It's possible that the targeted attacks launched through malicious Word documents had been aimed at Lockheed Martin, MITRE or both. Such attacks have been commonplace in defense, aerospace and other industries whose secrets and intellectual property have value to criminals.
It also appears that Microsoft knew of the Flash exploits before Thursday. Searches of the two CVE identifiers found a pair of matching entries in Microsoft's malware database that represented signatures added to Microsoft's antivirus software on Feb. 2.
Microsoft and Adobe share vulnerability and exploit information as part of the former's MAPP (Microsoft Active Protection Program), under which the two companies give several dozen other companies early information about upcoming patches so they have more time to create their signatures.
The patched versions of Flash Player for Windows, Mac and Linux can be downloaded from Adobe's website. Windows and Mac users can also wait for Flash's automatic updating tool to kick in.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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