Security Experts:

Recently Patched Flash Player Vulnerability Added to Exploit Kit

An exploit for a Flash Player vulnerability that was patched just over one week ago by Adobe has already been added by cybercriminals to an exploit kit.

The French malware researcher know as "Kafeine" was the one who first noticed the integration of the exploit for CVE-2014-0569, a Flash Player integer overflow flaw that could lead to arbitrary code execution, into the Fiesta exploit kit. The expert made the discovery while trying to analyze a different Flash vulnerability (CVE-2014-0556).

The vulnerability was reported to Adobe privately through HP's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) program so everyone is wondering how the cybercriminals managed to get their hands on the exploit in such a short period of time.

Kafeine told SecurityWeek that he believes the cybercriminals reverse engineered the patch released by Adobe to build their exploit.

"The criminals built this vulnerability into an exploit kit in record time. Whether they were given a heads-up, or just have a highly skilled reverse engineer, both scenarios are equally worrisome as it increases the possible window of infection," Jerome Segura, senior security researcher from Malwarebytes Labs, told SecurityWeek. "Perhaps this is not too much of a deal for individuals, but it can be more difficult for businesses which need to roll out patches on dozens of machines, hoping doing so will not cause malfunctions in existing applications. Browsing the net on an unpatched computer is like playing Russian roulette with a handful of loaded guns."

"The bad guys are not going to run short of vulnerabilities they can weaponize, and if this happens at a quicker rate than ever before, their success rate will increase. This leaves end users with very little room for mistakes, such as failing to diligently apply security patches sooner rather than later," Segura added.

Initially, Kafeine believed the exploit for CVE-2014-0569 was integrated into the Angler exploit kit as well, but in an update made to his original blog post, the researcher noted that the exploit included in Angler actually appears to be for a different Flash vulnerability patched by Adobe last week.

In the case of the Angler exploit kit, the first payload that's distributed is Bedep (detected by Malwarebytes as Trojan.FakeMS.ED), which enrolls infected computers into a botnet. The final payload is a variant of the notorious Zeus banking Trojan, Kafeine said.

Both the Fiesta and Angler exploit kits are popular among cybercriminals. Angler was recently involved in a malvertising campaign targeting several high-profile websites, including Java.com.

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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.