Zero-Day Attack Discovered in Magnitude Exploit Kit Targeting CVE-2016-1019 in Older Versions of Adobe Flash Player

By Peter Pi, Brooks Li and Joseph C. Chen

Following their security advisory last April 5, 2016, Adobe has released an out of band patch today for the vulnerability CVE-2016-1019, which affects Adobe Flash Player.  Trend Micro has observed active zero day attacks from the Magnitude Exploit Kit affecting users of Flash and earlier. These attacks are not effective against users of Flash versions and This is because of a heap mitigation that Adobe introduced in version and is also present in version Users of these versions will only experience a crash in Adobe Flash when attacks attempt to exploit the vulnerability.

All users are highly recommended to immediately update their systems with the latest security fix as this is actively being exploited in the wild. Prior to today’s security fix, we observed the exploit kit already integrating this vulnerability in its arsenal, which leaves systems infected with ransomware.

Based on our analysis, CVE-2016-1019 is a type confusion vulnerability; and while the exploit works on Flash and earlier versions, it will only cause a crash and the exploit will not run on Flash versions and respectively. Adobe has introduced the heap mitigation from



Figure 1. Malicious domains hosting the Magnitude Exploit Kit 


Magnitude integrated Adobe Flash zero-day attack; leaves systems infected with CERBER

As early as March 31, 2016, we saw a zero-day attack during this time being included in the code of Magnitude Exploit Kit via our Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ feedback. This then leads to a crypto-ransomware, CERBER, which has ‘voice’ tactic that reads aloud the ransom note to create a sense of urgency and stir users to pay. We already informed Adobe about the said attack.



Figure 2. Global distribution of Magnitude Exploit Kit traffic (March 31-April 6, 2016)


Security solutions against Adobe Flash zero-day attacks

The attackers behind the Magnitude exploit kit are quick to include this security bug in their list of targeted vulnerabilities. We advise users to update their systems to the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

Trend Micro protects systems from the risks posed by zero-day attacks via our wide arrayed of solution technologies. The Browser Exploit Prevention feature in our endpoint products such as Trend Micro™ Security, Smart Protection Suites, and Worry-Free Business Security blocks browser exploits once the user accesses the URLs these are hosted at.

Our Sandbox with Script Analyzer engine, which is part of Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery, can be used to detect this threat by its behavior without any engine or pattern updates.

Trend Micro Deep Security and Vulnerability Protection defend systems from threats that may leverage these vulnerabilities via the following DPI rules:

  • 1007572 – Adobe Flash Player Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2016-1019)


TippingPoint customers will be protected from attacks exploiting this vulnerability with the following MainlineDV filter that will be made avail on April 12:

24253: HTTP: Adobe Flash FileReference Type Confusion Vulnerability


We would like to acknowledge Kafeine for working with us to protect our customers.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – by Trend Micro

Zero-Day Attack Discovered in Magnitude Exploit Kit Targeting CVE-2016-1019 in Older Versions of Adobe Flash Player

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Story added 8. April 2016, content source with full text you can find at link above.