Adobe issues update for Flash, warning for Reader

Adobe was busy this week -- releasing an update for a Flash flaw and posting news of a security vulnerability in Adobe Reader

Yesterday was sort of a busy day for Adobe security. Of course, that doesn't seem like such an uncommon occurrence these days. Adobe issued an update to address a security flaw in Flash, and followed up with a new security advisory about a vulnerability impacting Adobe Reader.

The Adobe security bulletin for the Flash vulnerability provides details about the issue. "Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Adobe Flash Player 10.1.85.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris, and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.95.1 for Android. These vulnerabilities, including CVE-2010-3654 referenced in Security Advisory APSA10-05, could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system."

Adobe has developed an updated version of Flash -- version 10.1.102.64 -- to address the problem. All users of affected versions of Adobe Flash are urged to upgrade to the newest version. Adobe has also developed a patched version of Flash Player 9 -- version 9.0.289.0 -- for those who can't move up to Flash Player 10. There is no fix yet for Adobe Flash Player for Android, but Adobe expects to have that update available on November 9, 2010.

Adobe also published a blog post describing a potential security threat affecting Adobe Reader. "Adobe is aware of a potential issue in Adobe Reader posted publicly today on the Full Disclosure list. A proof-of-concept file demonstrating a Denial of Service was published. Arbitrary code execution has not been demonstrated, but may be possible. We are currently investigating this issue."

Adobe stresses that the issue does not affect Adobe Acrobat, and that it is not currently aware of any attacks exploiting the Adobe Reader issue. Still, pending an actual patch or update, Adobe provides guidance to use the JavaScript Blacklist Framework to protect vulnerable systems.

The JavaScript Blacklist Framework is a mechanism for blocking vulnerable APIs rather than disabling JavaScript altogether. The blacklist is maintained in the Windows registry and the Macintosh OS X FeatureLockdown file. The Adobe blog post about the Reader issue includes step by step instructions to use the framework.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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