Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

4/29/2009
01:06 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
50%
50%

Adobe Exploit Sheds Light On Bigger Risk Management Issue

Batten down the hatches: It's zero-day exploitation time for Adobe Reader and Acrobat. But according to Adobe's blog post yesterday, "we are currently not aware of any reports of exploits in the wild for this issue." Is that the kind of statement you would feel comfortable taking to your CIO or CIS

Batten down the hatches: It's zero-day exploitation time for Adobe Reader and Acrobat. But according to Adobe's blog post yesterday, "we are currently not aware of any reports of exploits in the wild for this issue."

Is that the kind of statement you would feel comfortable taking to your CIO or CISO regarding the risk of exposure?I don't understand why vendors make statements like this, especially when exploit code exists for at least one affected platform (i.e., exploit for Adobe 9.1 and 8.1.4 on Linux). If you've read advisories from other software companies, including Microsoft, they use the same wording.

I suspect it's to alleviate customers' concerns, but it seems misguided to me. If we look at reports like the Verizon Data Breach Incident Report or the CSI Security Survey, we'll see there is a rise in targeted malware attacks. The smart and experienced attacker will target a vulnerability with custom malware that is highly obfuscated, with little chance of being detected by current antimalware solutions. So that begs the question: Do you really think Adobe is going to know if the vulnerability is being exploited in the wild?

That said, the definition of "wild" has an impact on the validity of the statement. Does "wild" include targeted attacks or only mass exploitation through common channels, such as e-mail spam. Or does it mean inclusion in Websites and comment spam? I'm thinking the latter because the likelihood of finding the targeted attack in a timely matter and reporting it to Adobe (or some other vendor in a similar situation) during this initial period of investigation and notification are slim.

I'll ask you again: Would you feel comfortable telling your CIO or CISO about a currently unpatched vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat products in which exploit code for Linux exists but no exploitation in the wild has been reported -- so you're likely safe? I don't think so. History should be the teacher; I suspect we'll see reports of exploitation "in the wild" by the end of the week. Batten down the hatches and spend some time checking out PDF viewing and editing alternatives. It might not hurt to have a standby waiting in the wings.

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-29370
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A UXSS was discovered in the Thanos-Soft Cheetah Browser in Android 1.2.0 due to the inadequate filter of the intent scheme. This resulted in Cross-site scripting on the cheetah browser in any website.
CVE-2021-3460
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
The Motorola MH702x devices, prior to version 2.0.0.301, do not properly verify the server certificate during communication with the support server which could lead to the communication channel being accessible by an attacker.
CVE-2021-3462
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could allow unauthorized access to the driver's device object.
CVE-2021-3463
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A null pointer dereference vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could cause systems to experience a blue screen error.
CVE-2021-3471
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.