A Vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (APSA18-01) (APSA18-03)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2018-016 - UPDATED
Date(s) Issued: 
Friday, February 2, 2018
Date Updated: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Subject: 
A Vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (APSA18-01) (APSA18-03)
Overview: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution. Adobe Flash Player is a widely distributed multimedia and application player used to enhance the user experience when visiting web pages or reading email messages. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of this vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

February 7th - UPDATED OVERVIEW:

An additional vulnerability (CVE-2018-4877) was discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There has been a report of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild in a limited, targeted attack against users running Windows. The report states that the targeted attacks are being carried out over email using Microsoft Office document attachments that contain embedded malicious Flash content.

Systems Affected: 
  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux versions 28.0.0.137 and earlier

  • Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome versions 28.0.0.137 and earlier

  • Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 versions 28.0.0.137 and earlier

RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
High
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
High
Home Users: 
High
Description: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution. This vulnerability occurs due to a use-after-free error (CVE-2018-4878). Adobe is scheduled to release a patch to address this vulnerability during the week of February 5th, 2018. In the meantime, Adobe has provided mitigation steps that are listed in the actions section below.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of this vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

February 7th - UPDATED DESCRIPTION:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Flash Player that could allow for remote code execution. These vulnerabilities occur due to a use-after-free error (CVE-2018-4878, CVE-2018-4877).

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of this vulnerability could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, immediately install the update once it has been released by Adobe.

  • Enable click-to-play to require user interaction before enabling SWF content for Internet Explorer 7 and below.

  • Enable read-only protected view for Microsoft Office.

  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.

  • Remind users not to visit websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.

  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.

        February 7th - UPDATED ACTIONS:

  • After appropriate testing, immediately install the update released by Adobe.
  • Remove applications if there are no business need for their usage in your environment.