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Technical Cyber Security Alert 2010-231A

Technical Cyber Security Alert 2010-231A
Posted Aug 20, 2010
Authored by US-CERT | Site

Technical Cyber Security Alert 2010-231A - Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB10-17, which describes multiple vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

tags | advisory, vulnerability
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Technical Cyber Security Alert 2010-231A

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National Cyber Alert System

Technical Cyber Security Alert TA10-231A

Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

Original release date: August 19, 2010
Last revised: --
Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected

* Adobe Reader 9.3.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX
* Adobe Acrobat 9.3.3 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh
* Adobe Reader 8.2.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX
* Adobe Acrobat 8.2.3 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh


Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB10-17, which describes
multiple vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

I. Description

Adobe Security Bulletin APSB10-17 describes a number of
vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. These
vulnerabilities affect Reader and Acrobat 9.3.3, earlier 9.x
versions, 8.2.3, and earlier 8.x versions.

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

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 APSB10-17 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; uncheck Enable
Acrobat JavaScript).

Adobe provides a framework to blacklist specific JavaScipt APIs. If
JavaScript must be enabled, this feature 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


Disable the display of PDF files in the web browser

Preventing PDF files 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 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.

IV. References

* Security update available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat -

* Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Blacklist Framework -


The most recent version of this document can be found at:


Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff. Please send
email to <> with "TA10-231A Feedback VU#299148" in
the subject.

For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
mailing list, visit <>.

Produced 2010 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Terms of use:


Revision History

August 19, 2010: Initial release

Version: GnuPG v1.4.5 (GNU/Linux)



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