Chuck Leaver – Get Rid Of Adobe Flash Today And Narrow Your Attack Surface

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Chuck Leaver Ziften CEO


Be Strong or Get Attacked.

Highly knowledgeable and gifted cyber attack groups have targeted and are targeting your organization. Your huge endpoint population is the most typical point of entry for skilled attack organizations. These enterprise endpoints number in the thousands, are loosely handled, laxly set up, and swarming with vulnerability exposures, and are run by partially trained, credulous users – the perfect target-rich chance. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, frequently says at market seminars: “How many of the Fortune 500 are hacked right now? The response: 500.”

And how long did it take to penetrate your organization? White hat hackers carrying out penetration screening or red team workouts usually jeopardize target businesses within the very first few hours, although morally and lawfully limited in their techniques. Black hat or state sponsored hackers may accomplish penetration a lot more rapidly and secure their existence forever. Provided typical assailant dwell duration’s measured in hundreds of days, the time-to-penetration is minimal, not an impediment.

Exploitation Kits

The industrialization of hacking has actually produced a black market for attack tools, consisting of a variety of software for determining and making use of customer endpoint vulnerabilities. These exploit sets are marketed to cyber assailants on the dark web, with lots of exploit set families and vendors. An exploitation set operates by examining the software configuration on the endpoint, determining exposed vulnerabilities, and applying an exploitation to a vulnerability exposure.

A relative handful of frequently deployed endpoint software applications accounts for the bulk of exploitation kit targeted vulnerabilities. This arises from the sad reality that complex software applications tend to display a continuous flow of vulnerabilities that leave them continually susceptible. Each patch release cycle the exploitation kit developers will download the current security patches, reverse engineer them to find the underlying vulnerabilities, and update their exploitation kits. This will frequently be done more quickly than businesses use patches, with some vulnerabilities staying unpatched and ripe for exploitation even years after a patch is released.

Adobe Flash

Prior to extensive adoption of HTML 5, Adobe Flash was the most commonly utilized software application for abundant Internet material. Even with increasing adoption of HTML 5, legacy Adobe Flash keeps a substantial following, keeping its long-held position as the darling of exploit kit authors. A current study by Digital Shadows, In the Business of Exploitation, is instructive:

This report analyzes 22 exploitation sets to comprehend the most often exploited software. We tried to find trends within the exploitation of vulnerabilities by these 22 sets to show what vulnerabilities had actually been exploited most widely, coupled with how active each exploitation package was, in order to inform our assessment.

The vulnerabilities exploited by all twenty two exploitation kits showed that Adobe Flash Player was most likely to be the most targeted software, with twenty seven of the seventy six determined vulnerabilities exploited referring to this software application.

With relative consistency, lots of fresh vulnerabilities are revealed in Adobe Flash every month. To exploitation kit developers, it is the gift that continues giving.

The industry is learning its lesson and moving beyond Flash for rich web material. For instance, a Yahoo senior designer blogging recently in Streaming Media kept in mind:

” Adobe Flash, for a long time the de-facto requirement for media playback on the internet, has actually lost favor in the industry due to increasing issues over security and performance. At the same time, requiring a plugin for video playback in internet browsers is losing favor among users too. As a result, the market is approaching HTML5 for video playback.”

Amit Jain, Sep 21, 2016

Eradicating Adobe Flash

One step businesses might take today to solidify their endpoint setups is to eradicate Adobe Flash as a matter of organization security policy. This will not be convenient, it might be painful, but it will be practical in reducing your enterprise attack surface area. It includes blacklisting Adobe Flash Player and implementing web browser security settings disabling Flash material. If done properly, this is exactly what users will see where Flash material appears on a traditional web page:


This message verifies two facts:

1. Your system is correctly set up to decline Flash material.

Congratulate yourself!

2. This website would jeopardize your security for their convenience.

Ditch this site!