Adobe releases patches for Flash Player and Shockwave Player

The new updates address 19 critical vulnerabilities

Adobe released security updates for Flash Player and Shockwave Player on Tuesday in order to address a total of 19 vulnerabilities affecting the two products.

New stand-alone versions of Flash Player 11 were released for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. The Flash Player plug-ins bundled with Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 will be automatically updated through the update mechanisms of the two browsers.

The new Flash Player versions patch 17 vulnerabilities, 16 of which are critical and can result in remote code execution. These vulnerabilities "could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," Adobe said in a security advisory. The other vulnerability could result in information disclosure.

New versions of Flash Player 10 have also been released for Windows, Mac and Linux in order to accommodate users who, for whatever reason, cannot upgrade to Flash Player 11.

Adobe AIR, a cross-platform runtime system for rich Internet applications, and the Adobe AIR SDK (Software Development Kit) have also received updates because they bundle Flash Player.

Adobe has a list of the new Flash Player and Adobe AIR version numbers for each specific platform in the "Solution" section of its APSB13-05 security advisory.

Adobe Shockwave Player, which is required for displaying some online content such as 3D games, product demonstrations, simulations and e-learning courses created with Adobe's Director software, has been updated to version 12.0.0.112 for the Windows and Mac platforms. The new version addresses two critical vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to run malicious code on the underlying systems.

Shockwave Player is not as popular as Flash Player, but according to Adobe, it still has a user base of more than 450 million.

The patches released Tuesday follow Adobe's new security update cycle. Back in November, the company announced that it will align its releases of Flash Player security updates with Microsoft's Patch Tuesday schedule, which sees security patches released on the second Tuesday of every month.

However, Adobe was forced to break out of this schedule last Thursday when it released an emergency update for Flash Player in order to address two actively exploited vulnerabilities.

Adobe is not aware of any exploits or attacks in the wild that target any of the issues addressed in the new Flash Player or Shockwave Player updates, said Heather Edell, senior manager of corporate communications at Adobe, in an email message on Tuesday.

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