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Multiple Vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat and Reader Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (APSB18-34)

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:

2018-103

DATE(S) ISSUED:

09/19/2018

OVERVIEW:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution. Adobe Acrobat and Reader allow a user to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF). Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There are no reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Acrobat DC (Continuous Track) for Windows and macOS version 2018.011.20058 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader DC (Continuous Track) for Windows and macOS version 2018.011.20058 and prior
  • Acrobat 2017 (Classic 2017 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2017.011.30099 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader 2017 (Classic 2017 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2017.011.30099 and prior
  • Acrobat DC (Classic 2015 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2015.006.30448 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader DC (Classic 2015 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2015.006.30448 and prior

RISK:

Government:
  • Large and medium government entities: HIGH
  • Small government entities: MEDIUM
Businesses:
  • Large and medium business entities: HIGH
  • Small business entities: MEDIUM
Home Users:
LOW

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution. The vulnerabilities are as follows:

  • An out-of-bounds vulnerability that could lead to arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2018-12848)
  • Multiple out-of-bounds vulnerabilities that could lead to information disclosure. (CVE-2018-12849, CVE-2018-12850, CVE-2018-12801, CVE-2018-12840, CVE-2018-12778, CVE-2018-12775)

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with this application, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

RECOMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Install the updates provided by Adobe immediately after appropriate testing.
  • 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 websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.
  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.

REFERENCES:

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