Adobe patches for critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader

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Adobe on Tuesday delivered a new version of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8 to correct a number of critical vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to take remote control of an infected computer.

The update -- which addresses nine flaws in version 8.1.2 and earlier -- includes a fix for a stack buffer overflow issue that was reported by four security companies: TippingPoint, Secunia, Core Security Technologies and iSIGHT Partners.

That bug could be exploited by hackers to gain access to a vulnerable system by tricking a victim into clicking on a specially crafted PDF file that contains malicious JavaScript, according to Core.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at network security firm nCircle, said in an email that a public proof-of-concept is available for the vulnerability, which resembles a now-patched Foxit Reader bug that was disclosed earlier this year. An Adobe spokesman said that the company is not aware of any proof-of-concept code.

"This presents a significant risk to the enterprise as Adobe PDF files are a mainstay for corporate communications," he said. "Also, users are not as aware of the potential security risks associated with Adobe files as compared to Microsoft Word or Excel."

Adobe suggests users upgrade to version 8.1.3. Users of version 9 for Reader and Acrobat, released in June, are not vulnerable to any of the flaws patched on Tuesday.
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