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Adobe Reader and Acrobat font memory corruption vulnerability

Vulnerability Note VU#264729

Original Release Date: 2011-06-15 | Last Revised: 2012-03-28

Overview

Adobe Reader and Acrobat fail to properly handle font data, which could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

Description

A critical vulnerability exists in the font parsing code in Adobe Reader and Acrobat. The vulnerability results in memory corruption, which could allow for the execution of arbitrary code.

Impact

An attacker may use a specifically crafted PDF document to cause a crash or execute arbitrary code.

Solution

Apply an update

Adobe recommends all users upgrade to Adobe Reader and Acrobat 10.1, 9.4.5, or 8.3. APSB11-16 contains more details. Please also consider the following workarounds:

Use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit

The Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to help prevent exploitation of this and other vulnerabilities.

Enable DEP in Microsoft Windows

Consider enabling Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in supported versions of Windows. DEP should not be treated as a complete workaround, but it can mitigate the execution of attacker-supplied code in some cases. Microsoft has published detailed technical information about DEP in Security Research & Defense blog posts "Understanding DEP as a mitigation technology" part 1 and part 2. DEP should be used in conjunction with the application of patches or other mitigations described in this document.

Note that when relying on DEP for exploit mitigation, it is important to use a system that supports Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) as well. ASLR is not supported by Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 or earlier. ASLR was introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Please see the Microsoft SRD blog entry: On the effectiveness of DEP and ASLR for more details.

Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Disabling JavaScript helps to reduce attack surface and mitigates some exploitation techniques. If this workaround is applied to updated versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat, it may protect against future vulnerabilities.

To disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader:

    1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    2. Open the Edit menu.
    3. Choose the Preferences... option.
    4. Choose the JavaScript section.
    5. Uncheck the Enable Acrobat JavaScript checkbox.
    Note that when JavaScript is disabled, Adobe Reader and Acrobat prompt to re-enable JavaScript when opening a PDF that contains JavaScript.

    Prevent Internet Explorer from automatically opening PDF documents


    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 the safer option of prompting 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 displaying of PDF documents in the web browser

    Preventing PDF documents from opening inside a web browser reduces attack surface. If this workaround is applied to updated versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat, it may protect against future vulnerabilities.

    To prevent PDF documents from automatically being opened in a web browser with Adobe Reader:
      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.

      Vendor Information

      264729
      Expand all

      Adobe

      Notified:  November 30, 2010 Updated:  June 15, 2011

      Status

        Affected

      Vendor Statement

      No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

      Vendor Information

      We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

      Vendor References

      http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb11-16.html

      Addendum

      There are no additional comments at this time.

      If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.


      CVSS Metrics

      Group Score Vector
      Base 9.0 AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:P
      Temporal 7.0 E:POC/RL:OF/RC:C
      Environmental 7 CDP:ND/TD:ND/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND

      References

      Credit

      This vulnerability was reported by Will Dormann of the CERT/CC.

      This document was written by Will Dormann.

      Other Information

      CVE IDs: CVE-2011-2105
      Severity Metric: 21.87
      Date Public: 2011-06-14
      Date First Published: 2011-06-15
      Date Last Updated: 2012-03-28 15:17 UTC
      Document Revision: 13

      Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.