Emergency patch for Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows due for release within a week.
Adobe Reader and Acrobat are under siege once again, this time via targeted attacks exploiting a previously unknown flaw in the software that lets an attacker crash the app and wrest control of the victim's machine. Adobe plans to issue an out-of-band update by next week for Windows-based systems only.
"The reason for addressing this issue quickly for Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.4.6 for Windows is simple: This is the version and platform currently being targeted. All real-world attack activity, both in this instance and historically, is limited to Adobe Reader on Windows. We have not received any reports to date of malicious PDFs being used to exploit Adobe Reader or Acrobat for Macintosh or UNIX for this [common vulnerability and exposure] (or any other CVE)," said Brad Arkin, senior director of product security and privacy for Adobe said in a blog post Tuesday.
Arkin said users of Adobe Reader or Acrobat 9 and older versions should immediately upgrade to Adobe Reader or AcrobatX, which are safe from the exploit and attack due to the Protected Mode and Protected View features. Adobe will fix the issue in Adobe Reader and Acrobat X for Windows in the company's next scheduled security update on Jan. 10.
"The risk to Macintosh and UNIX users is significantly lower. We are therefore planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader and Acrobat X and earlier versions for Macintosh as part of the next quarterly update on January 10, 2012. An update to address this issue in Adobe Reader 9.x for UNIX is planned for January 10, 2012," Arkin said.
Arkin said that, thus far, no malware has been able to penetrate Adobe Reader or Acrobat X.
Meanwhile, the new zero-day is just another dangerous flaw in a series for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, said Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst for Lumension Security.
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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.
So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?
Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?
Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.