An emergency patch for Flash Player is available today that fixes a flaw in the version that Adobe released three weeks ago.
If you’re running the Flash Player plugin on a browser on Linux, Windows, Mac or Chrome OS, it’s time to update again. The company on Monday released an unscheduled update to fix a bug that it says is being exploited in the wild.
Flash Player version 126.96.36.1997 for Windows and Mac systems — as well as Flash installed with Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browsers — addresses 19 bugs in the Flash Player update that Adobe released earlier this month.
The bug under attack has the identifier CVE-2015-8651 and was reported by Kai Wang and Hunter Gao of Huawei's IT Infrastructure & Security Department.
Adobe said the flaw is being “used in limited, targeted attacks” and described it as “an integer overflow vulnerability that could lead to code execution”. In other words, simply visiting a malicious website that exploits the bug could leave a machine under the control of a remote attacker.
The remaining 18 bugs are just as serious and include 13 use-after-free vulnerabilities, four memory corruption vulnerabilities, and one type confusion vulnerability.
“These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” Adobe said.
As usual, users running Flash Player within Chrome will receive the update from Google, while users of Internet Explorer 11 and Edge on Windows 10 will receive the fixes in an update from Microsoft.
Others credited in this update included Google’s Project Zero, Qihoo 360 and Tencent, whose respective security teams collectively reported over half of the bugs in the previous Flash update.
Adobe’s December 9 update for Flash Player was its last scheduled for 2015 and delivered fixes for 79 critical flaws, making it the largest update for the year. Today’s update illustrates that Adobe will break from its patching schedule in the event it discovers an un-patched flaw is being attacked in the wild.