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Subject: US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-051A -- Adobe Acrobat and Reader Vulnerability
From: CERT Advisory <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:06:19 -0500

Hash: SHA1

                    National Cyber Alert System

              Technical Cyber Security Alert TA09-051A

Adobe Acrobat and Reader Vulnerability

   Original release date: February 20, 2009
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected

     * Adobe Reader version 9 and earlier
     * Adobe Acrobat (Professional, 3D, and Standard) version 9 and earlier


   Adobe has released Security Bulletin APSB09-01, which describes a
   vulnerability that affects Adobe Reader and Acrobat. This
   vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary

I. Description

   Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-01 describes a memory-corruption
   vulnerability that affects Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Further
   details are available in Vulnerability Note VU#905281.  An attacker
   could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing a user to load a
   specially crafted Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
   Acrobat integrates with popular web browsers, and visiting a
   website is usually sufficient to cause Acrobat to load PDF content.

II. Impact

   An attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code.

III. Solution

   Disable JavaScript in Adobe Reader and Acrobat   

   Disabling Javascript may prevent some exploits from resulting in
   code execution. Acrobat JavaScript can be disabled using the
   Preferences menu (Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript and un-check
   Enable Acrobat 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

   Disable the display of PDF documents in the web browser  

   Preventing PDF documents from opening inside a web browser will
   partially mitigate this vulnerability. If this workaround is
   applied it may also mitigate future vulnerabilities. To prevent PDF
   documents from automatically being opened in a web browser, do the
   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.   

   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

 * Adobe Security Bulletin apsa09-01 -

 * Securing Your Web Browser -

 * Vulnerability Note VU#905281 -


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


   Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff. Please send
   email to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> with "TA09-051A Feedback VU#905281" in
   the subject.

   For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
   mailing list, visit <>.

   Produced 2009 by US-CERT, a government organization.

   Terms of use:


Revision History
  February 20, 2009: Initial release

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