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US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA08-309A -- Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

Hash: SHA1

                     National Cyber Alert System

               Technical Cyber Security Alert TA08-309A

Adobe Reader and Acrobat Vulnerabilities

   Original release date: November 04, 2008
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected

     * Adobe Reader version 8.1.2 and earlier
     * Adobe Acrobat (Professional, 3D, and Standard) version 8.1.2 and earlier


   Adobe  has  released  Security  Bulletin APSB08-19 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 Bulletin APSB08-19 addresses a number of vulnerabilities that
   affect  the  Adobe Acrobat family of products, including Adobe Reader.
   Versions 8.1.2 and earlier are vulnerable. Further details are available in
   the 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 website is usually
   sufficient to cause Acrobat to load PDF content.

II. Impact

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

III. Solution


   According to the information in Adobe Security bulletin APSB08-19, users
   with version 8 of Adobe Reader or Acrobat should upgrade to version 8.1.3.

   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

   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

   Disabling automatic opening of PDF files in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
   requires a second step. 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:
    1. Open the Edit menu
    2. Choose the Preferences option
    3. Choose the JavaScript option
    4. De-select "Enable Acrobat JavaScript"

IV. References

     * Adobe Security Bulletin APSB08-19 -

     * US-CERT Vulnerability Notes for Adobe Security Bulletin APSB08-19 -

     * Securing Your Web Browser -


   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 "TA08-309A Feedback VU#593409" 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

   November 4, 2008: Initial release

Version: GnuPG v1.4.5 (GNU/Linux)


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