No stranger to security scares, Adobe is once again at the center of a new potential threat to the company's Flash software for just about every platform; Windows, Linux, Mac and Android (as well as Solaris).
According to a security blog entry by Adobe, the affected software versions are:
- Adobe Flash Player 10.2.153.1 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems
- Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.25 and earlier for Chrome users
- Adobe Flash Player 10.2.156.12 and earlier for Android
- The Authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.0.2) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh operating systems
A critical vulnerability exists in Flash Player 10.2.153.1 and earlier versions (Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.25 and earlier for Chrome users) for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris, Adobe Flash Player 10.2.156.12 and earlier versions for Android, and the Authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.0.2) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
This vulnerability (CVE-2011-0611) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Word (.doc) file delivered as an email attachment, targeting the Windows platform. At this time, Adobe is not aware of any attacks via PDF targeting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigation would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.
While, theoretically at least, a user could gain control of a computer by utilizing this particular security hole, users can reduce the risk by using simple common sense. As BGR reports, hacks against Flash tend to come from embedded code inside a Microsoft Word document. If you get a Word doc in an email from a source you don't know, simply not opening it will help protect you. It's a simple way to help yourself, though admittedly there are users out there who won't be quite so tech savvy.
With Adobe categorizing the issue as 'critical', chances are a fix will arrive sooner rather than later, so don't go panicking just yet.