Thursday, January 14, 2010


National Cyber Alert System

Technical Cyber Security Alert TA10-013A

Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

Original release date:
Last revised: --

Systems Affected

* Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier 9.x versions
* Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.1.7 and earlier 8.x versions


Adobe has released Security bulletin APSB10-02, which describes
multiple vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

I. Description

Adobe Security Advisory APSB10-02 describes a number of
vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. These
vulnerabilities affect Reader 9.2 and earlier 9.x versions and
8.1.7 and earlier 8.x versions. Further details are available in
the US-CERT Vulnerability Notes Database.

An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing a
user to open a specially crafted PDF file. The Adobe Reader browser
plug-in is available for multiple web browsers and operating
systems, which can automatically open PDF documents hosted on a

Some of these vulnerabilities are being actively exploited.

II. Impact

These vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to execute
arbitrary code, write arbitrary files or folders to the file
system, escalate local privileges, or cause a denial of service on
an affected system as the result of a user opening a malicious PDF

III. Solution


Adobe has released updates to address this issue. Users are
encouraged to read Adobe Security Bulletin APSB10-02 and update
vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Disabling JavaScript may prevent some exploits from resulting in
code execution. Acrobat JavaScript can be disabled using the
Preferences menu (Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript; un-check
Enable Acrobat JavaScript).

Prevent Internet Explorer from automatically opening PDF documents

The installer for Adobe Reader and Acrobat configures Internet
Explorer to automatically open PDF files without any user
interaction. This behavior can be reverted to a safer option that
prompts the user by importing the following as a .REG file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Disable the display of PDF documents in the web browser

Preventing PDF documents from opening inside a web browser will
partially mitigate this vulnerability. If this workaround is
applied it may also mitigate future vulnerabilities.

To prevent PDF documents from automatically being opened in a web browser, do the following:

1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
2. Open the Edit menu.
3. Choose the preferences option.
4. Choose the Internet section.
5. Un-check the "Display PDF in browser" check box.

Do not access PDF documents from untrusted sources

Do not open unfamiliar or unexpected PDF documents, particularly
those hosted on websites or delivered as email attachments. Please
see Cyber Security Tip ST04-010.

IV. References

* Adobe Security Bulletin APSB10-02

* Vulnerability Note VU#508357 -

* Vulnerability Note VU#773545 -


Dutch donut girl said...

Huh? What? Your post is making me feel stupid. But I never open unfamiliar or unexpected documents. Must mean I'm doing SOMETHING right.

Blasé said...

I agree with whatever Double D said...