Feeds

Unofficial patch plugs 0-day Adobe security vuln.

Mind the gap

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.