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Pepper Flash for Google Chromebooks -- What's Going On?

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted July 07, 20:50  GMT
Tags: Google, Adobe

Yesterday, I blogged about the older version of Adobe Flash Player on my recently purchased Google Chromebook. On Tuesday, the day before, I'd sent out a note to Adobe's PSIRT asking if they knew what was up with this earlier version.

Today, Adobe got back to me today saying that Flash Player version is the latest version of Flash for Chromebooks. This patch was pushed out yesterday after my blog post went live. (You may notice my screenshot shows

Currently we don't know what's fixed with the latest build. Some sources are claiming at version already contained all the security fixes. We're waiting for final confirmation from Adobe on this matter.

This brings us to another question though - Why is ChromeOS being updated in the Flash 10.2 branch? Going by Adobe's own documentation 10.2.x.x should still contain certain unpatched vulnerabilities.

The answer is Pepper. Chrome Flash Player Pepper is a custom version of Flash which is the default Flash renderer in ChromeOS. As far as I can tell, Google is only using Pepper Flash with Chromebooks but there's not a whole lot of publicly available documentation on Pepper Flash.

A standard version of Flash is also present on ChromeOS. It's simply not the default renderer.

Here's what things look like right now on a Chromebook:

As I said, we're still awaiting final word from either Adobe or Google with regards to the security status of Pepper Flash We'll update this blog post accordingly.

Either way, now that Chromebooks have officially hit the market, better documentation is needed. With Adobe Flash being a very high-profile target, consumers should be able to easily figure out if they're running the latest version or not.

UPDATE: Google informed us Pepper Flash did include all relevant security updates.


Lou Messina

2012 Apr 10, 22:58

Pepper Flash in Google Chrome?

I received a pop-up message from Norton advising me that they considered pepflashplayer.dll to be safe because very few people have reported experience with it, and hence, no complaints. (I'm concerned that their evaluations are based on customer feedback rather than actually examining it.) I've only seen these pop-ups when I install a program. However, I didn't install Pepper Flash and never heard of it.

It is located on my C drive (UserName > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data > PepperFlash > Its Properties only read "Type: Application extension," Size: 7.62 MB," and today's date as the "Date Modified." Also in Directory "" is a file "manifest.json."

I noticed in the above string of directories, after "Chrome" there are also directories "Application" > "19.0.1084.15," which contains a file "flashplayerapp.exe" which is identified as "Adobe Flash Player Control Panel Applet." It indicates version "," dated 04/05, and digitally signed by Adobe. My version of Chrome is "19.0.1084.15 beta-m."

PepperFlash is not listed in Chrome's list of extensions, Windows "Programs and Features," Task Manager's list of Processes or Services, but chrome.exe appears 20 times in Processes.

I hope this helps you. If you can give any advice, I would appreciate it.

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