has swatted a zero-day bug affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat that
was being exploited in targeted attacks.
The vulnerability, described by Adobe as critical, is one of several Adobe
fixed today in the Oct. 13 security update.
According to Adobe, the vulnerability
is a heap overflow issue. A successful exploit can corrupt memory and be used
to remotely take over a system.
Adobe has said the attacks
were targeting Windows,
though the vulnerability affects all users of Adobe
Reader and Acrobat versions 9.1.3 and earlier on Windows, Unix and Mac systems.
"All users of Adobe Reader or Acrobat will need to update
with today's release because these updates include fixes for
the most critical kind of bugs," said Andrew Storms, director of security
operations for nCircle.
"Several of these could let an attacker take
remote control of a user's computer."
The update includes more than two dozen fixes for a variety of security
issues. In addition, "The Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and 8.1.7 updates
will include a new update deployment tool, initially shipping in a passive,
beta state, which will be functional for Acrobat and Reader in the near future,"
according to the Adobe PSIRT (Product Security Incident Response Team)
"We're delivering it to end users as part of today's updates in this
state so that we can enable a follow-on, invite-only, external beta program,"
Adobe's Steve Gottwals.
"Even though the new updater ships in a
passive state, we have the ability to selectively activate it for end users
invited into the beta program, which will allow us to test a variety of network
configurations encountered on the Internet in order to ensure a robust update
"Also added to the products, as of today's Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2
and 8.1.7 updates, are two new changes in security user interface and control,"
Gottwals continued. "We are moving more security awareness into the gold
bar, which runs across the top of the document in the application chrome ... Now,
Blacklist Framework, which offers customers more control over the execution of
call," Gottwals wrote. "In this case, end users and administrators
blacklist, and block it from executing. Organizations can even block specific
from overriding that decision."
In response to outcry about the patching process, Adobe earlier in 2009
moved to time its security updates so that they match up with Microsoft's Patch
Tuesday releases. Adobe also began reviewing legacy code as part of its
development process when updating its software.