Adobe and Google have both issued security updates for their Flash Player and Chrome browser respectively.
Adobe released security bulletin APSB12-05 to address critical security issues in Flash Player 22.214.171.124 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris; Flash Player 126.96.36.199 and earlier versions for Android 4.x, and Flash Player 188.8.131.52 and earlier versions for Android 3.x and 2.x.
It claimed that these vulnerabilities could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system, but said it was not aware of active attacks using either flaw.
Google released updates for Chrome to fix more than a dozen "high-risk" security holes. According to ZDNet, these vulnerabilities were fixed in the newest Google Chrome 17.0.963.65 (Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame).
Google's patches come in the week of the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, where it will offer cash prizes totalling $1m and a Chromebook to those who successfully exploit its browser.
A blog from the company's security team detailed the rewards and, according to security writer Lisa Vaas on the Sophos Naked Security blog, the contest is a departure for Google: “The reason Google has split off from Pwn2Own and set up its own, Chrome-specific hacking contest this year is because of new changes in the Pwn2Own rules that would hamper Google's ability to get their hands on full, successful exploits.”
Google's security team said that it withdrew its sponsorship when it discovered that contestants were permitted to enter Pwn2Own without having to reveal full exploits (or even all of the bugs used) to vendors.
It said: “Full exploits have been handed over in previous years, but it's an explicit non-requirement in this year's contest and that's worrisome. We will therefore be running this alternative Chrome-specific reward programme. It is designed to be attractive, not least because it stays aligned with user safety by requiring the full exploit to be submitted to us.”
According to Vaas, Google said each set of exploit bugs has to be reliable and fully functional end-to-end, have no element in common, and be of critical impact, present in the latest versions and genuinely "zero-day".
They cannot have been previously reported or shared with third parties, and have to be submitted to Google for judging before being shared anywhere else. Google is also guaranteeing to send non-Chrome bugs to the appropriate vendor immediately.