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Adobe Under New Zero Day Attack

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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