Adobe Issues Out-of-Band Patch for Critical Flash Player Vulnerability (CVE-2018-15981)

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Adobe has released an out-of-band patch for a critical Flash Player vulnerability. Users are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible.


On November 20, Adobe released APSB18-44, an out-of-band (OOB) security bulletin to address a zero day vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player versions and earlier for Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS.

This bulletin arrived seven days after Adobe released APSB18-39, it’s monthly security bulletin for November 2018. On the very same day, November 13, researcher Gil Dabah published a blog discussing his discovery of CVE-2018-15981.

It may not seem like a coincidence that both Adobe’s monthly security bulletin and the researcher’s blog were published on the same day. However, Dabah indicated it may just have been a coincidence after all in a tweet:

Kudos to @AdobeSecurity for touching base and working on a fix already.

— Gil Dabah (@_arkon) November 14, 2018

Vulnerability details

In his blog, Dabah shares details about CVE-2018-15981, a type confusion vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player. Specifically, the vulnerability exists in the interpreter code for Adobe’s ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM). According to Dabah, the AVM’s interpreter “does not reset a with-scope pointer when an exception is caught” which leads to the type confusion and “eventually to a remote code execution.”

User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would need to convince users to visit a malicious website, compromise a website or advertising network and inject malicious code.

For further technical details about the vulnerability, please visit Dabah’s blog.

Urgently required actions

Upgrade to the latest version of Flash Player for your respective operating system or web browser. Adobe has provided links in the solution section of their security bulletin.

If Adobe Flash is not a requirement in your network or on your devices, you may consider disabling it altogether.

Identifying affected systems

A list of Nessus plugins to identify this vulnerability will appear here as they’re released.

Get more information

Learn more about Tenable, the first Cyber Exposure platform for holistic management of your modern attack surface. Get a free 60-day trial of Vulnerability Management.

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About Tenable
Tenable™, Inc. is the Cyber Exposure company. Over 24,000 organizations of all sizes around the globe rely on Tenable to manage and measure their modern attack surface to accurately understand and reduce cyber risk. As the creator of Nessus®, Tenable built its platform from the ground up to deeply understand assets, networks and vulnerabilities, extending this knowledge and expertise into™ to deliver the world’s first platform to provide live visibility into any asset on any computing platform. Tenable customers include over 50 percent of the Fortune 500, large government agencies and organizations across the private and public sectors. Learn more at
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