0.189, or 13.0.0.250 if they're using the extended support release. Users of Flash Player on Linux should upgrade to version 11.2.202.411. The Flash Player plug-ins bundled with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 will receive patches though the update mechanisms of those browsers.

Adobe also released updates for its AIR application runtime and software development kit (SDK), since the program bundles Flash Player.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online safetysecurityAdobe SystemsDesktop securityf-secureExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?