Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Remote Code Execution

Notification Type: IBM Internet Security Systems Protection Alert
Notification Date: Feb. 12, 2008
Notification Version: 1.1

Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Remote Code Execution

Public disclosure/
In the wild date:
Feb. 7, 2008 (vendor vuln disclosure), Jan. 20, 2008 (public exploits), end of Aug. 2008 (widespread exploitation)

CVE-2007-5659 and CVE-2007-5663


Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Acrobat 8.1.1 and earlier are vulnerable to multiple vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a remote system by enticing a user to open a specially-crafted PDF file.  One of these vulnerabilities attacked in the wild in Jan. 2008.  At the end of Aug., attacks using this vulnerability started picking up and, within a few weeks, have reached widespread exploitation.


ISS Coverage

Product Content Version

Network Sensor 7.0
Proventia A
Proventia IPS (G/GX)
Server Sensor 7.0
Proventia Multifunction Appliance
Proventia Mail
Proventia Server (Linux)

XPU 28.020
Proventia Server (Windows)
Proventia Desktop
BlackICE PC Protection 3.6 cqv
Propagation Techniques ISS Protection Available
web/remote exploit Buffer Overflow Exploit Prevention (BOEP)

Base version of Proventia Desktop/Server and RealSecure Server Sensor

Feb 13, 2008

Malicious program known
to be dropped by PDFs
circulating in the wild

Trojan.Zonebac (Proventia Desktop only)
Troj/Agent-GEP (Proventia M only)
Troj/Agent-EBS (Proventia M only)
Troj/Canida-Fam (Proventia M only)

June 22, 2007
Oct 23, 2007
Feb 7, 2007
Oct 24, 2007

Detailed Description

Business Impact: This vulnerability could result in remote code execution if a victim opens a specially crafted Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) document in an affected version of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.  As always, ensure that documents like PDFs come from a trusted source before opening them.
CVSS: Base Score: 9.3
  Access Vector: Network
Access Complexity: Medium
Authentication: None
Confidentiality Impact: Complete
Integrity Impact: Complete
Availability Impact: Complete
Impact Bias: Normal 
Adjusted Temporal Score: 7.7
  Exploitability: Functional
Remediation Level: Official Fix
Report Confidence: Confirmed 
Affected Products: For a full list of affected software and versions, see references below.
Technical Description:

XFID 40410 (CVE-2007-5659)
Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are vulnerable to multiple stack-based buffer overflows, caused by improper bounds checking by multiple unspecified JavaScript methods. By persuading a victim to open a specially-crafted .PDF file, a remote attacker could overflow a buffer and execute arbitrary code on the system with privileges of the victim or cause the application to crash.

XFID 40424 (CVE-2007-5663)
Adobe Reader could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code, caused by the use of an insecure method in the JavaScript implementation used by the EScript.api plug-in. By persuading a victim to open a specially-crafted .PDF file, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to corrupt memory and execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the victim or cause the application to crash.


Users can upgrade to 8.1.2 to remediate this vulnerability.  Patches for other versions were not available as of Feb. 12, 2008, but were eventually released for 7.0.



Revision History

1.0 Initial publication.
1.1 Added information about wide-spread exploitation, updated patch details, and added additional signature coverage information.

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