VB2014 paper: Ubiquitous Flash, ubiquitous exploits and ubiquitous mitigation

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 30, 2015

Chun Feng and Elia Florio analyse two Flash Player vulnerabilities and an IE one where Flash provides a helping hand.

Since the close of the VB2014 conference in Seattle in October, we have been sharing VB2014 conference papers as well as video recordings of the presentations. Today, we have added 'Ubiquitous Flash, ubiquitous exploits and ubiquitous mitigation' by Microsoft researchers Chun Feng and Elia Florio.

Last week's news about a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe's Flash Player being used in the Angler exploit kit once again highlighted how Flash Player vulnerabilities affect almost every user of the Internet.

CVE-2015-0311 (which has since been patched; Trend Micro's Peter Pi wrote a thorough analysis here) wasn't the first serious Flash Player vulnerability, and it won't be the last.

In their VB2014 paper, Chun Feng and Elia Florio look at two earlier vulnerabilities: CVE-2013-5330 and CVE-2014-0497, with the latter being a consequence of the initial fix for the former not being perfect. Both vulnerabilities are caused by flaws in Flash Player's implementation of domain memory opcode and allow an attacker to craft an SWF file that can read/write to an arbitrary memory location.

The authors also look at a third vulnerability, CVE-2014-0322, which affects Internet Explorer but which is exploited with Flash Player used as a 'helper'. This is possible because IE and the Flash Player plug-in share the same address space.

Finally, the paper discusses mitigation techniques Adobe and Microsoft have added against similar exploits.

You can read the paper here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF (no registration or subscription required).

Posted on 30 January 2015 by Martijn Grooten

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