Adobe Systems has updated its Flash media player to patch a vulnerability that hackers were exploiting after attack code leaked from the devastating Hacking Team breach. Adobe is creating a fix for a critical vulnerability after a team of hackers broke into the surveillance firm Hacking Team’s systems. The vulnerability affecting Flash Player allowed for hackers to hack into servers belonging to Hacking Team which was infiltrated this past weekend. The attack was sophisticated and is estimated to have taken only days or weeks to complete. Over 400 gigabytes of corporate data was stolen.
Hacking Team is popular for its surveillance tools and spyware to customers such as government agencies, intelligence units, and police forces worldwide. The critical flaw was being targeted in a large array of malware titles such as Angler and Nuclear exploit kits and has been folded in to the Metasploit hacking framework. The exploits can be used to secretly install Hacking Team surveillance software, or other types of malware, on vulnerable computers with little detection of foul play. If the exploits leaked from the colossal Hacking Team breach are limited to two or three unpatched vulnerabilities in Flash, Windows, and SELinux, the resulting damage will be much less severe than it might have been. With 400 gigabytes of data to stolen, it is still possible that there are other unexpected things to find.
The vulnerability is cataloged as CVE-2015-5119 and is active in Flash versions 126.96.36.199 and earlier. According to security firm Rapid 7, the vulnerability comes from a use after free bug that can be exploited while Flash is handling ByteArray objects. Adobe’s update is now available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems. Google's Project Zero and Morgan Marquis-Boire, director of security, First Look Media, played a large part in working with Adobe for reporting the critical bug and protecting Flash users.
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