Menu
Attackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player

Attackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player

The exploit was included in the Angler exploit kit, a security researcher reported

Attackers are using compromised websites to exploit a new and currently unpatched vulnerability in Flash Player, a malware researcher has reported.

The new exploit was observed in drive-by-download attacks launched with an exploit kit called Angler, according to an independent researcher who uses the online alias Kafeine.

Exploit kits are malicious Web applications that contain exploits for vulnerabilities in browsers and browser plug-ins such as Java, Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Silverlight. Attackers silently redirect users' browsers to exploit kit installations by inserting rogue code in compromised websites and malicious advertisements.

The kits choose which exploits to load from their arsenal depending on the visitor's browser and installed plug-ins. If successful, the exploits install malware. It's known as a drive-by-download attack and is typically transparent to users.

Exploit kits usually target known vulnerabilities, which is why it's important to keep browser plug-ins like Flash Player up to date. But that doesn't help if attackers have an exploit for a zero-day vulnerability -- one that's not been patched yet by the software vendor.

Zero-day exploits are valuable to hackers, which is why they're more commonly used in targeted attacks where the stakes are higher and the goal is usually cyberespionage. It's unusual to see them in mass attacks like those performed with Angler and other exploit kits.

The new zero-day exploit used in Angler worked successfully on the latest Flash Player version on Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8, Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10, and Windows XP with IE 6 to 9, Kafeine said in a blog post. Disabling Flash Player for some days might be a good idea, he said.

Adobe is aware of the report and investigating the claims, a spokeswoman said via email.

However, Kafeine claims he shared the exploit with the company, and that Adobe has confirmed it.

"The zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player, as discovered by Kafeine, could provide a big security risk for Internet users, effectively opening an unguarded window onto PCs worldwide," said Pedro Bustamante, director of special projects at security firm Malwarebytes, via email.

"The fact that it has seemingly been integrated into the Angler Exploit Kit shows that criminals are keen to use it to target people and businesses en-masse," he said. "Using a delivery mechanism such as Angler increases the chance of successful infections, allowing for accurate attacks through infected adverts on high traffic websites."

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Adobe SystemssecurityMalwarebytesExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments