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US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA08-043A -- Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

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        National Cyber Alert System

   Technical Cyber Security Alert TA08-043A

Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

   Original release date: February 12, 2008
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected

     * Adobe Reader version 8.1.1 and earlier
     * Adobe  Acrobat  Professional,  3D, and Standard versions 8.1.1 and


   Adobe  has  released  Security  advisory APSA08-01 to address multiple
   vulnerabilities affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. The most severe of
   these  vulnerabilities  could  allow  a  remote  attacker  to  execute
   arbitrary code.

I. Description

   Adobe    Security   advisory   APSA08-01   addresses   a   number   of
   vulnerabilities  affecting  the  Adobe  Acrobat  family  of  products,
   including  Adobe  Reader.  Acrobat  versions  8.1.1  and  earlier  are
   affected.  Further  details are available in the US-CERT Vulnerability
   Notes Database.

   An  attacker  could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing a user
   to load a specially crafted Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
   Acrobat  integrates with popular web browsers, and visiting a web site
   is usually sufficient to cause Acrobat to load PDF content.

   At least one of these vulnerabilities is being actively exploited. The
   SANS Internet Storm Center Handler's Diary contains more information.

II. Impact

   The  impacts  of  these vulnerabilities vary. The most severe of these
   vulnerabilities allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.

III. Solution


   Upgrade  Adobe  Reader  or  Acrobat  to version 8.1.2 according to the
   information in Adobe Security advisory APSA08-01.

Disable web browser display for PDF documents

   Preventing  PDF  documents  from  opening  inside  a  web  browser may
   mitigate  this  vulnerability.  Applying  the  following workaround in
   conjunction  with  upgrading  may prevent similar vulnerabilities from
   being automatically exploited.

   To  prevent  PDF  documents  from  automatically being opened in a web
   browser with Acrobat or Reader:
    1. Open Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
    2. Open the Edit menu.
    3. Choose the Preferences option.
    4. Choose the Internet section.
    5. De-select the "Display PDF in browser" check box.

Disable automatic opening of PDF documents in Microsoft Internet Explorer

   To  disable  automatic  opening  of  PDF  files  in Microsoft Internet
   Explorer  (IE),  a  second step is required. To configure IE to prompt
   before  opening  a  PDF  file,  disable  the  "Display PDF in browser"
   feature  (as  described  above) and then make the following changes to
   the Windows registry:

       Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

   Disabling  JavaScript  in  Adobe  Reader  and Acrobat may prevent this
   vulnerability  from being exploited. In Acrobat Reader, JavaScript can
   be  disabled  in  the General preferences dialog (Edit --> Preferences
   --> JavaScript, de-select Enable Acrobat JavaScript).

IV. References

     * US-CERT  Vulnerability Notes for Adobe Security advisory APSA08-01
       - <http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/byid?searchview&query=APSA08-01>

     * Securing Your Web Browser -

     * Adobe Security Advisory APSA08-01 -

     * Adobe Reader 8.1.2 Release Notes -

     * SANS Internet Storm Center Handler's Diary -

     * Configuring Windows Explorer - Registry EditFlags -

     * Internet Explorer Opens .exe Files Instead of Downloading Them -

     * Office Documents opening in IE -


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


   Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff. Please send
   email to <cert@xxxxxxxx> with "TA08-043A Feedback VU#666281" in the

   For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
   mailing list, visit <http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/signup.html>.

   Produced 2008 by US-CERT, a government organization.

   Terms of use:


Revision History

   February 12, 2008: Initial release
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (GNU/Linux)


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