Zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player

Double free

Wen Guanxing of Venustech, The Google Security Team and FireEye were working at the vulnerability.
FireEye dubbed the attack exploiting the vulnerability "Operation GreedyWonk".
The vulnerability was exploited to compromise sites of:

  • Peterson Institute for International
  • Economics American Research Center in Egypt
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
TrendMicro uses CVE-2014-0498 in some reports to cover exploit used in Operation GreedyWonk. But we believe this is the same vulnerability and we will refer to it as CVE-2014-0502.

Known malware:

Elderwood exploit kit.

Vulnerability details

Advisory: SB2014022001 - Multiple vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player

Vulnerable component: Adobe Flash Player

CVE-ID: CVE-2014-0502

CVSSv3 score: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H/E:H/RL:O/RC:C

CWE-ID: CWE-415 - Double Free


The vulnerability allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

The weakness exists due to double free error when processing .swf files. A remote attacker can create a specially crafted Web site, trick the victim into visiting it, trigger memory corruption and execute arbitrary code with privileges of the current user.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in arbitrary code execution on the vulnerable system.

Note: the vulnerability was being actively exploited.

Known APT campaigns:

Operation Aurora

Operation Aurora is a series of cyber attacks conducted since mid-2009. Such name was given by Dmitri Alperovitch of McAfee.

The operation was discovered by Google in January, 2010 and is considered to have Chinese origin.

The hackers targeted not only Google but also Yahoo, Symantec, Juniper Networks, Adobe, Northrop Grumman ╨╕ Dow Chemical.

Symantec identified the group behind the operation "Elderwood", Dell Secureworks - "Beijing Group".

Operation GreedyWonk

Used to compromise sites of:
- Peterson Institute for International.
- Economics American Research Center in Egypt.
- Smith Richardson Foundation.