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The following cyber advisory was issued by the New York State Office of Information Technology Services and is intended for State government entities. The information may or may not be applicable to the general public and, accordingly, the State does not warrant its use for any specific purposes.

ITS ADVISORY NUMBER:
2013-018 - Updated

DATE(S) ISSUED:
2/14/2013
2/21/13 - UPDATED

SUBJECT:
Multiple Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat Could Allow For Remote Code Execution (APSA13-02)

ORIGINAL OVERVIEW:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat that could allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Adobe Reader allows users to view Portable Document Format (PDF) files, while Adobe Acrobat offers users additional features such as the ability to create PDF files. Successful exploitation could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploit attempts will likely cause denial-of-service conditions.

It should be noted that these vulnerabilities are being exploited with attacks designed to trick Windows users into clicking on a specially crafted PDF file delivered in an e-mail message. Adobe is in the process of working on fixes for these issues.

February 21 UPDATED OVERVIEW:
Adobe has released updates for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat that fixes these vulnerabilities.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Adobe Acrobat and Reader XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Acrobat and Reader X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Reader 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux
  • Adobe Acrobat 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh

RISK:
Government:

  • Large and medium government entities: High
  • Small government entities: High

Businesses:

  • Large and medium business entities: High
  • Small business entities: High

Home users: High

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION:
Adobe Reader and Acrobat are prone to multiple vulnerabilities that could allow for remote code execution. Details of these vulnerabilities are as follows:
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution (CVE-2013-0640, CVE-2013-0641).
Successful exploitation could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploit attempts will likely cause denial-of-service conditions.

It should be noted that these vulnerabilities are being exploited with targeted attacks designed to trick Windows users into clicking on a specially crafted PDF file delivered in an e-mail message. Adobe is in the process of working on fixes for these issues.

February 21 UPDATED DESCRIPTION:
Adobe has released updates for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat that fix these vulnerabilities

ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATIONS:
We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Consider installing and running Adobe Reader in Protected View mode.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit untrusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Remind users not to open e-mail attachments from unknown users or suspicious e-mails from trusted sources.

February 21 UPDATED RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Install the updates provided by Adobe immediately after appropriate testing.

ORIGINAL REFERENCES:
Adobe:
http://www.adobe.com/support/security/advisories/apsa13-02.html

SecurityFocus:
http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/57931
http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/57947

CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2013-0640
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2013-0641

February 21 UPDATED REFERENCE:
Adobe:
http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb13-07.html

Deborah A. Snyder

Acting Chief Information Security Officer


 

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