Disable now: Adobe Flash is under fire and there's no security fix

The latest version of Flash for Windows and Mac — the one that is under attack — is version 16.0.0.257

An exploit kit known as Angler is targeting a previously unseen flaw in the latest version of Flash Player, which Adobe only updated a week ago.

It may be time for Windows users to disable the Flash Player browser plugin, according to researcher “kafeine”, who reported today that the Angler exploit kit is targeting a newly discovered flaw in the media player.

Since Adobe doesn’t have a fix for the flaw, the malware researcher suggests “disabling Flash Player for some days might be a good idea”.

The latest version of Flash for Windows and Mac — the one that is under attack — is version 16.0.0.257. The attack comes just one week after Adobe fixed nine flaws in Flash Player, including seven that were remotely exploitable.

Angler is one of handful of “exploit kits” that contain multiple remote attacks for flaws in widely used products like Flash, PDF readers like Adobe Reader and Java.

While exploits for flaws that have been patched by affected vendors are run-of-the-mill for these kits, it’s less common for them to contain attacks for previously unseen or ‘0-day’ flaws. Those flaws are typically discovered after a highly targeted attack.

On the “Malware don’t need Coffee” blog, @kafeine outlined the system configurations for Flash Player 16.0.0.257 that are so far confirmed to have been successfully exploited. These include Windows XP running Internet Explorer (IE) 6 through to 9, Windows 7 with IE8, and Windows 8 running IE10 with the Windows8-RT-KB3008925-x86 update.

System configurations confirmed to be safe from the attack include the most recently updated version of Windows 8.1 and Chrome.

The researcher was still running tests on other configurations when contacted by CSO Australia but was not able to provide further details.

Adobe has yet to offer official advice for users, however an Adobe spokesperson told CSO Australia that "we aware of the report and are investigating".

The most notorious exploit kit in recent years has been Blackhole however Cisco in its 2015 annual security report noted that Angler — which uses Flash, Java, IE and Silver light flaws - was “the one to watch” in 2015.

Kafeine noted that the free version of Malwarebytes Anti Exploit did manage to stop the exploit.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Read more: Sandbox-busting Adobe Reader zero-day bundled in Blackhole


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Tags PDF readerskafeinejavadisable nowmalwareadobe readerEnex TestLabwindows xpAnglerflash playerWindows userssecurity fixesMalwarebytesadobe flashBlackholeCSO Australia@kafeine

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