Adobe has issued an emergency update for its Flash media player that patches almost two dozen critical vulnerabilities, including one that’s being maliciously exploited in the wild.
“These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” Adobe officials wrote in an advisory published Thursday. “Adobe is aware of a report that an exploit for CVE-2016-1010 is being used in limited, targeted attacks.” The notice advises Flash users to install the update as soon as possible.
CVE-2016-1010 is the common vulnerabilities and exposures designation for an integer overflow vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely execute malicious code on vulnerable computers.
Adobe credited Anton Ivanov of Kaspersky Lab with discovering the zero-day vulnerability but provided no additional details.
In an e-mail, a Kaspersky representative wrote:
Today Adobe released the security bulletin APSB16-08, crediting Kaspersky Lab for reporting CVE-2016-1010.
The vulnerability could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Kaspersky Lab researchers observed the usage of this vulnerability in a very limited number of targeted attacks.
At this time, we do not have any additional details to share on these attacks as the investigation is still ongoing.
Even though these attacks are rare, we recommend that everyone get the update from the Adobe site as soon as possible.
The patch brings the latest version of Flash to 188.8.131.52 for Windows and Mac and 184.108.40.2067 for Linux.
Google Chrome and some versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge browsers bundle their own version of Flash and will update automatically. Windows 7 users who use Flash must still update manually.
Once again, readers are advised to uninstall the Flash, Java, and Silverlight browser extensions to see if they’re really necessary.
For many people, they aren’t, and the significantly decreased attack surface greatly lowers the chances of being visited by remote code-execution attacks. People who rely on Flash to access a company intranet or other site should consider using a dedicated browser for that purpose.