Acrobatic Tumble: Serious Flaws in Adobe Reader 8.1.2

Nov 11, 2008

Adobe cautions in an advisory against a whole series of flaws in Adobe Reader 8.1.2. Most of them also affect Linux.

Adobe provides new packages for 8.1.3 to react quickly to the problem, mainly discovered by iDefense Labs and the Zero Day initiative. You can get the complete security bulletin here.
The advisory affects a number of CVE numbers dealing with vulnerabilities mainly from attack from special code in PDF data, causing a potential system crash and even yielding control of the system. Fortunately no cases have yet been recorded. The CVEs are:
CVE-2008-4812

CVE-2008-4813

CVE-2008-4814

CVE-2008-4815

CVE-2008-4817

The CVE-2008-4816 should affect Windows only, but CVE-2008-2992 has been known since July of this year and involves format attacks using the util.printf() JavaScript function.
Few distributions provide Adobe Reader in their repositories because it isn't free software. They usually refer to the Adobe download site that provides RPM, Debian and tar.gz installers. Users should pull in the newest version indicated, although Reader 9 isn't included for Linux.

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  • Don't bother with Adobe Reader

    Adobe Reader is pure bloatware, xpdf or other readers do the same and are orders of magnitude faster and more lightweight.
  • I can confirm

    I have seen this occuring, but thought it was the same old ld-linux.so issue, that adobe seems to think they've fixed.

    The long and short of it is, I've removed adobe pdf reader, and use kpdf which seems to be a lighter-weight solution with more functionality anwyay.
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