Vulnerabilities / Threats
2/20/2009
01:36 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Adobe Warns Of Critical Vulnerability In Acrobat, Reader

Users are advised to disable JavaScript until Adobe releases a patch, which may not occur for more than two weeks.

Adobe on Thursday warned that a critical security vulnerability exists in its Acrobat and Reader software.

"This vulnerability would cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," Adobe says in its security advisory. "There are reports that this issue is being exploited."

Symantec security researcher Patrick Fitzgerald explains that the vulnerability is caused by a PDF parsing error. "Once the malicious document is opened it will trigger the vulnerability," he said in a blog post. "The JavaScript payload then sprays the heap with the malicious shellcode in an attempt to increase the chances of a successful exploit. If the exploit is successful, a malicious binary will be dropped and executed on the victim's system."

Fitzgerald says that the malicious payload is a backdoor Trojan that comes from an open source toolkit known as Ghost that originated in China. Once installed on a computer, it allows the attacker to view the victim's desktop, record keystrokes, and access the machine remotely.

The vulnerability affects Adobe Reader 9 and earlier versions, and Adobe Acrobat Standard, Pro, Pro Extended 9, and earlier versions.

Adobe plans to release updates for Acrobat Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 by March 11, with updates for earlier versions of the software to follow.

In the meantime, Steven Adair, a security researcher with Shadowserver Foundation, advises that users disable JavaScript on their computers if they use either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.

"[W]e found that disabling JavaScript would definitely prevent the malware from being installed on the system," he explained in an online post. "However, it would still result in the crash of the application. We would HIGHLY recommend that you DISABLE JAVASCRIPT in your Adobe Acrobat [Reader] products. You have the choice of small loss in functionality and a crash versus your systems being compromised and all your data being stolen. It should be an easy choice."

In addition, US-CERT recommends preventing PDF documents from being opened automatically in Internet Explorer, disabling the display of PDF documents in any Web browser, and exercising caution when one receives PDF files from an unknown source.


Want to hear more about security for rich Internet applications? Black Hat is hosting a Webcast on this topic on Thursday, Feb. 26. Find out more (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0714
Published: 2015-05-02
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Cisco Finesse Server 10.0(1), 10.5(1), 10.6(1), and 11.0(1) allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCut53595.

CVE-2014-3598
Published: 2015-05-01
The Jpeg2KImagePlugin plugin in Pillow before 2.5.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a crafted image.

CVE-2014-8361
Published: 2015-05-01
The miniigd SOAP service in Realtek SDK allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted NewInternalClient request.

CVE-2015-0237
Published: 2015-05-01
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Manager before 3.5.1 ignores the permission to deny snapshot creation during live storage migration between domains, which allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (prevent host start) by creating a long snapshot chain.

CVE-2015-0257
Published: 2015-05-01
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Manager before 3.5.1 uses weak permissions on the directories shared by the ovirt-engine-dwhd service and a plugin during service startup, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading files in the directory.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.