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Adobe Reader and Acrobat Font Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Vulnerability Note VU#491991

Original Release Date: 2010-09-14 | Last Revised: 2010-10-29

Overview

A vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Reader and Acrobat that may be exploited to run arbitrary code.

Description

A critical vulnerability exists in the font parsing code of CoolType.dll. A vulnerable strcat call is used when parsing data within the "SING" table of a TrueType font. The vulnerability has been confirmed in versions 8.2.4 and 9.3.4 of both Reader and Acrobat. Older versions may also be affected. There have been reports of this vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild.

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 9.4 or 8.2.5. APSB10-21 contains more details.


Force DEP/ASLR

Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit may be used to mitigate the effects of the exploit. Further details can be found on Microsoft's TechNet Blog.

Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Disabling JavaScript prevents these vulnerabilities from being exploited and reduces attack surface. 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.
    Disabling JavaScript will not resolve the vulnerabilities, it will only disable the vulnerable JavaScript component. 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

      491991
      Expand all

      Adobe

      Updated:  September 14, 2010

      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.

      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 N/A N/A
      Temporal N/A N/A
      Environmental N/A

      References

      Credit

      This document was written by Jared Allar.

      Other Information

      CVE IDs: CVE-2010-2883
      Severity Metric: 61.51
      Date Public: 2010-09-14
      Date First Published: 2010-09-14
      Date Last Updated: 2010-10-29 15:00 UTC
      Document Revision: 30

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