Security Watch: Adobes Compromising Documents, Tainted CPAINT

Updated: News Analysis: The big noise of the last week was the Zotob (and its variants) outbreak for Windows folk, along with the IE/MSDDS.DLL zero day exploit. But there was much more going on that may

  • Acrobat Stumbles

Adobe announced that the core application plug-in for Acrobat and Acrobat Reader had this teensy, tiny, small problem in that if a "specially crafted" PDF file is read, arbitrary code could be executed due to a buffer overflow caused by an unspecified boundary error.

So, just by reading a PDF file, a Windows, Linux, Solaris, or Mac OS X machine could be compromised. This was an equal-opportunity boundary error.

A shock troop cadre of Microsoft press agents was flown down to San Jose, Calif. after Adobes announcement to taunt company programmers with posters that read "Buffer Overflows! Theyre not just for Microsoft anymore!"

Adobe has prepared an upgrade for all versions of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader that is available through the programs automatic update mechanism.

Eye Candy on Major Web Sites Can Rot Your System

If youre not a Web creator, youve probably never heard of CPaint. Its a tool kit employed by Web designers to make dynamic interactivity part of Web applications through the use of a combination of HTML, CSS, Document Object Model, JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest.

Many, many companies use this tool kit for their sites to create applications, using an approach known as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.) CPaint 2.0 was released on Friday, offering beefier support for XML, protection against remote code execution attacks and a long list of other new features.

However, the project development team last week released an advisory warning of vulnerabilities in 1.x versions of the tool kit, which could allow an attacker to execute malicious code on a server running CPaint, or with an application built using CPaint. The flaws can be exploited to execute arbitrary ASP/PHP commands or read files on a vulnerable system, including passwords.

The alert said that the bug was present in both the ASP and PHP implementations of the toolkit.

A patch for CPaint 1.x was issued along with the alert, and dubbed Version 1.3-SP2. The patch will not require owners or developers to make modifications to existing code, rather to simply download, uncompress and overwrite the and files that currently exist on the server, according to the team.

Dominique Stender, member of the development team, said that the new Version 2.0 is unaffected by the security bug.

Editors Note: This story was updated to include information on CPaint Version 2.0. In addition, a CPaint developer said that the articles previous suggestion that America Online Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. sites use CPaint code is likely mistaken.


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