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Technical Cyber Security Alert 2012-101B

Technical Cyber Security Alert 2012-101B
Posted Apr 11, 2012
Authored by US-CERT | Site us-cert.gov

Technical Cyber Security Alert 2012-101B - Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB12-08, which describes multiple vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. As part of this update, Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x will use the system-wide Flash Player browser plug-in instead of the Authplay component. In addition, Reader and Acrobat now disable the rendering of 3D content by default.

tags | advisory, vulnerability
MD5 | 6595d0dd4ab1e29fe00b04df2e20537d

Technical Cyber Security Alert 2012-101B

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National Cyber Awareness System

Technical Cyber Security Alert TA12-101B


Adobe Reader and Acrobat Security Updates and Architectural Improvements

Original release date: April 10, 2012
Last revised: --
Source: US-CERT


Systems Affected

* Adobe Reader X (10.1.2) and earlier 10.x versions for Windows and Macintosh
* Adobe Reader 9.5 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX
* Adobe Acrobat X (10.1.2) and earlier 10.x versions for Windows and Macintosh
* Adobe Acrobat 9.5 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh


Overview

Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB12-08, which describes
multiple vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. As
part of this update, Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x will use the
system-wide Flash Player browser plug-in instead of the Authplay
component. In addition, Reader and Acrobat now disable the
rendering of 3D content by default.


Description

Adobe Security Bulletin APSB12-08 describes a number of
vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. These
vulnerabilities affect Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9.x
through 9.5, and Reader X and Acrobat X versions prior to 10.1.3.

The Adobe ASSET blog provides additional details on new security
architecture changes to Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Adobe Reader and
Acrobat 9.5.1 will use the Adobe Flash Player plug-in version
installed on the users system rather than the Authplay component
that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat. This change helps limit
the number of out-of-date, vulnerable Flash runtimes available to
an attacker. Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.5.1 also now disable
rendering of 3D content by default because the 3D rendering
components have a history of vulnerabilities.

US-CERT recommends that Flash users upgrade to the latest version
of Adobe Flash Player and turn on automatic updates.

An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing a
user to open a specially crafted PDF file. This can happen
automatically as the result of viewing a webpage.


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
file.


Solution

Update Reader

Adobe has released updates to address this issue. Users are
encouraged to read Adobe Security Bulletin APSB12-08 and update
vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

In addition to updating, please consider the following mitigations.

Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Disabling JavaScript may prevent some exploits from resulting in
code execution. You can disable Acrobat JavaScript using the
Preferences menu (Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript; uncheck Enable
Acrobat JavaScript).

Adobe provides a framework to blacklist specific JavaScipt APIs. If
JavaScript must be enabled, this framework may be useful when
specific APIs are known to be vulnerable or used in attacks.

Prevent Internet Explorer from automatically opening PDF files

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

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.7]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

Disable the display of PDF files in the web browser

Preventing PDF files from opening inside a web browser will
partially mitigate this vulnerability. Applying this workaround may
also mitigate future vulnerabilities.

To prevent PDF files 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. Uncheck the "Display PDF in browser" checkbox.

Do not access PDF files from untrusted sources

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


References

* Security update available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat -
<https://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb11-30.html>

* Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Blacklist Framework -
<http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/504/cpsid_50431.html>

* Background on Security Bulletin APSB12-08 -
<http://blogs.adobe.com/asset/2012/04/background-on-security-bulletin-apsb12-08.html>

* Adobe Flash Player - <http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/>

* Adobe Flash vulnerability affects Flash Player and other Adobe
products -
<http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/259425>

* Vulnerability Notes with advice to disable 3D rendering -
<http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/bypublished?searchview&query=rt3d.dll>


Revision History

April 10, 2012: Initial release

____________________________________________________________________

Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff. Please send
email to <cert@cert.org> with "TA12-101B Feedback VU#124663" in
the subject.
____________________________________________________________________

Produced by US-CERT, a government organization.
____________________________________________________________________

This product is provided subject to the Notification as indicated here:
http://www.us-cert.gov/legal.html#notify

This document can also be found at
http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/techalerts/TA12-101B.html

For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
mailing list, visit http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/signup.html
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