Security Experts:

Adobe Fixes 18 Vulnerabilities in Flash Player

Adobe has released security updates for Flash Player on all platforms to fix a total of 18 vulnerabilities, many of which can be exploited for arbitrary code execution.

Adobe is advising Windows and Mac users to update their installations to Adobe Flash Player 15.0.0.223. Linux users should update to Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.418.

An advisory published by the company on Tuesday shows that earlier versions of the application are affected by four memory corruption vulnerabilities (CVE-2014-0576, CVE-2014-0581, CVE-2014-8440, CVE-2014-8441) that can be leveraged for code execution.

Attackers can also execute arbitrary code on affected systems by exploiting one of the three use-after-free vulnerabilities (CVE-2014-0573, CVE-2014-0588, CVE-2014-8438) plaguing previous variants of Flash Player.

Other flaws that could lead to code execution are a double free vulnerability (CVE-2014-0574), five type confusion vulnerabilities (CVE-2014-0577, CVE-2014-0584, CVE-2014-0585, CVE-2014-0586, CVE-2014-0590), and two heap buffer overflows (CVE-2014-0582, CVE-2014-0589).

The latest version of Adobe Flash Player also addresses an information disclosure bug that can be exploited to disclose session tokens (CVE-2014-8437), a heap buffer overflow that can be exploited for privilege escalation (CVE-2014-0583), and a permission issue that can also be exploited for privilege escalation (CVE-2014-8442). According to Adobe, the privilege escalation vulnerabilities can be used to escalate privileges from low to medium integrity level.

Over a dozen individuals have been credited for finding and responsibly disclosing these security holes. The list includes Ian Beer, Tavis Ormandy and Chris Evans of Google Project Zero, who found a total of seven flaws; a researcher using the online moniker "bilou"; Behrang Fouladi and Axel Souchet of Microsoft Vulnerability Research; Liu Jincheng and Wen Guanxing of Venustech ADLAB; Haifei Li of McAfee; Lucas Leong of TrendMicro; Nicolas Joly; Natalie Silvanovich; and SuperHei of KnownSec.

Users of the Adobe AIR cross-platform run-time system are also advised to update their installations because Adobe AIR is affected as well.

Flash Player installed with the Internet Explorer Web browser for Windows 8.x will be automatically updated to the latest version, Adobe said.

Google has released a new version of Chrome which includes the update for Flash Player and fixes for other bugs. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) published an alert on Tuesday encouraging users and administrators to update their Chrome installations.

It's important that users and administrators patch Adobe Flash Player immediately after an update is released. Last month, researchers reported that cybercriminals had added a Flash Player exploit to the Fiesta exploit kit just one week after Adobe released a patch for it.  Experts believe the malicious actors built the exploit by reverse engineering Adobe's patch.

Microsoft also released 14 security bulletins as part of Patch Tuesday, including a critical update for Internet Explorer.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.