Feeds

Unofficial patch plugs 0-day Adobe security vuln.

Mind the gap

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Updated Security researchers have developed an unofficial patch for a zero-day Adobe Acrobat and Reader vulnerability that's become the subject of hacker attacks.

Adobe acknowledged the vulnerability last week but said an official patch wouldn't be available until 11 March.

This three week window of vulnerability before an update becomes available is all the more serious because hackers have created a exploit, Shadowserver reports. Malicious PDF's in circulation exploit a vulnerability in a function call not related to JavaScript. JavaScript is used in the malicious PDF but only to "fill the heap with shellcode" (ie to crank up the attack), Shadowserver explains.

In response to the threat, Sourcefire has released a "homebrew" patch against the vulnerability. The fix replaces a vulnerable DLL library file and weighs in at 10MB, even with compression. In addition it only works for Adobe Reader version 9. Version 8 is also vulnerable so surfers still using that version of the software will need to upgrade before even thinking about applying the unofficial patch.

The patch comes as Secunia warns here that contrary to previous reports, disabling javascript in Adobe Reader does not automatically prevent exploitation.

"During our analysis, Secunia managed to create a reliable, fully working exploit (available for Secunia Binary Analysis customers), which does not use javascript and can therefore successfully compromise users, who may think they are safe because javascript support has been disabled," Secunia writes.

Prospective users are urged to test this unofficial patch before applying the update. Deploying third party modified software into an environment carries greater risk than applying official patches, which are themselves capable of causing problems from time to time.

Unofficial patches have previously been released in the case of Microsoft vulnerabilities, most notably by the Zeroday Emergency Response Team. Unsanctioned security updates for application by other vendors is something of an innovation, however. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.