Vulnerability Note VU#422807

Adobe Reader and Acrobat memory corruption vulnerabilities

Original Release date: 14 Feb 2013 | Last revised: 30 Jul 2014


Adobe Reader and Acrobat 11.0.01 and earlier, 10.1.5 and earlier, and 9.5.3 and earlier contain memory corruption vulnerabilities.


The Adobe security bulletin APSB13-07 states:

    Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Linux. These updates address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Additional details may be found in the full bulletin APSB13-07.


A remote attacker may be able to cause a denial of service or execute arbitrary code on the system in the context of the user running the Adobe product.


Apply an Update

The Adobe security bulletin APSB13-07 states:

Please consider the following workarounds, if you are unable to apply the update.

Enable Protected View

Users of Adobe Reader XI and Acrobat XI for Windows can protect themselves from this exploit by enabling Protected View. To enable this setting, choose the "Files from potentially unsafe locations" option under the Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) menu.

Disable Javascript

To disable Javascript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat, uncheck "Enable Acrobat JavaScript" under the Edit > Preferences > JavaScript menu.

Use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit

The Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to help prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. CERT/CC has created a video tutorial for setting up EMET 3.0 on Windows 7. Note that platforms that do not support ASLR, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, will not receive the same level of protection that modern Windows platforms will.

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.

Vendor Information (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
AdobeAffected-14 Feb 2013
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base 9.3 AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 8.1 E:H/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 8.3 CDP:L/TD:H/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



This document was written by Jared Allar.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2013-0640 CVE-2013-0641
  • Date Public: 13 Feb 2013
  • Date First Published: 14 Feb 2013
  • Date Last Updated: 30 Jul 2014
  • Document Revision: 17


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