Adobe pushes critical Flash Player update to fix latest zero-day

Users with automatic updates enabled in Flash Player have already started receiving the new patch

Adobe Systems started pushing a critical Flash Player patch to users who have auto-update enabled over the weekend in order to fix a vulnerability that has been exploited by attackers since last week.

An exploit for the vulnerability has been integrated into the Angler Exploit Kit, a tool used by cybercriminals to launch mass drive-by-download attacks, primarily through malicious ads displayed on legitimate websites.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2015-0311, affects users with Flash Player enabled in Mozilla Firefox and in all versions of Internet Explorer running on Windows 8.1 and earlier. The Flash Player plug-in bundled with Google Chrome also has the vulnerability, but the browser's security sandbox mechanism prevents its exploitation.

"Users who have enabled auto-update for the Flash Player desktop runtime will be receiving version 16.0.0.296 beginning on January 24," Adobe said in a security advisory Saturday.

The company also said that it will make the new Flash Player version available for manual download this week. Even though the release hasn't officially been announced yet, the new version is already available on its distribution site.

The update comes after Adobe released another Flash Player version last week to address a different zero-day, or exploited but unpatched, vulnerability. That one was tracked as CVE-2015-0310.

Drive-by-download attacks silently install malware on users' computers when they visit compromised websites or view malicious ads in their browsers. Attackers manage to push malicious ads onto ad networks through a variety of techniques that include impersonating advertisers. Those ads then make it onto large legitimate websites.

Combining malvertising with zero-day exploits results in very powerful and widespread attacks that are hard to defend against. The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center raised the threat level to yellow because of the ongoing Flash Player attacks.

Users can also protect themselves by enabling the click-to-play feature in browsers which prevents plug-in-based content like Flash from running automatically without the user's consent.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags patchessecurityAdobe Systemspatch managementExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?