Flash Update Mends a Serious Zero Day Vulnerability


  • This vulnerability affects: Adobe Flash Player and earlier, running on all platforms (including Android)
  • How an attacker exploits it: By enticing users to visit a website containing malicious Flash content
  • Impact: In the worst case, an attacker can execute code on the user’s computer, potentially gaining control of it
  • What to do: Download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (version for computers)


Adobe Flash Player displays interactive, animated web content called Flash. Although Flash is optional, 99% of PC users download and install it to view multimedia web content. It runs on many operating systems, including mobile operating systems like Android.

In a security bulletin released today, Adobe announced a patch that fixes a critical vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player and earlier, running on all platforms (including Android platforms).

Adobe’s bulletin describes the serious flaw as an “object confusion” vulnerability (CVE-2012-0779), and warns that attackers are currently exploiting it in the wild. They don’t describe the object confusion issue in detail, but they do describe its impact. If an attacker can entice one of your users to visit a malicious website, or into handling specially crafted Flash content, he could exploit this flaw to execute code on that user’s computer, with that user’s privileges. If your users have administrator privileges, the attacker could gain full control of their computers.

So far, Adobe has only seen attackers exploiting this vulnerability against Windows computers, which is why they rate this a “Priority 1” issue for Windows, and recommend you apply the updates as soon as possible (within 72 hours).   However, the vulnerability technically affects other platforms as well, so I recommend you update any Flash capable device as soon as you can.

Solution Path

Adobe has released new versions of Flash Player ( for computers and the latest 11.1.11x.x for Android) to fix these issues. If you allow Adobe Flash in your network, you should download and install the new versions immediately. If you’ve enabled Flash Player’s recent “silent update” option, you will receive this update automatically.

  • Download Flash Player for your computer:
NOTE: Chrome ships with its own version of Flash, built-in. If you use Chrome as you web browser, you will also have to update it separately, though Chrome often receive its updates automatically.

For All WatchGuard Users:

If you choose, you can configure the HTTP proxy on your XTM appliance to block Flash content. Keep in mind, doing so blocks all Flash content, whether legitimate or malicious.

Our proxies offer many ways for you to block files and content, including by file extensionMIME type, or by using very specific hexidecimal patterns found in the body of a message – a technique sometimes referred to as Magic Byte detection. Below I list the various ways you can identify various Flash files:

File Extension:

  • .flv –  Adobe Flash file (file typically used on websites)
  • .fla – Flash movie file
  • .f4v – Flash video file
  • .f4p – Protected Flash video file
  • .f4a – Flash audio file
  • .f4b – Flash audiobook file

MIME types:

  • video/x-flv
  • video/mp4 (used for more than just Flash)
  • audio/mp4 (used for more than just Flash)

FILExt.com reported Magic Byte Pattern:

  • Hex FLV: 46 4C 56 01
  • Hex FLA:  D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1 00

(Keep in mind, not all the Hex and ASCII patterns shared here are appropriate for content blocking. If the pattern is too short, or not unique enough, blocking with them could result in many false positives) 

If you decide you want to block Flash files, the links below contain instructions that will help you configure your Firebox proxy’s content blocking features using the file and MIME information listed above.


Adobe has released updates to fix these Flash vulnerabilities.


This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

About Corey Nachreiner

Corey Nachreiner has been with WatchGuard since 1999 and has since written more than a thousand concise security alerts and easily-understood educational articles for WatchGuard users. His security training videos have generated hundreds of letters of praise from thankful customers and accumulated more than 100,000 views on YouTube and Google Video. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Corey speaks internationally and is often quoted by other online sources, including C|NET, eWeek, and Slashdot. Corey enjoys "modding" any technical gizmo he can get his hands on, and considers himself a hacker in the old sense of the word.


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