Adobe under attack: New PDF, Flash zero-day

Summary:Adobe's security response team is scrambling to respond to new zero-day attacks against a computer hijack vulnerability in two of its most widely deployed products: Flash Player and Adobe PDF Reader.

Adobe's security response team is scrambling to respond to new zero-day attacks against a computer hijack vulnerability in two of its most widely deployed products: Flash Player and Adobe PDF Reader.

The flaw, which is currently being exploited in the wild with booby-trapped PDF documents, affects Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris users.   The zero-day attacks are currently targeted Windows users.

Here's a summary of the problem:

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A critical vulnerability has been identified in Flash Player 10.1.85.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris; Adobe Flash Player 10.1.95.2 and earlier versions for Android; and the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader 9.4 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX, and Adobe Acrobat 9.4 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh. This vulnerability (CVE-2010-3654) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Adobe has posted an advisory that notes that the attacks are only against Adobe Reader and Acrobat.   The company said it was not aware of attacks targeting the ubiquitous Flash Player.

Temporary mitigations

In the interim, the company suggests that affected users delete, rename or remove access to the authplay.dll file that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x.

This mitigates the threat for those products, but users will experience a non-exploitable crash or error message when opening a PDF file that contains Flash (SWF) content.

The authplay.dll that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows is typically located at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\authplay.dll for Adobe Reader or C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat\authplay.dll for Acrobat.

Adobe Reader 9.x - Macintosh 1) Go to the Applications->Adobe Reader 9 folder. 2) Right Click on Adobe Reader. 3) Select Show Package Contents. 4) Go to the Contents->Frameworks folder. 5) Delete or move the AuthPlayLib.bundle file.

Acrobat Pro 9.x - Macintosh 1) Go to the Applications->Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro folder. 2) Right Click on Adobe Acrobat Pro. 3) Select Show Package Contents. 4) Go to the Contents->Frameworks folder. 5) Delete or move the AuthPlayLib.bundle file.

Adobe Reader 9.x - UNIX 1) Go to installation location of Reader (typically a folder named Adobe). 2) Within it browse to Reader9/Reader/intellinux/lib/ (for Linux) or Reader9/Reader/intelsolaris/lib/ (for Solaris). 3) Remove the library named "libauthplay.so.0.0.0."

Adobe said it expects to have a patch for Flash Player by November 9, 2010 and update for Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x during the week of November 15, 2010.

Topics: Security, Enterprise Software

About

Ryan Naraine is a journalist and social media enthusiast specializing in Internet and computer security issues. He is currently security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, an anti-malware company with operations around the globe. He is taking a leadership role in developing the company's online community initiative around secure content managem... Full Bio

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