Vulnerability Note VU#546769

Adobe Shockwave player vulnerable to downgrading

Original Release date: 17 Dec 2012 | Last revised: 24 Jul 2014

Overview

Adobe Shockwave Player may automatically install a legacy version of the runtime, which can increase the attack surface of systems that have Shockwave installed.

Description

Adobe Macromedia Shockwave Player is software that plays active web content developed in Macromedia and Adobe Director. According to the Director 11 and Shockwave 11 Whitepaper:

    When the user launches Shockwave content from a browser, the Shockwave 11 ActiveX control is downloaded to the
    <%System%>/Adobe/Shockwave 11 folder. If the HTML page does not specify the playerVersion as 11, the
    Shockwave 10.4.0.025 ActiveX control is downloaded silently, and installed in the
    <%System%>/Macromed/Shockwave10 folder.

Also:
    The Shockwave auto-update mechanism installs Shockwave 11 only. The compatibility components of Shockwave
    10.4.0.025 player are installed only when the user tries to play old Shockwave content with the compatibility
    parameter set to 10 or blank.
Because of this design, attackers can simply target vulnerabilities in the Shockwave 10 runtime, or any of the Xtras provided by Shockwave 10. For example, the legacy version of Shockwave provides Flash 8.0.34.0, which was released on November 14, 2006 and contains multiple, known vulnerabilities.

Impact

By convincing a user to view a specially crafted Shockwave content (e.g., a web page or an HTML email message or attachment), an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.

Solution

We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem. Please consider the following workarounds:


Limit access to Director files

Restricting the handling of untrusted Director content may help mitigate this vulnerability. See Securing Your Web Browser for more information. Consider using the NoScript extension to whitelist web sites that can run Shockwave Player in Mozilla browsers such as Firefox. See the NoScript FAQ for more information.

Disable the Shockwave Player ActiveX control in Internet Explorer

The Shockwave Player ActiveX control can be disabled in Internet Explorer by setting the kill bit for the following CLSIDs:

    {166B1BCA-3F9C-11CF-8075-444553540000}
    {233C1507-6A77-46A4-9443-F871F945D258}
More information about how to set the kill bit is available in Microsoft Support Document 240797.Alternatively, the following text can be saved as a .REG file and imported to set the kill bit for this control:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{166B1BCA-3F9C-11CF-8075-444553540000}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{166B1BCA-3F9C-11CF-8075-444553540000}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{233C1507-6A77-46A4-9443-F871F945D258}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{233C1507-6A77-46A4-9443-F871F945D258}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
Use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit

The Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to help prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. CERT/CC has created a video tutorial for setting up EMET 3.0 on Windows 7. Note that platforms that do not support ASLR, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, will not receive the same level of protection that modern Windows platforms will.

Enable DEP in Microsoft Windows

Consider enabling Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in supported versions of Windows. DEP should not be treated as a complete workaround, but it can mitigate the execution of attacker-supplied code in some cases. Microsoft has published detailed technical information about DEP in Security Research & Defense blog posts "Understanding DEP as a mitigation technology" part 1 and part 2. DEP should be used in conjunction with the application of patches or other mitigations described in this document.

Note that when relying on DEP for exploit mitigation, it is important to use a system that supports Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) as well. ASLR is not supported by Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 or earlier. ASLR was introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Please see the Microsoft SRD blog entry: On the effectiveness of DEP and ASLR for more details.

Vendor Information (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
AdobeAffected27 Oct 201027 Oct 2011
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base 4.3 AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:N/I:P/A:N
Temporal 3.7 E:POC/RL:W/RC:C
Environmental 3.2 CDP:L/TD:M/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND

References

Credit

This vulnerability was reported by Will Dormann of the CERT/CC

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2012-6270
  • Date Public: 17 Dec 2012
  • Date First Published: 17 Dec 2012
  • Date Last Updated: 24 Jul 2014
  • Severity Metric: 12.83
  • Document Revision: 29

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