Feeds

Critical Adobe updates overshadow MS Patch Tuesday

PDF peril finally plugged

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

January's Patch Tuesday update from Microsoft was overshadowed in importance by fixes that defend against highly publicised exploits in Adobe Acrobat and Reader.

The vulnerabilities in Adobe's software have been the target of hacking attacks since mid-December and so rate higher in important than Microsoft's solitary update, a fix for a flaw in how Windows 2000 handles Embedded OpenType Fonts.

The flaw is critical for Windows 2000 only, since it alone uses the vulnerable code to decompress EOT files, and low-to-no risk for other flavours of Windows. XP users, however, ought to note that the version of Flash that comes bundled with the OS is vulnerable and therefore needs upgrading.

Adobe's cross-platform fixes for zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat also coincide with the release of 24 security updates from Oracle, covering flaws across the enterprise software firm's full product range. Altogether, then, there's no shortage of work for hard-pressed sys admins.

Users of Adobe Reader 9.2 and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Unix are advised to update to Adobe Reader 9.3 and Acrobat 9.3, while users of Acrobat 8.1.7 ought to upgrade to Acrobat 8.2.

The latest quarterly patch batch from Adobe also introduces a new update process. The previous update process was a chore and created an environment where Adobe updates were seldom applied, creating a fertile playing field for hackers. Security firms, most notably F-Secure, have advised surfers to consider using alternative PDF reader packages while other experts urge substantial changes short of abandoning Adobe products.

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys, commented that network admins ought to consider turning off JavaScript in Adobe Reader, and not just because the latest Adobe exploit hinged on exploiting the technology. "JavaScript has played a major role in the exploitation of Adobe Reader in 2009, so this a good preventive and defensive measure," Kandek explained.

More on Adobe's update can be found here. Oracle's security bulletin can be found here and details on the lightest Patch Tuesday in years can be found here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.