Patch Tuesday part two – Adobe patches Reader, Flash and more

Adobe have released their latest batch of quarterly security updates covering Flash, Shockwave, Reader, Acrobat, ColdFusion, LifeCycle and Blaze.

Flash logoAfter only 9 days another zero day exploit has been fixed in Adobe Flash player. Adobe released updates for Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and Linux today at Updates for the Android version of Flash Player should be posted before the end of the week. This flaw is being exploited in the wild and is considered critical.

Shockwave player for Windows and Mac saw 24 vulnerabilities fixed this quarter, begging the question of why anyone still installs this software. That is an extremely large attack surface for something hardly used on modern websites… If you are still using Shockwave you can get the latest version from All 24 flaws can lead to code execution.

Reader logoAdobe Reader and Acrobat have also been patched to address critical vulnerabilities. Adobe have fixed 13 vulnerabilities, some of which only apply to Adobe Reader X and were patched in previous emergency releases for other versions.

Most importantly, the Adobe ASSET blog announced that Adobe Acrobat 10.1 now includes the sandbox mode made available earlier this year in Adobe Reader X. The latest releases can be retrieved by choosing Help -> Check for updates or by visiting

Lifecycle and Blaze have been updated to address two important security vulnerabilities. More information on the flaws and how to patch is available in Adobe security bulletin APSB11-15.

Adobe ColdFusion also is vulnerable to two important security vulnerabilities that could lead to denial of service (DoS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF) problems. Details are available in Adobe security bulletin APSB11-14.

Adobe logoI would like to commend Brad Arkin and the Adobe team on being much more reliable on releasing their updates in a predictable manner. The information provided by Adobe makes it easier for researchers and IT administrators alike to maintain their software.

There is still work to do on reducing the number of out of band updates and the quantity of flaws, but they are certainly heading in the right direction. Now, let’s go patch.

April 2011 MS Patch Tuesday – 17 patches, 64 vulnerabilities

Man with an eye patchMicrosoft released their security update bundle this morning covering a large swath of products. The most critical fixes for most people affect Windows and Microsoft Office.

Fifteen of the updates address Remote Code Execution (RCE) flaws. If exploited, these bugs could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the victim’s system.

Fortunately, all but one of these flaws only allow the code to run in the context of the currently logged in user. Assuming your users are not running as Administrators, this limits the attack to only running code and accessing files on that user’s account.

One exception is MS11-032, a vulnerability in OpenType fonts, which allows kernel-level remote code execution. This flaw was privately disclosed and has not appeared in the wild to date.

Another long awaited fix that Microsoft delivered this month is MS11-026. I wrote about this vulnerability back in January. It is better known as the MHTML vulnerability.

The flaw in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 that was used at this year’s Pwn20wn contest was also fixed. The update is known as MS11-018 and Sophos detects known malware attacking this vulnerability as Troj/ExpJS-BV.

Microsoft has rated nine of these patches as Critical, and as with most security updates, we encourage everyone to apply them as soon as they are able. SophosLabs has analyzed these bulletins as well and gives them a rating of Medium.

SophosLabs have published their findings for this months patches on our Vulnerability Analysis page.

Time to get patching! For a complete view of the threat landscape and the trends we are seeing in SophosLabs, download our 2011 Threat Report.