This week, something nearly as common as breathing happened: a severe Adobe Flash vulnerability was revealed. How this one came to be, however, is far more interesting than most. Earlier this week, a well-known Italian hacking group called 'Hacking Team' was itself hacked. On Monday, the group's Twitter account was hijacked to post a link to a torrent file that includes about 400GB worth of its data. We're now finding out that this data could have huge repercussions for software vendors and regular consumers alike.
Because Hacking Team's efforts largely revolve around exploiting bugs in popular software, it's almost of no surprise to see Adobe Flash listed among those affected. It's also of little surprise that this bug could potentially lead someone to gain control over a machine. As of the time of writing, Adobe hasn't released a patch, but it's working overtime to get one out at some point today.
From Adobe's security report: "A critical vulnerability (CVE-2015-5119) has been identified in Adobe Flash Player 184.108.40.206 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit targeting this vulnerability has been published publicly. Adobe expects to make updates available on July 8, 2015."
The really dangerous thing about this leak is that it's not just details of the vulnerability that were released, but the tools the group itself uses to exploit it. And, as a reminder, with the torrent file in hand, anyone can get hold of these tools.
Among this repository of nastiness, a Windows kernel-level vulnerability was also discovered. Almost humorously, it also relates to Adobe: it has to do with atmdf.dll, an Adobe font driver which has shipped with all versions of Windows dating back to Windows XP. Microsoft has said that a patch is in the works, although it seems unlikely that Windows XP will be on the receiving end of the fix.