JLab: Current Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader & Acrobat Being Exploited

Adobe Acrobat is a program for creating and viewing portable document
format (PDF) files. Adobe Reader is designed to only view and print PDFs.

Both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader have a vulnerability which can be
triggered by a specially crafted PDF file. This vulnerability is being
exploited actively in the wild. Successful exploitation could allow a
hacker access to your computer.

The first level of protections is not opening documents from unknown
sources. However, note that PDF documents might be opened automatically
without the consent of the user by browsers.

To prevent PDF documents 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 category.
  5. Uncheck the "Display PDF in browser" check box under the Web Browser Options.

Disabling JavaScript in PDF files may also prevent some exploits from
succeeding. Acrobat JavaScript can be disabled using the Adobe
Preferences menu: (Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript and uncheck Enable
Acrobat JavaScript).

The vendor plans to release the updates for Acrobat 9 and Reader 9 by
March 11 and for the earlier versions by March 18.

For details on this vulnerability, see Abobe's announcement:
http://www.adobe.com/support/security/advisories/apsa09-01.html

The following link provides good configuration practices for web
browsers with details for Firefox and Internet Exployer:
http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/securing_browser/

Sent on behalf of the JLab Computing and Networking Infrastructure group.



content by magaldi@jlab.org

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