Feeds

Surprise Adobe update grapples with critical flaws

Reader, I pwned him

Seven Steps to Software Security

Adobe published an out-of-sequence update for its Reader and Acrobat software packages on Tuesday that tackles a brace of serious flaws.

The cross-platform Reader and Acrobat update fixes a vulnerability in the domain sandbox of the PDF technology that opens the door to possible exploits, more specifically unauthorised cross-domain requests. In addition the update addresses a critical flaw that creates a mechanism for hackers to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems.

Adobe advises users to upgrade to Acrobat version 9.3.1 and Reader version 9.3.1, as explained in a bulletin here. Last week Adobe updated its Flash software in a way that meant users had to uninstall the previous version in order to remove the threat from their systems.

The importance of the Reader update is underscored by the release of a survey by web security firm ScanSafe which reports 80 per cent of all web-based exploits it blocked in the last quarter of 2009 were PDF exploits

Recently Adobe promised to move onto a quarterly patching schedule for Reader updates, at least, in order to make life easier for sys admins. The latest patches fall outside this sequence and without a detailed explanation of what had been fixed, leaving some in the security community puzzling over the update.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at network security firm nCircle, commented: "As of now, there are no known zero day exploits in the wild for the patched Acrobat bug, but Adobe's effort to update this patch critical vulnerability outside their normal patch cycle will undoubtedly draw lots of attention from attackers."

"Last week Adobe released a security update to Flash and today they released an Acrobat update that references last week's Flash update. Adobe's lack of detailed security bulletins on the situation is leaving us all scratching our heads and wishing we had more information." ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.