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Intel Makes Spectre Patch Progress, while Adobe Grapples with Latest Flash Bug

It’s been a busy week in InfoSec land, as Intel released a new Spectre patch, iOS source code was leaked online, and a zero-day Flash bug got exploited in the wild.

Also making noise these past few days: A major security hole in the Grammarly web app, WordPress updates tripping over each other, and a data breach at a Swiss telecom company.

As has been the case these past few weeks, we’ll lead off with the latest on Meltdown and Spectre, the hardware vulnerabilities whose disclosure on Jan. 3 sent shockwaves through the IT industry due to their scope and severity, and which are expected to remain an issue for years.

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Update: Patch Tuesday May 2016

Update: Adobe released the patch for Adobe Flash that addresses the current 0-day CVE-2016-4117 in APSB16-15. It also patches another 24 vulnerabilities that are mostly rated critical. Patch as quickly as possible. Chrome and Internet Explorer 11/Edge users will get their patches from Google and Microsoft automatically.

Original: Today is the second Tuesday of the month, when both Microsoft and Adobe publish the security updates to their products – the so-called Patch Tuesday.

But before we get into the details of their updates for the month (17 in all) let’s reiterate the urgency of another vulnerability that might have slipped by you. The popular open source program ImageMagick is currently under active attack on the Internet. Vulnerability CVE-2016-3714 (called ImageTragick in the associated vulnerability branding campaign) allows for remote code execution (RCE) through image uploads. At the moment no patch is available, but a workaround has been published that neutralizes current attacks. We recommend the same thing the attackers are doing: scan your infrastructure for occurrences of ImageMagick and then apply the workaround in the policy.xml file. I did this immediately on my sites, even though I use ImageMagick only in commandline mode for thumbnail creation. BTW, the workaround has become more complete over the last 2 weeks, so it is worth taking another look even if you have applied it already…

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