US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-133B -- Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Vulnerabilities

14/05/09, US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-133B -- Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Vulnerabilities
From: CERT Advisory <cert-advisory@cert.org>

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To: cert-advisory@cert.org
Subject: US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-133B -- Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Vulnerabilities
From: CERT Advisory <cert-advisory@cert.org>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 16:38:34 -0400
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                    National Cyber Alert System

              Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-133B


Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Vulnerabilities

   Original release date: May 13, 2009
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT


Systems Affected

     * Adobe Reader versions 9.1, 8.1.4, 7.1.1 and earlier

     * Adobe Acrobat Standard, Pro, and Pro Extended versions 9.1,
       8.1.4, 7.1.1 and earlier


Overview

   Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB09-06, which describes
   Adobe Reader and Acrobat updates for two JavaScript vulnerabilities
   that could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.


I. Description

   Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-06 announces updates for two
   JavaScript vulnerabilities that affect Adobe Reader and Acrobat.
 
     * A vulnerability in the getAnnots() method (CVE-2009-1492)
       affects Adobe Reader and Acrobat for Microsoft Windows, Apple
       Mac OS X, and UNIX.

     * A vulnerability in the customDictionaryOpen() method
       (CVE-2009-1493) appears to only affect Adobe Reader for UNIX.

   Further details are available in Vulnerability Note VU#970180.

   An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing a
   user to open a specially crafted Adobe Portable Document Format
   (PDF) file. Acrobat integrates with popular web browsers, and
   visiting a website is usually sufficient to cause Reader or Acrobat
   to open a PDF file.


II. Impact

   By convincing a victim to open a specially crafted PDF file, a
   remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary
   code.


III. Solution

   Update
   
     Adobe has released updates to address this issue. Users are
     encouraged to read Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-06 and update
     vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat. According to
     APSB09-06, these vulnerabilities are addressed in versions 9.1.1,
     8.1.5, and 7.1.2 of Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

   Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

     Disabling JavaScript prevents these vulnerabilities from being
     exploited and reduces attack surface. If this workaround is
     applied to updated versions of the Adobe Reader and Acrobat, it
     may protect against future vulnerabilities.
   
     To disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader:
   
       1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
       2. Open the Edit menu.
       3. Choose the Preferences... option.
       4. Choose the JavaScript section.
       5. Uncheck the Enable Acrobat JavaScript check box.

     Disabling JavaScript will not resolve the vulnerabilities, it
     will only disable the vulnerable JavaScript component. When
     JavaScript is disabled, Adobe Reader and Acrobat prompt to
     re-enable JavaScript when opening a PDF that contains JavaScript.
   
   Prevent Internet Explorer from automatically opening PDF documents

     The installer for Adobe Reader and Acrobat configures Internet
     Explorer to automatically open PDF files without any user
     interaction. This behavior can be reverted to the safer option of
     prompting the user by importing the following as a .REG file:
   
       Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
       [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document.7]"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00
   
   Disable the display of PDF documents in the web browser

     Preventing PDF documents from opening inside a web browser
     reduces attack surface. If this workaround is applied to updated
     versions of the Adobe Reader and Acrobat, it may protect against
     future vulnerabilities.  To prevent PDF documents from
     automatically being opened in a web browser with Adobe Reader:
   
       1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
       2. Open the Edit menu.
       3. Choose the preferences option.
       4. Choose the Internet section.
       5. Un-check the "Display PDF in browser" check box.
   
   Rename or remove Annots.api

     To disable the vulnerable getAnnots() method, rename or remove
     the Annots.api file. This will disable some Annotation
     functionality, however annotations can still be viewed. This does
     not protect against the customDictionaryOpen() vulnerability.  On
     Windows, Annots.api is typically located here:
   
       "%ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\plug_ins"
   
     Example location on GNU/Linux:
   
       /opt/Adobe/Reader8/Reader/intellinux/plug_ins/Annots.api
   
   Do not access PDF documents from untrusted sources

     Do not open unfamiliar or unexpected PDF documents, particularly
     those hosted on web sites or delivered as email
     attachments. Please see Cyber Security Tip ST04-010.


IV. References

 * Vulnerability Note VU#970180 -
   <http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/970180>

 * Cyber Security Tip ST04-010: Using Caution with Email Attachments -
   <http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-010.html>

 * Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-06 -
   <http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb09-06.html>

 * CVE-2009-1492 -
   <http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2009-1492>

 * CVE-2009-1493 -
   <http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2009-1493>

 ____________________________________________________________________

   The most recent version of this document can be found at:

     <http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/techalerts/TA09-133B.html>
 ____________________________________________________________________

   Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff. Please send
   email to <cert@cert.org> with "TA09-133B Feedback VU#970180" in
   the subject.
 ____________________________________________________________________

   For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
   mailing list, visit <http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/signup.html>.
 ____________________________________________________________________

   Produced 2009 by US-CERT, a government organization.

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     <http://www.us-cert.gov/legal.html>
 ____________________________________________________________________

Revision History
  
  May 13, 2009: Initial release


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