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-2013-7421
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a module name in the salg_name field, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-9644.

CVE-2014-8160
Published: 2015-03-02
net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_proto_generic.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18 generates incorrect conntrack entries during handling of certain iptables rule sets for the SCTP, DCCP, GRE, and UDP-Lite protocols, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via packets with disall...

CVE-2014-9644
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a parenthesized module template expression in the salg_name field, as demonstrated by the vfat(aes) expression, a different vulnerability than CVE-201...

CVE-2015-0239
Published: 2015-03-02
The em_sysenter function in arch/x86/kvm/emulate.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5, when the guest OS lacks SYSENTER MSR initialization, allows guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges or cause a denial of service (guest OS crash) by triggering use of a 16-bit code segment for emulation of a SYS...

CVE-2014-8921
Published: 2015-03-01
The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.