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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

9/26/2008
02:01 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Adobe PDF Reader Vulnerable, U.S. CERT Warns

The government's standard precautionary advice: Don't open files from sources you don't trust, and keep your antivirus software and patches up to date.

U.S. CERT on Thursday warned that new attack kits for exploiting vulnerabilities in Adobe's PDF-reading software are circulating on the Internet.

Secure Computing's Anti-Malware Research Labs has published a screenshot of one such Web-based attack kit, called "PDF Xploit Pack."

"This new toolkit targets only PDFs, no other exploits are used to leverage vulnerabilities," a Secure Computing blog post explains. "Typical functions like caching the already infected users are deployed by this toolkit on the sever-side. Whenever a malicious PDF exploit is successfully delivered, the victim’s IP address is remembered for a certain period of time. During this 'ban time' the exploit is not delivered to that IP again, which is another burden for incident handling."

Adobe has patched 17 security vulnerabilities in the Windows version of its Reader 8 software so far this year, in four separate patches. The Macintosh version of Reader 8 has been patched 16 times in three patches to date this year.

Ian Amit, director of security research at Aladdin Knowledge Systems, attributes the rise in PDF exploits to the revival of the Neosploit toolkit, according to a report in Computerworld.

Secure Computing says that other exploit toolkits, like "El Fiesta," have also been enhanced to take advantage of PDF vulnerabilities.

Another security company, Finjan, released a report earlier this week that examined the rising sophistication of obfuscated malicious code -- code written to be difficult to read and detect. The report notes that PDF files make an appealing delivery mechanism for malicious code because they allow JavaScript code to be embedded for the purpose of PDF file customization and manipulation.

"During our research, we noticed an increase in the amount of PDF files containing malicious code," the Finjan report explains. "Obviously, crimeware authors became aware of this new capability for distributing malicious code and took the necessary steps to protect their 'bread- and- butter' from being detected by security vendors."

U.S. CERT offers the standard precautionary advice: Don't open files from sources you don't trust, and keep your antivirus software and patches up to date.

Keeping one's antivirus software up to date, while advisable, may not be particularly effective. The Finjan report says that company researchers submitted a PDF with obfuscated malicious code to Virus Total, a service that analyzes whether submitted malware is detectable by various antivirus engines. It found that only 10% of the antivirus engines in its test suite recognized the file as malicious.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
For Cybersecurity to Be Proactive, Terrains Must Be Mapped
Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity,  10/8/2019
A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17593
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
JIZHICMS 1.5.1 allows admin.php/Admin/adminadd.html CSRF to add an administrator.
CVE-2019-17594
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the _nc_find_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-17595
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the fmt_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-14823
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
A flaw was found in the "Leaf and Chain" OCSP policy implementation in JSS' CryptoManager versions after 4.4.6, 4.5.3, 4.6.0, where it implicitly trusted the root certificate of a certificate chain. Applications using this policy may not properly verify the chain and could be vulnerable to...
CVE-2019-17592
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
The csv-parse module before 4.4.6 for Node.js is vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service. The __isInt() function contains a malformed regular expression that processes large crafted input very slowly. This is triggered when using the cast option.