Adobe slates patch for Flash clipboard poisoning attacks

Adds fix in Flash 10 for flaw that's been used by scammers for more than a month

Adobe Systems last week said it will soon quash a bug in Flash that has been used for more than a month by attackers to poison Mac and Windows users' clipboards with URLs to malicious sites.

The changes will be rolled out in Flash 10, which Adobe's security program manager David Lenoe said would be released "soon." Previously, Adobe has pinned the update's release only to sometime later this year.

In August, security researchers reported malicious scripts in Flash-based ads on legitimate sites. The scripts abused the "setClipboard" command in Flash to repeatedly infect users' clipboards with URLs pushing fake security software. The scammers hoped that some of those users would paste the URL into their browser's address bar, and once at the phony software site, would be duped into purchasing the bogus program. Users on several message boards, including Apple's support forum, reported the clipboard poisoning more than a month ago.

Lenoe acknowledged the attacks in an August 19 post to Adobe's security response team's blog, but at the time said only that the company was investigating "potential solutions." Adobe, however, has not patched the current production version of Flash 9.

Friday, Lenoe pointed users to a description of the security changes being implemented in Flash 10. Among the changes, said Adobe developer Trevor McCauley, was one that will lock down the setClipboard command to prevent automated abuses. In Flash 10, the setClipboard command can be called up only through some kind of user-initiated action, such as clicking the mouse or typing on the keyboard. Remote calls of the command will be disallowed.

Adobe first unveiled a beta of Flash 10 in May, and shifted to a more polished release candidate a week ago. Flash 10 can be downloaded in its current form from Adobe's site.

It's unclear, however, if the security changes that McCauley outlined have been integrated into Flash 10's release candidate. Adobe did not immediately respond to questions about what was included in the release candidate.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags security patch

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?