On Monday we reported that Italian spyware firm Hacking Team had itself been hacked, and more than 400GB of internal files were leaked as a result. Considering the company’s reputation, it didn’t receive much sympathy, but now it seems that something good may come of the hack after all.
Two previous unknown and unpatched security vulnerabilities have been found among the leaked source code, The Register reports. These exploits were used by Hacking Team to compromise systems as part of its activities, so the company had an active interest in keeping these flaws under wraps.
The first and most critical vulnerability affects Adobe Flash, and is what Hacking Team called “the most beautiful Flash bug for the last four years.” This bug can be exploited on Windows, OS X, and Linux systems running Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and likely any browser based on any of the above, allowing an attacker to execute code on the victim’s system from a website.
The second issue is somewhat less severe as it requires another vulnerability (like the Flash bug above) to allow an attacker to use it, but it’s still serious. This exploit is found in an Adobe font driver bundled with Windows systems, and affects Windows XP through 8.1. The attacker loads a malicious OTF font file, which then allows the attacker to elevate their privileges within the system.
Adobe has released a security bulletin saying that it is aware of the vulnerability in Flash and is working on a patch. An update containing the fix is expected to be released sometime today.
There is currently no fix for the Windows vulnerability at this time either, but one is in the works. “We believe the overall risk for customers is limited, as this vulnerability could not, on its own, allow an adversary to take control of a machine,” a Microsoft spokesperson told the Register. “We encourage customers to apply the Adobe update and are working on a fix.”
In the meantime, more bugs and vulnerabilities may be hidden within the files leaked from Hacking Team, so keep an eye out for additional security bulletins.