Change Your Policy And Ban Adobe Flash So The Hackers Can’t Get In – Chuck Leaver

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

Get Tough or Get Hacked.

Highly experienced and skilled cyber attack groups have actually targeted and are targeting your business. Your vast endpoint population is the most typical point of entry for experienced attack groups. These enterprise endpoints number in the thousands, are loosely managed, laxly set up, and swarming with vulnerability direct exposures, and are run by partially trained, credulous users – the ideal target-rich chance. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, often says at market seminars: “How many of the Fortune 500 are hacked today? The answer: 500.”

And for how long did it take to penetrate your enterprise? White hat hackers performing penetration testing or red group exercises usually jeopardize target enterprises within the first couple of hours, despite the fact that fairly and lawfully limited in their approaches. Black hat or state sponsored hackers may attain penetration a lot more rapidly and protect their presence forever. Provided typical attacker dwell duration’s measured in hundreds of days, the time-to-penetration is minimal, not an impediment.

Exploit Packages

The industrialization of cyber attacks has developed a black market for attack tools, consisting of a variety of software for recognizing and exploiting customer endpoint vulnerabilities. These exploitation packages are marketed to cyber hackers on the dark web, with lots of exploit package families and suppliers. An exploit set operates by evaluating the software configuration on the endpoint, identifying exposed vulnerabilities, and applying an exploitation to a vulnerability direct exposure.

A relative handful of commonly released endpoint software applications accounts for the bulk of exploitation set targeted vulnerabilities. This arises from the sad reality that complex software applications have the tendency to display a continual flow of susceptibilities that leave them constantly susceptible. Each patch release cycle the exploitation package developers will download the latest security patches, reverse engineer them to find the underlying vulnerabilities, and upgrade their exploit kits. This will frequently be done quicker than businesses use patches, with some vulnerabilities remaining 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 typically used software for abundant Internet material. Even with increasing adoption of HTML 5, legacy Adobe Flash maintains a significant following, maintaining its long-held position as the darling of exploitation package authors. A recent research study by Digital Shadows, In the Business of Exploitation, is instructive:

This report analyzes 22 exploitation packages to comprehend the most regularly exploited software applications. We tried to find trends within the exploitation of vulnerabilities by these 22 kits to show exactly what vulnerabilities had been exploited most commonly, paired with how active each exploit kit was, in order to notify our assessment.

The vulnerabilities exploited by all 22 exploit sets showed that Adobe Flash Player was likely to be the most targeted software application, with 27 of the seventy six recognized vulnerabilities exploited pertaining to this software.

With relative consistency, lots of fresh vulnerabilities are uncovered in Adobe Flash monthly. To exploit kit developers, it is the gift that keeps giving.

The market is discovering its lesson and moving beyond Flash for abundant web material. For example, a Yahoo senior developer blogging just recently in Streaming Media noted:

” Adobe Flash, for a long time the de-facto requirement for media playback on the web, has actually lost favor in the industry due to increasing concerns over security and performance. At the same time, needing a plugin for video playback in internet browsers is losing favor among users as well. As a result, the industry is moving toward HTML5 for video playback.”

Amit Jain, Sep 21, 2016

Banishing Adobe Flash

One action organizations may take today to harden their endpoint setups is to eliminate Adobe Flash as a matter of business security policy. This will not be an easy task, it may hurt, however it will be valuable in decreasing your organization attack surface. It includes blacklisting Adobe Flash Player and imposing internet browser security settings disabling Flash material. If done correctly, this is what users will see where Flash content appears on a traditional website:


This message confirms two realities:

1. Your system is appropriately configured to refuse Flash content.

Praise yourself!

2. This site would compromise your security for their convenience.

Ditch this site!

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