Adobe claims it knew of 'PWN To OWN' bug

Patch done, says security team, but won't be released until later this month

Security researchers at Adobe Systems claimed that they knew of a Flash bug before it was used to crack a Windows Vista laptop last week in the "PWN To OWN" hacker challenge.

Late Wednesday, Adobe also said it had fixed the flaw and would patch the problem this month.

"After some internal investigation, we found that via our ongoing response and security testing process we were aware of the issue and had fixed it for our security update coming in the next Flash Player update later this month," said Erick Lee, the manager of Adobe's secure software engineering team, in a post to the group's blog.

3Com's TippingPoint, which ponied up the cash prizes awarded for hacking a MacBook Air and the Vista-powered Fujitsu laptop, acquired the vulnerabilities as part of the deal and reported them last week to Apple and Adobe.

At the CanSecWest security conference last Friday, Shane Macaulay of Security Objectives claimed a US$5,000 prize by compromising the Fujitsu using an exploit of the Flash vulnerability Lee said had been known and fixed. According to TippingPoint, Macaulay took several hours to work up an attack, his difficulties caused by some of the defense-in-depth measures added by Microsoft to Service Pack 1 of Vista.

Neither Macaulay nor TippingPoint have discussed the Flash bug in more than general terms.

Lee downplayed the threat posed by the bug Macaulay used. "Adobe is not aware of any active exploits in wild," he said. "The security researchers have reported the information to us responsibly, giving the Flash Player team time to investigate and deliver a patch."

That patch will be issued as part of a previously scheduled update to Flash Player which is to, among other things, fix a long-standing problem posed by .swf files, the Adobe proprietary Shockwave Flash format. The .swf bug, which was reported in December by a Google researcher, has left thousands of Web sites vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks.

More than three weeks ago, Adobe alerted users that a Flash Player update was coming. Although it said the patches would not affect end users, it warned Web site designers and administrators that they would need to make numerous changes to how they deliver Shockwave Flash content or risk their sites "breaking" when the April update lands on users' desktops.

Adobe was not immediately available to answer questions about when it first knew of the bug and why it had not released it earlier.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?