Adobe is investigating two new reported remote code execution vulnerabilities in Reader 8 and 9. The flaws have been demonstrated on Linux and are likely to affect other platforms.
Adobe said it
is investigating reports of a new vulnerability in its PDF Reader program
The Adobe report refers to a single vulnerability report on SecurityFocus,
but in fact there are two similar reports there, both credited to
Both vulnerabilities are reported as affecting Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.1.4
and 9.1. Arr1val tested them on Linux, not other platforms, but it's highly
plausible, based on the reports and the proof-of-concept code, that they are
portable to other operating systems. The actual exploits, which are called
shell code, are not likely as portable, as the details of an exploit are often
SecurityFocus calls both "Boundary Condition Errors." For both it
says that "[a]n attacker can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code
with the privileges of the user running the application or crash the
application, denying service to legitimate users." The first is titled Adobe Reader 'getAnnots()'
and the second Adobe Reader
The proofs of concept are very similar. Both use NOP slide/heap spray
techniques to fill memory with shell code to execute once the exploit is
triggered. Both exploits are simple invocations of methods on the
"this" object in the script.
Adobe responded to the reports on SecurityFocus with impressive speed,
probably in response to complaints about slower responses in the past. The
Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) blog says that it will
have an update once it gets more information.
Editor Larry Seltzer
has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983.