Adobe Reader and Acrobat XFA Remote Code Execution

Notification Type: IBM Security Solutions Protection Alert
Notification Date: February 18, 2013
Notification Version: 1.0
Name: Adobe Reader and Acrobat XFA Remote Code Execution
Public disclosure/
In the wild date:
February 13, 2013
Aliases: APSA-13-02
CVE: CVE-2013-0640, CVE-2013-0641

A vulnerability exists in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat which can lead to remote code execution. Exploits for this previously unknown vulnerability were initially reported to have been used in targeted attacks.


ISS Coverage

Product Content Version
Proventia Network IDS
Proventia Network IPS
Proventia Network MFS
Proventia Server (Linux)
RealSecure Network
RealSecure Server Sensor
Proventia Desktop
Proventia Server IPS (Windows)
Propagation Techniques ISS Protection Available

remote exploit

18 Feb 2013

* This signature provides coverage for CVE-2013-0640 and is blocked in the default policy.

Detailed Description

Business Impact:

Compromise of machines using affected versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat may lead to exposure of confidential information, loss of productivity, and further network compromise. Remote code execution could be achieved by enticing a user to visit a web page or to open a specially crafted PDF file. A successful exploitation attempt results in code execution with privileges of the current user. The Protected Mode sandbox feature first introduced in Adobe Reader X in Windows should limit the impact of successful attacks, however, exploits seen in the wild were found using a separate vulnerability to bypass this security feature.

*CVSS Base Score: 9.3
  Access Vector: Network
Access Complexity: Medium
Authentication: None
Confidentiality Impact: Complete
Integrity Impact: Complete
Availability Impact: Complete
Adjusted Temporal Score: 7.9
  Exploitability: Unproven
Remediation Level: Unavailable
Report Confidence: Confirmed
Affected Products:

For a full list of affected versions, see references below.

Technical Description:

This memory corruption vulnerability exists in the handling XFA (XML Forms Architecture) forms which could result in remote arbitrary code execution. Exploits seen in the wild were additionally found leveraging a separate vulnerability  to bypass the Protected Mode sandbox, a security feature first introduced in Adobe Reader X in Windows.


Refer to APSA13-02 for additional details. No remedy available as of February 15, 2013.



Revision History

1.0 Initial publication.

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