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Adobe Warns of Flash, PDF Zero-Day Attacks 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-even-uses-that-stuff-anyway dept.
InfosecWarrior writes "Adobe issued an alert late Friday night to warn about zero-day attacks against an unpatched vulnerability in its Reader and Flash Player software products. The vulnerability, described as critical, affects Adobe Flash Player 10.0.45.2 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. It also affects the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix operating systems."
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Adobe Warns of Flash, PDF Zero-Day Attacks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:17AM (#32468768)

    ... my iPad isn't affected !

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Um, neither is my FreeBSD box, you make it sound like that's a good thing. As long as the other platforms use Flash, you're just kinda left out in the cold.
      • Re:Good thing ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ushering05401 (1086795) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:25AM (#32468808) Journal

        It is a good thing when non-technical customers start saying they are sick of the trauma of using a dominant proprietary product. Whether or not that results in a willingness to embrace an alternative is a different matter, but it is a start.

        • by MrHanky (141717)

          You would have a point if the same non-technical customers weren't happily tied to use iTunes.

          • by Vekseid (1528215)
            Some of my non-technical clients are getting plenty fed up with iTunes. There is plenty of room for something better to come along.
            • Not if you use an iPod or iPhone.
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Culture20 (968837)
                And my non-techy friends are buying android phones and saying they got a phone just like my iPhone. Apple failed to remain different.
              • Did you just say "jailbreak"? My kid has an iPod that was jailbroken within 4 hours after he got it. (Not a new one - he bought a used one, just so he could jailbreak it. Wasn't worth the risk of bricking a NEW phone!"

              • Re:Good thing ... (Score:5, Insightful)

                by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @02:26PM (#32470004)

                Why would you think you are tied to iTunes with an iPhone. You do realize that the music in the iTunes music store are simple AAC (un-encrypted at that). The iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad hardware will play standard MP3 and AAC without issue, which pretty much covers just about any music store out there. There are also a ton of open source alternatives to iTunes. iTunes exposes a standard XML which can be used to maintain the library with any third party software.

                Try harder....

                "Not if you use an iPod or iPhone."

                • by toriver (11308)

                  Because iTunes has two roles: One as a music library and player (like WMP), and the other as a sync program for Apple's devices (like HotSync for Flash back in the day).

                  Other devices come without sync software but just mount as a remote disk, letting the tech-savvy user navigate cryptic folder structures themselves instead.

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by cheeseboy001 (986317)
                  Are we thinking of the same iTunes? Any music from earlier than last year has DRM and will pretty much only work on an iPod. Heaps of other music stores sell music in WMA format with DRM, which decidedly won't work on Apple hardware. The iTunes library format and the iPod syncing protocol are anything but standard, and while there are a few alternatives to iTunes (which in my experience are not that great), they're only around because of the massive reverse-engineering effort the community's put in. I'm no
                  • by Wovel (964431)

                    So it is Apple fault that others stores used a proprietary DRM format? DRM was all the record labels decision anyway. Apple removed it and offers a relatively inexpensive upgrade for anything you already own.

            • iTunes is mediocre, but everything else plain sucks. It's not Apple's fault everyone else is barely even trying.

          • No, he has a point whether or not the same non-tech customers are still tied to iTunes.

            A step in the right direction is a step in right direction. Maybe getting rid of all proprietary formats would be better, but an improvement is an improvement, whether or not there is more which could be improved.

            • by MrHanky (141717)

              Not at all. Flash is available for several platforms; iTunes only for Windows and Mac. Flash is a resource hog on OS X and Linux, iTunes is a resource hog on Windows (and possibly on OS X too, but you can't properly remove it, so you would never know). Flash content can be accessed by other clients (gnash and that new plug-in), iTunes actively locks out clients not approved by Apple (like Palm Pre). iTunes is designed to make it difficult for the consumer to switch to less expensive hardware, Flash in't.

              • by Wovel (964431)

                Real flash content can not be accessed by gnash. I suspect you already knew this, but decided trying to make a point was > than your integrity.

                • by MrHanky (141717)

                  Potentially, it can, depending on man hours (Flash is no less open that Apple's HTML5). Although non-Apple approved hardware "can" access iTunes, Apple actively makes sure it can't. I suspect you already knew this, too. So fuck integrity, eh?

      • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:30AM (#32468838)

        As long as the other platforms use Flash, you're just kinda left out in the cold.

        Pfft. There's plenty of porn on MP3 and WMV.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Wait, so ... Flash is buggy, and a security risk?!? WHO FREAKING KNEW?!? (oh, that's right. Steve Jobs did. Thank God.)
      • Re:Good thing ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by paimin (656338) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @04:05PM (#32470562)
        Where did all the Apple haters go? I thought Flash was "the whole internet" and "drop-dead gorgeous", and big evil Apple was ruining everything by using their mystical powers of mind control and beating up on poor little Adobe.

        Oh, I see, everyone just took off their Apple hater hats and put on their Flash hater hats.
        • by HiThere (15173)

          Largely a different group of people. When you homogenize your idea of the audience, you loose crucial perspective.

          FWIW, I use neither Apple nor Flash, and will happily bash either, as appropriate. I consider Flash trashy and a security risk, and Apple has an intolerable EULA, despite the nice hardware.

        • Not everyone.

          <-- admits to being an Apple fanboy. I've hated Flash from the outset; nothing against Adobe /per se/, just that from "GO!" Flash was a memory hog, still leaks even today, and was a major security backdoor through which an otherwise fairly secure web browsing experience could be hijacked, and rather easily.

          Apple's recent changes to drive lock-in, such as through the App Store, don't sit well with me, but I'll wait and see what the outcome is. Flash is a miserable piece of crap, and alw
  • by swb (14022) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:18AM (#32468776)

    Figure it out, Steve. Every other platform is getting Flash, I want the same opportunity for malware exploits that other mobile platforms will be getting.

    • by cpghost (719344)
      At least, we FreeBSD-ers aren't getting Flash... I guess we were lucky this time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Conley Index (957833)

        Why do you think, "we FreeBSD-ers aren't getting Flash"?

        I do have (the Linux version of) Flash 10 installed on my FreeBSD 8 amd64 systems and running it in a native FreeBSD amd64 Firefox. (Of course, it is usually blocked by noscript and flashblock.) A few years ago that might have been difficult to get running, but now it is just ports.

        If we really want Flash is another story...

        • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @12:26PM (#32469116)

          Of course, it is usually blocked by noscript and flashblock.

          This appears to be a SWF file being run by Adobe Reader or Acrobat. Browser based plugins aren't going to help when it's opened by a desktop application.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          I'm finding that gnash seems to fill my needs for things like Youtube, which lets face it is the only real reason why anybody wants flash apart from web games. And with Youtube's owners being interested in ditching flash, I'm not sure how much longer it will even be needed for that.
        • by evilviper (135110)

          I do have (the Linux version of) Flash 10 installed on my FreeBSD 8 amd64 systems and running it in a native FreeBSD amd64 Firefox.

          Unfortunately, those of us on FreeBSD 7.x, 6.x or perhaps even below, are limited to Flash 7. And frankly, I haven't even been able to get that port to work. And that's even after I reluctantly accepted the need to have hundreds of MBs of Linux binaries installed for a single application...

    • by toriver (11308)

      Since the "open" Flash is only "open" if you want to make dev tools and Adobe maintains a monopoly on making runtimes (Gnash does little more than open FLV container movies), "every other platform" excludes anything Adobe do not see a reason to spend resources on. No Flash on Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, the PS3 browser - the list goes on. Just because the few-ish platforms Flash runs on are dominant does not mean every other platform than the Apple devices has Flash.

    • "Go screw yourself" as you said to Apple.

  • Blu-Ray = Flash = Bag of Hurt.
  • 64 bit Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I see the 64 bit Flash plugin for Linux has not been updated. Anyone heard of a timeline for this update?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      I see the 64 bit Flash plugin for Linux has not been updated.

      Does that really suprize you?

  • by hackstraw (262471) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:40AM (#32468888)

    The closest platforms to getting it right are Apple and Linux distros. I say that because they provide a central software base and can push out updates all coming from one place. If you use something like Windows, you have to get updates from Microsoft, your hardware manufactures and then your 3rd party software. AFAIK, Windows still does not come with a PDF viewer, and I think its time for 3rd party plugins to completely disappear from web browsers. I've held the plugin belief for over 10 years.

    Even if I say that Apple and Linux are better, they too are broken. And then there are 3rd party apps that continually want you to upgrade them before you run them. Its obnoxious. I can't think of any consumer or professional piece of equipment that needs such care and feeding. If my car has issues (yeah car analogy), then there is a recall. Its a big deal. I would never drive a car that says, "Before you start your car, there is an important safety update, do you want to install that update or blow it off?"

    I guess I'm saying that now that internet access is available via cell technology and wifi and wired devices, and I don't know of anybody that uses a compuer not connected to one of these things, that bandwidth needs to increase and "cloud" or computing as a service needs to become a reality. Sure, nobody trusts these big bad internet companies with their data besides the exceptions like online tax services, online banking, facebook and their ilk, ISPs with their logs and their email, ecommerce, and other random services. But maybe, just maybe in the near future there can be a stable computing platform.

    • Well, IMO, that's not a valid assumption. Adobe pushes out updates all the time on my Wintendo machines. I've been online since last night with two Ubuntu machines and haven't gotten an update yet.

      As for third party plugins going away, not bloody likely.

      In fact, I'm writing this using Google Chrome browser, which is *supposed* to be a next-gen browser and will handle more plugins than even the ActiveX-ridden Internet Explorer.

      Also, the web has moved so far away from HTML/JavaScript only that you are pretty
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Also, the web has moved so far away from HTML/JavaScript only that you are pretty much unable to browse most sites without flash, or some video player or various other plugins.

        Strange: Flash is the only plugin I have installed and I have Flash and Javascript disabled on most sites... doesn't seem to be a problem.

        • If you're on some very basic sites, that can be done. My home page does not require flash but does have some javascript elements.

          This site is heavy with javascript.
      • by toriver (11308)

        Are you seriously so brainwashed by Flash DUH-signers that you have failed to see how far HTML+Javascript has come? Browsers were able to play video using OBJECT/EMBED ten years ago.

        Flash is an abomination on the web, but has its use for simple games and the like. "Most sites" do not rely on Flash for anything more than ads - to blindly rely on Adobe and Flash to remain significant is akin to relying on Ashton-Tate and dBase III/IV to remain the dominant solution for desktop apps. There is no benefit to oth

    • I would never drive a car that says, "Before you start your car, there is an important safety update, do you want to install that update or blow it off?"

      Bullshit. It's called maintenance, and yes, cars do require it. In fact, it's much more onerous than clicking a few times and call it done - not to mention it's much cheaper.

      I guess I'm saying that now that internet access is available via cell technology and wifi and wired devices, and I don't know of anybody that uses a compuer not connected to one of th

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Why should I trust unknown servers with critical data? If I were forced to use cloud-based services for banking and file storage, I have no clue who has access to the data. Even with the best security, there are some individuals who will happily loan a blackhat their badge, PIN, and offline authentication device in return for a princely sum of cash, and barring that, there are always other exploits.

        Cloud services have some uses, but not for everything. Cloud storage is a decent method of keeping files in

      • by lgw (121541)

        Obviously, you shouldn't store non-public data in public. If you're using "the cloud" to help with bandwidth as you broadcast data you want everyone to see, that's not a problem. Otherwise, it's all about the cryptography, which is all about the key management.

        As far as the reliability - again, if you're using "the cloud" in some short-term fashion to process requests, reliability is great. But if you're storing somehting in the cloud long term - who can you trust? In the corporate world, trust is about

    • by Chryana (708485)

      Your car analogy is terrible (and irrelevant). Nobody is trying to remotely control your car, which is not the case with your computer. The software used in a car is of a very limited scope, so it is much easier to make sure it is running properly. Meanwhile, an operating system is vastly more complicated, with code produced by a number of developers which is probably several orders of magnitude greater and done on a much smaller budget for the code size. Furthermore, if you think that software which doesn'

    • by Draek (916851)

      The problem of central update mechanisms is when they fail. More specifically, when the one maintaining it decides that fixing bugs is too boring a job and goes off to work elsewhere.

      For an example of that, see Java on OSX and its terrible, terrible security record with respect to Linux and Windows all because the latter ports were maintained by Sun themselves rather than our favorite fruit-flavored company.

  • by Mojo66 (1131579) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:49AM (#32468948)

    Deleting, renaming, or removing access to the authplay.dll file that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x mitigates the threat for those products, but users will experience a non-exploitable crash or error message when opening a PDF file that contains SWF content.

    A initially rather secure document format (PDF) has become insecure because Adobe has added a plethora of mostly useless functions like Flash, Javascript etc to it.

    • by HazE_nMe (793041)
      You can update to the RC of Flash [adobe.com] and just don't open PDF files from untrusted sources (as usual).
    • by Draek (916851)

      It's not the format that's insecure, only Adobe's particularly shitty implementation of it. Now, if you *want* Javascript and Flash on your document format you're screwed, but I'd say in that case you are really Doing It Wrong(tm).

    • by CondeZer0 (158969)

      > A initially rather secure document format (PDF) has become insecure because Adobe has added a plethora of mostly useless functions like Flash, Javascript etc to it.

      Sadly this days that seems to be the trajectory followed by most software projects [cat-v.org].

      More and more bloat, more and more useless crap that nobody really needs or wants but that adds more and more complexity and makes systems more and more fragile.

  • Call me dumb, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rui Lopes (599077)

    It also affects the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX operating systems.

    ... how can the DLL affect osx & other unix OSes? And why does it ship on these OSes?

    • The DLL is part of Acrobat Reader. I've never saw a Linux that ships with Acrobat, but it is available for most of them (on some it is just a click away). Anyway, very few people do use Acrobat on Linux, unless you are one of those few that got out of your way to install it, it is not an issue.

  • If the fix is critical, why is the Linux 64-bit version still at the vulnerable level?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If the fix is critical, why is the Linux 64-bit version still at the vulnerable level?

      No versions have been fixed yet so all versions are still vulnerable ... this includes Linux 64-bit.

      • The Flash Player 10.1 Release Candidate "does not appear to be vulnerable," the company said.

        The Linux 64-bit version is still at the vulnerable level, and has not been brought up to the non-vulnerable level.

  • It's job security for us computer janitors, but still fucking annoying that their security is so bad.

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @12:42PM (#32469228) Homepage
    If Adobe had the brains of a hamster, it would prohibit executable content in PDF files. Anything fancier than a fill-in-the-blank form has no place in a document format. Business needs some sort of standardized format in which to exchange written documents electronically, and PDF has fulfilled this role until now (barring the dimwits who still send Word files around). Allowing PDF to include executable content is not only dumb - it will eventually destroy PDF as a trusted format.
    • by Jahava (946858) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @03:23PM (#32470310)

      Anything fancier than a fill-in-the-blank form has no place in a document format.

      That's a slippery slope you're walking there. The second that you open the document up to interaction and editing, you open the platform up to issues like editing capabilities, content type, content validation, and each of those opens up their own can-of-worms.

      In my opinion, PDF should do exactly what most people use it for: it should render content in a consistent, platform-independent, and read-only manner. If you need to provide a form to fill out, there are many technologies to solve that problem, but across all of them, Web/HTML stands out as the most appropriate. Web/HTML has numerous different approaches for allowing a user to fill out a form, each richer and more flexible than Adobe's PDF will (er, should) ever be. If you want the fields that are filled out to appear in a read-only document, have the web service generate a PDF document containing your answers when you complete the HTML form.

      A perfect example of this is how Google's Spreadsheets [google.com] can present a form view, which is capable of reproducing a significant amount of the capabilities that Adobe's executable content is used for with a concise user interface, and producing a PDF at the end of it.

    • barring the dimwits who still send Word files around

      I wouldn't completely knock Word. The Word document format maintains its contents as structured data as opposed to lines of text or individually placed glyphs that is all PDF can muster. That's great for consistent page rendering but not so hot for machine processing. Extracting text from PDF is considerably more complicated because paragraphs and blocks of text have to be guessed at by analyzing the page layout. Throw in right to left and vertical scripts and it gets even more complicated. Word may have a

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by faber0 (234887)

      Leaving out the "executable content" from PDFs does not shield you from exploits at all. Hostile input can still trigger all sorts of bad reactions including complete takeover. A bug can turn any simple viewer into executing the document.

  • Sent from my iPhone.

  • by Alcoholist (160427) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @01:19PM (#32469484) Homepage

    Show us the code Adobe. We of the nerd community would have had that problem fixed for you long ago.

  • Note: This is prerelease code:

    http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html [adobe.com]

    "Flash Player 10 Prereleases

    This page contains download information of developer prerelease and beta versions of Adobe® Flash® Player 10 software for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, and Android. It is being made available for developers to test their content to ensure new features function as expected, existing content plays back correctly, and there are no compatibility issues. Consumers can try the prerelease of

  • Hey! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wovel (964431) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @07:26PM (#32471774) Homepage

    Thanks Adobe, you help keep the Internet a fun and exciting place for everyone!

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